For those outside of avionic circles, this particular commemorative piece may leave them scratching their head a little, struggling to understand it's relevance and meaning, however, the F-4F Phantom's Phorever Chronograph is a true collectors piece which in fact commemorates a sad day for many enthusiasts and lover of aeronautical engineering.
It commemorates the date June 28th 2013, just two months ago, when the last functioning active duty McDonell Douglas F-4 Phantom II jet fighters were finally stood down from the German air force, to be replaced with the newer, Eurofighter Typhoon. The Phantom, which was retired from the U.S. military way back in 1996, was said to be the last true "pilot's" fighter in active service, which required the pilot to actually have considerable skill in handling the bird, lacking any of the sophisticated flight control systems found on newer fighters, nevertheless, the Phantom F-4 managed to achieve Ace status, achieving five aerial kills against enemy fighter aircraft in air to air combat.
The Fortis special edition are emblazoned with the German squadron which was the last to utilise the plane's insignia on the dial, and has the famous "Phantom's Phorever" slogan encircling the 12-hour subdial at 6 o'clock, additionally, it has the iconic Phantom "spook" charicature below the day/date indicator. On the features side the unit is no slouch, with a 42mm steel case, water resistant to 200m, Swiss ETA caliber Valjoux 7750 with 25 jewels, 28,800 vph and a 42 hour power reserve.
The edition is made in a strictly limited edition of 175 pieces worldwide, to honour the number of Phantom's the German squadron had in service, and will be available from Fortis dealers from the end of August priced at around £2500