Reviewing the Astor & Banks Fortitude – Podcast Episode 125

“Go anywhere, do anything”. It’s a phrase thrown around so often by watch enthusiasts that it seems to have lost any actual significance and credibility when describing a watch. That being said, today we are reviewing the Astor & Banks Fortitude (warning, spoiler alert ahead) and both of us agree, this one nails the concept of GADA watch. For those of you unfamiliar with Astor & Banks, the brand is one of many in the U.S. microbrand scene that have made big waves in the enthusiast community in recent years. Following the huge success of their Sea Ranger collection, brand owner Andrew decided to focus on the creation of a more refined version of the popular tool watch. In October of 2020, he did just that by launching the Fortitude collection. Andrew was kind enough to loan us one of each model in the collection, giving us a thorough hands on experience that we are thrilled to bring to this episode of the podcast.

Before we dive too deep into our actual review, let’s go over the watch details. The Fortitude measures 38.5mm with a 46mm lug to lug and 11.9mm thickness. The stainless steel case includes a screw-down crown which helps the watch achieve 200m of water resistance (a big win in our opinion) and has a sapphire crystal with AR coating on the underside. The steel bracelet is brushed to match the case and tapers from 20mm to 16mm. In the current collection, there are five dial colors to choose from (silver, navy blue, mint green, mother of pearl, and sand) with Superluminova on all markers and hands. The Fortitude is powered by the Miyota 9105 movement which features a three-hand display with date (oh, let’s not forget to mention the matching date wheel that can be found on every dial). Added iron-plated make the watch more resistant to magnetism, even exceeding current ISO requirements. Finally, the packaging includes an extra suede strap and a watch wallet priced between $650 and $695 with a 5-year warranty.

Now for those of you who may be new to our reviews, we do things a little differently. We’ve given you the facts about this watch, everything else that follows is objective and just our opinions based on the time we spent with the Fortitude. Before anything else, we are watch enthusiasts. And as such, any time we consider buying a new timepiece, there are a few questions that the two of us as ourselves. Those are the questions that we aim to answer here. We are talking about favorite and least favorite features, versatility, value, and how this would fit into our lives. In the end, we give it an all-around ranking and wrap things up with a few final thoughts. Wanna know what we think? Tune in and listen up!

We genuinely cannot thank Andrew with Astor & Banks enough for sharing these watches with us for a while. Be sure to head over to the Astor & Banks website to check out the Fortitude as well as their other collections. If your favorite dial is no longer available fear not, we have it on good authority more will be coming.

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