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The Aerotec Ti Forte remembers the 70s. The designers of the diving watch brand revived the iconic Porsche Design Ocean 2000 Titan, which even after more than 40 years excites watch lovers from all over the world. Can the Aerotec Ti Forte conjure up some of the icon’s magic on my wrist?
Diving watches in retro design
February 15 (3 p.m.GMT) is a date to keep in mind – and not just if you specifically follow new Kickstarter releases. It’s the date when Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur-based manufacturer Aerotec unveils its latest campaign. Now known for its diving watches, Aerotec has once again come up with a diver that quotes a design from a bygone era in keeping with the brand. The self-proclaimed heritage watches always pursue exactly this goal. Through a lot of attention to detail, the wearer is supposed to remember an old model that he or she might have admired as a child or once worn himself or herself.
The trend towards retro design has been around for several years now and there is no end. I was able to see for myself at the end of 2020 that the concept works. At that time, I was kindly sent a prototype of the Aerotec Bay to test for a few days at home. What makes all the collections, including the Aerotec Ti Forte, so attractive is the quite affordable price when looking at the promising specifications. This much is already revealed: the Super Early Bird price is under 300 US dollars. More details can be found at the end of this watch review.
The model is offered in a total of 8 different references with 4 dial colors, limited to 50 per color. My test model is the prototype of the reference AF 4 with the white dial, which glows completely light blue in the dark.
Aerotec delivers me the test model in a black packaging including a case with leather look. A warranty card and other package contents are therefore not included. The packaging will be modified for serial production.
The relationship of the Aerotec Ti Forte to its great model, the Porsche Design Ocean 2000 Titan, is unmistakable. Especially the bezel with its indentations is reminiscent of the historic diver’s watch. According to information, my Ti Forte already has a case, which will later go into series production.
An Improvement will be made to the bezel’s lume, it’ll be heavier up the lume filled.
The Aerotec Ti Forte on the wrist
If you put the Aerotec Ti Forte on your wrist for the first time, you will hardly feel any change, or even notice wearing a watch on your wrist. This is thanks to the extremely light case, which weighs just 47 grams. Just a fraction of what most other dive watches weigh. This benefits the functionality if you really plan to take the timepiece with you on dives.
Measuring 40 millimeters in diameter, the size of the case is more reminiscent of the historic diving watches of the 20th century and less reminiscent of the dimensions we are used to today. Less is sometimes more. With a length of 46 millimeters from lug to lug, you won’t have to worry about whether the Aerotec Ti Forte will fit your wrist. The beveled shape of the lugs harmoniously hugs the arm.
Aerotec sees the Ti Forte primarily as a watch that you can wear on your wrist every day. Not too special, uncomplicated, and thus easy to fit, you don’t have to worry about this diver looking out of place, on the contrary. By the way, you will immediately identify real watch connoisseurs. Anyone familiar with IWC’s Porsche Design Ocean 2000 Titan will inevitably take a look at your watch. The icon and the AF 3 (with the black dial), for example, look confusingly similar from a distance!
Equipped with a titanium case
Before purchasing your Aerotec Ti Forte, you have the choice between two different colored case types with identical shape and dimensions. My AF 4 comes in a shade of gray that strongly resembles the color of the Porsche Design Ocean 2000 Titan. Case color or not, the body of every Aerotec Ti Forte is made of titanium. In this respect, too, Aerotec’s new diver’s watch emulates its great role model, which brings with it a number of advantages. The high-tech material titanium is noticeably lighter than stainless steel – remember the low weight! Nevertheless, it convinces with robustness and resistance to external influences. Today, titanium watches are no longer a novelty. In the days of the Porsche Design Ocean 2000 Titan, however, it was different. So this extraordinary feature must not be missing in a tribute watch – Aerotec has done everything right here.
Although titanium watches per se are no longer special, they are rarely found in a price range below $300. I am also positively surprised by the case finish. The workmanship makes a very good impression. This can also be said about the watch glass, which is made of scratch-resistant sapphire and is very high-quality. I like the curvature, which is characteristic for most diving watches of the 20th century. The anti-reflective coating on the underside contributes to better readability and thus functionality.
Bezel and case back of the Aerotec Ti Forte
The design element that I think the Aerotec Ti Forte cites the most is the bezel. There are six indentations embedded on the side. This makes it particularly grippy for the diver, who can thus also operate it under water. Depending on the reference, your Ti Forte is coated with light blue or green luminous material.
On the the other side, you’ll see a solid caseback, whose design is indeed unusual. I’m not talking about the outer round engravings, which resemble the porthole of a ship, or the successful diver’s helmet. No, I’m talking about the viewing window in the diver’s helmet, which actually represents the glass caseback with a view of the movement. A very original and successful interpretation, in my opinion. With the Aerotec Ti Forte, you can dive to a maximum depth of 200 meters – solid!
The Miyota 9015 – a good choice
The heart of the Aerotec Ti Forte consists of an automatic movement. Aerotec chose a Japanese-made Miyota 9015 caliber, which is more often used in watches from kickstarter brands. The reason for this is the proven performance at a fair price. When you choose the Miyota 9015, you choose reliability, precision and longevity. The automatic movement for three-hand watches has been on the market since 2009. Its flat design allows the Aerotec Ti Forte to measure only 12 millimeters in height. With a frequency of 28800 vibrations, it is equipped with a power reserve of 42 hours. The rate deviation is about -10 to +30 seconds per day.
The crown with screw lock, whose upper side is adorned with the manufacturer’s logo, shows a love of detail.
Dial and bracelet
Before you buy a Ti Forte, you should pay attention to the dial type. On the dark case, the indices are illuminated, on the light case, the whole dial is illuminated by Super-Luminova BGW9 light blue. In this case, the indices and hands are illuminated in green to match the bezel, as you can discover in the watch photographs. At 6 o’clock, a rectangular date window has been embedded – practical for everyday use. The quality of the applied indices and hands as well as the sand texture of the dial is convincing.
Let’s take a last look at the bracelet. It is a classic gray nato strap, which is robustly made and withstands strains effortlessly.
My conclusion about the Aerotec Ti Forte
When do you ever get the chance to purchase a fairly sophisticated titanium cased dive watch for just $295? If any watch offers this unique opportunity, it’s the Aerotec Ti Forte, which boasts a well-matched blend of heritage design and functionality. As announced, Aerotec will follow up with some improvements until the Kickstarter campaign launches. What I have been able to test so far, however, can be seen.
My conclusion: anyone who has been toying with the idea of getting a first or further timepiece made of titanium should take action now. Fans of the old Porsche Design Ocean 2000 in particular should be delighted with this model. The large selection of dial and case colors is also attractive.
The Kickstarter campaign starts on February 15. Aerotec gives you an international one-year warranty.