A new collection from Chicago-based independent watch brand Astor + Banks launched today furthering the brand’s commitment to creating purpose-built timepieces made to last. Introducing FORTITUDE, a refreshing take on the popular trend of “sporty/casual” watches designed for everyday wear. With this new collection, Astor + Banks launches a few “firsts” as well, and they’re most definitely worth talking about. But first, let’s talk about the details.
Case: Brushed and polished 316L stainless steel / 38.5mm / 11.99mm thick (including flat sapphire crystal with AR coating on the underside) / 46mm lug to lug / 20mm lug width
Dial: Silver, Navy Blue, Mother-of-Pearl, Mint Green
Movement: Miyota 9015 adjusted in house / automatic with manual winding capability / 42 hour power reserve / anti-magnetic rated to 20,000A/m
Water Resistance: 660Feet / 20ATM / Viton gaskets and screw-down crown
Attachment: 316L stainless steel bracelet (20mmx16mm) with chamfer on the underside of the links for even better comfort and double locking buckle / drilled lug holes in case for easy changing / additional suede strap with quick release pins also included and tool
Warranty: 5 year
Price/Delivery: $650 USD For Silver, Mint Green, and Navy Dial; $695 for Mother-of-Pearl Dial
So, what’s new you ask? Well if you’re paying close attention to the specs you’ll notice two important features. The first is that the FORTITUDE has a newly added anti-magnetic feature, allowing the watch to keep up with the technologies that we surround ourselves with and remain highly accurate. Astor + Banks has achieved this by adding 2 soft iron plates to sandwich the movement, giving it an AM rating of 20,000A/m (Note that ISO 764 requires only 4,800A/m).
Second, and arguably what the two of us have been hoping for from the micro brand community for some time now is the addition of a model geared towards ladies! (*insert hand praise emojis here!) While technically all of the models in the new FORTITUDE collection are perfectly designed to be unisex, particularly with the 38.5mm case size, Astor + Banks has introduced a stunning mother of pearl dial option with heated blue hands, blued markers, and blue print. Ladies watches is a question that we have brought up to several of our microbrand friends since beginning this podcast (and even before) to be met by a similar response of “there just isn’t enough demand”. Seeing a woman’s watch enter the microbrand sphere may symbolize a change in the tide and we can only be hopeful that more brands follow suit.
When we learned of the new ladies piece, we reached out and asked brand founder Andrew Perez one simple question, why did you make a ladies watch. His answer was straight to the point, saying “I have always wanted to include watches for women for a few reasons; 1. I’d like to offer a proper line up of models which to me are inclusive of both men and women’s models. 2. Since I started making watches in 2012 I have always received requests from women and especially when they were buying for their partners. Lastly, women’s watches are totally ignored in our microbrand world and I think there is a lot of room there especially with the kind of value and options you can get with smaller brands like mine. I am seeing more and more women on IG with watch accounts and think it’s great for our community and of course you two I think have been a great influence for other women to get involved which is amazing.”
It’s great to see a brand like Astor + Banks embracing the entire community. And while our attention might be drawn mostly to the idea of a ladies model, all of the new FORTITUDE series seem incredibly well done, with little details that we “watch nerds” can appreciate. We hope to have some hands on experience with these soon that we can share with you all! Until then, head over to the Astor + Banks website.Follow Us: