In addition to being an online publication, Worn & Wound also operates a store that sells watches through its Windup Watch Shop, and the company frequently collaborates with various brands to produce limited-edition timepieces. Over the years, there have been numerous different Worn & Wound collaboration watches, and to help create its latest one for 2024, Worn & Wound has teamed up with the Swiss watch company Formex. Using the fan-favorite Essence 39 model as its foundation, the new limited-edition Formex x Worn & Wound Essence Sector 39 Chronometer series is inspired by the worlds of sci-fi films and television shows and it consists of three different models, with each one limited to just 50 examples.

From an external and functional perspective, the three new Formex x Worn & Wound Essence Sector 39 Chronometer watches are the same as the standard-production flagship 39mm Essence model, and the key details that separate them are their dials and hands. While the regular Formex Essence models offer a distinctly modern appearance with dials that have applied hour markers and horizontal lines engraved into their surfaces, the new Essence Sector 39 Chronometer models pair the modern Essence case with a somewhat vintage-inspired sector dial that has printed markings to create a retro-futuristic aesthetic that feels significantly different from the standard-catalog Formex Essence 39 watches. The concept behind the design of the Essence Sector 39 series was to create watches that felt as though they could have come from an alternate timeline, where technology evolved differently in a world that is both familiar and different from our own reality.

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The three dial options for the limited-edition Formex x Worn & Wound Essence Sector 39 Chronometer watches include white/silver with red and black markers, blue punctuated by red and white, and a dark gray version that has beige-colored accents. Additionally, the handset fitted to the new Essence Sector 39 models also differs from what can be found on the standard Formex Essence 39 watches. The hour and minute hands appear as elongated pencil shapes, while the seconds hand is a thin needle with an abnormally long T-shaped counterweight that extends all the way to reach the interior edge of the contrasting sector-style ring on the dial. While the beveled date window of the Formex Essence series still resides at its usual place at 6 o’clock, it has been rather cleverly integrated into the contrasting ring of the sector dial to create an incredibly intentional and cohesive overall appearance.

Aside from the dials and hands fitted to the new Formex x Worn & Wound Essence Sector 39 Chronometer watches, they are otherwise the same as the regular 39mm Essence models, and they feature stainless steel cases that measure 39mm in diameter by 10mm thick, with 20mm lugs and a lug-to-lug profile of 45mm. Additionally, just as you would expect, they also feature the Essence series’ signature case suspension system with four exposed screws surrounding the bezel, and this allows the central portion of the case to move within its outer structure to help protect the movement from impacts and promote greater comfort on the wrist. Similarly, just like Formex’s core-collection Essence 39 models, the new Essence Sector 39 Chronometer watches have flat sapphire crystals above their dials and fitted to their screw-on display casebacks, along with signed push/pull-style crowns at 3 o’clock, and 100 meters of water resistance to protect against most forms of moisture contact.

One of the things I admire about Formex is that the brand almost exclusively produces COSC-certified chronometers, with the one exception being its entry-level field watch model. Just like the standard-catalog Essence watches, the trio of new Formex x Worn & Wound Essence Sector 39 Chronometer models are powered by the Swiss Sellita Cal. SW200-1 automatic movement, which runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 41 hours. In addition to adhering to the stringent COSC timekeeping standards of -4/+6 seconds per day, the Chronometer Grade versions of the Cal. SW200-1 that Formex uses inside its watches are a bit more elaborately decorated than the standard variety of this popular self-winding movement, and they feature perlage on the upper bridges, blued screws, and a custom Formex skeletonized rotor.

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While Formex gives its buyers the option of configuring the various Essence 39 watches with a variety of different strap/bracelet options, the new Essence Sector 39 Chronometer models are exclusively fitted with the collection’s flat three-like stainless steel bracelet. Featuring completely solid components with single-sided screws for the removable links, integrated quick-release springbars at the lugs, and a refined butterfly-style folding clasp that includes a built-in extension system, the Formex Essence bracelet ultimately leaves very little to be desired, and it is my preferred strap/bracelet option for the brand’s stainless steel Essence watches. Given that Formex also sells all of its straps and bracelets separately on its website, owners of the new Essence Sector 39 Chronometer can easily pick up additional options should they want to switch up the style, although I personally feel that the standard stainless steel bracelet works particularly well with the retro-futuristic theme of these limited-edition models.

The new Formex x Worn & Wound Essence Sector 39 Chronometer series will be produced as a limited-edition run of 150 total pieces (50 examples of each dial color), and they will be accompanied by an official retail price of 1,590 USD, which makes them exactly the same price as Formex’s standard bracelet-equipped Essence 39 watches. Additionally, rather than being models that will appear among the various offerings on Formex’s official website, the new limited-edition Essence Sector 39 Chronometer watches will be exclusively available from Worn & Wound’s own Windup Watch Shop. Formex always delivers a very well-executed product, and while these latest models offer a significantly different aesthetic compared to the classic Essence 39 series, they still offer all of the same fundamental features that make the regular Essence 39 a proven design and one of Formex’s most popular watches. For more information on the Formex Essence 39 collection, please visit the brand’s website

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