November 10, 2021
Established in 1999, family-owned Swiss watch brand Formex has always offered high-performance timepieces. In the past, its watches were purely sporty, but the 2018 release of the Essence collection added versatility to the lineup. Formex expanded the collection with its ultra-lightweight Leggera carbon version with a ceramic bezel, as well as the Essence Oro, Space Rock, and Space Rock Leggera limited editions. Earlier this year Formex started delivery of its updated ThirtyNine and FortyThree Automatic Chronometer versions of the Essence to continue to build on the success of this bestselling and flagship line. It has listened to customer feedback to improve and refine the Essence into the collection that is offered today.
The newest Essence is the brand’s most versatile watch yet, making it appropriate to wear in a variety of situations. Some of its versatility comes from a mix of polished and brushed surfaces, allowing it to look dressy without being overly formal. Essence watches can also be configured to fit the style and uses of many different owners. The collection is now offered in two case sizes — 39 and 43mm, covering most wrist sizes. A number of dial colors are available, from “goes with anything” white or black, to attractive blue and dégradé options, and a green color that should make the watch stand out. Both case sizes are offered in all dial colors, and those dials can be configured with a variety of matching or contrasting strap colors as well as a stainless steel bracelet. Additional curved-end straps in a variety of colors and materials can also be purchased directly from Formex.
The Essence also employs Formex’s patented technologies to make it comfortable and durable enough that owners won’t be afraid to wear theirs during a variety of activities. The brand’s patented Case Suspension System is designed to protect the mechanical movement by absorbing shock and add comfort by allowing the watch to move with the wearer’s wrist. It integrates four springs between the upper and lower watch case, providing the upper case freedom of motion. The entire assembly is secured by four visible screws, making the technical innovation double as a styling element. Formex’s patented carbon fiber deployant clasp also adds comfort through a sliding system with six small steps. A total of 7mm of adjustment is available without removing the watch from the wrist.
The available highly articulated bracelet features screwed links and can also be easily extended 4mm (or about half a link) when the wearer’s wrist swells. Thanks to the Quick Release spring bar system, Essence owners can swap between straps and bracelets quickly without the use of tools.
Buyers of the Essence ThirtyNine won’t be missing out on anything from the larger FortyThree either. Both watches utilize all of the same features and finishing quality. They both have a brushed finish on the case and bezel with hand-finished and mirror-polished bevels. Polished chamfers can be found throughout the watches, including on the stainless-steel bracelet and the steel buckle of the aforementioned carbon-fiber deployant clasp.
Despite the complexity of the Case Suspension System, both sizes of the Essence are still quite thin which further increases wearability. The ThirtyNine is only 10mm-thick, while the FortyThree is 10.6mm-thick. The lug-t0-lug distance is also relatively compact at 45/47mm, respectively. The lug-width is 22mm for FourtyThree models, and 20mm for ThirtyNine models.
Because the Essence is a watch for every day rather than diving, Formex equips it with a push-pull crown. The reasoning is that it should make the watch easier to wind and set without having to unscrew it. It can also provide better reliability over time with no tiny threads to wear out or become damaged.
Said crown features a machined Formex logo and moves together with the floating inner case and movement. The nearly flush transparent caseback is secured to the same inner case with eight polished screws. This allows the whole assembly to move together freely, isolating it from additional shock. Despite its complex construction, the inner case being constructed as one assembly allows it to offer a respectable 100m of water resistance.
In addition to its case, Formex put significant effort into developing what is inside. Horizontal grooves combined with vertical brushing make the dial are one of the Essence collection’s most defining features. To achieve the crisp lines and sharp angles, each line has been CNC machined into the dial individually. Mirror-polished bevels on the indexes and hands along with a polished applied logo reflect the finishing of the case. Blue BGw9 Super-LumiNova fills them to ensure great nighttime legibility.
All models feature matching color date wheels behind a sloped and recessed date window at 6 o’clock . Everything is then assembled between two sapphire crystals. Anti-reflective coating is applied to both sides of the outer crystal to reduce glare.
Essence dials feature minimal text, but wearers will notice the word “Chronometer” under the model name. This indicates that the movements are certified by COSC and undergo a 15-day rate test to ensure their accuracy is maintained under a variety of conditions. The movements used are the Chronometer version of the Swiss Made Sellia SW200-1 . They feature 26 jewels and glucydur balance wheels with 38 hours of power reserve. Movements are decorated and have thermally blued screws. Formex then applies a custom-built skeletonized rotor to perform automatic winding duties.
With the Essence, Formex offers a collection of watches that can be configured via multiple sizes and color options. Tool-free strap and bracelet changes allow them to be easily adapted to the situation. Once installed, micro-adjust clasps allow them to be fine-tuned to fit comfortably. The COSC movement and patented Case Suspension System mean that the watches will keep running accurately even if owers wear their Essence from the office straight to whatever leisure activity they enjoy doing after work.
For customers in the United States, Formex Essence ThirtyNine and FortyThree watches are priced at $1,280 with a leather strap and $1,390 with a stainless steel bracelet. Those prices include all duties and shipping, and watches are shipped directly from the brand’s manufacture in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. Every watch comes with a 30-day free return and full refund policy and a three-year international warranty.
To learn more about the Essence collection and other Formex watches, visit the brand’s website.
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