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Formex: With an extreme form and content too! What the sporty Swiss watch brand is all about… Formex Essence Chronometer

In 1999, two Swiss brothers got together in Biel, the watch capital par excellence, and combined their great passions, motor sports, watches and timekeeping into one brand. Since then, the watches have been recognizable by their trademark, their sporty, extreme form. Forme extrème is the French translation. This became Formex.

Formex Essence Chronometer Review
The blue Formex Essence on black leather – Photo: WATCHDAVID

Formex watches do not only look sporty, they are. The company was quick to orient itself on the suspensions of motorcycles and sports cars. “If a spring-loaded chassis protects the car and the driver and absorbs shocks, then this technology would also be an achievement for sensitive movements” – this or something similar could have been the idea for the Case Suspension System. The patented feature today not only protects, but also offers exceptional wearing comfort.

Formex Essence Chronometer Review
Swiss Made Sellita SW200-1 COCS certified – Photo: WATCHDAVID

An essential watch – Formex Essence Chronometer

I was able to feel this wearing comfort on my wrist during the last days and weeks, because Formex recently introduced its new Essence collection: sporty chronometers with a wonderful look and a very special kind of wellness for me. In everyday life, the Essence has become really essential for me. Why? I would like to explain that to you today in a review of the Formex Essence automatic chronometer.

Formex Essence Chronometer Review
A little Lume… – Photo: WATCHDAVID

My first impression

Sometimes I really forget that I have a new companion in my everyday life. I often had to get used to previous watches for weeks or months because they were so uncomfortable. This one only comes up when I want to know what time it is or when I admire it occasionally because it looks incredibly sporty and elegant at the same time. The cool blue of the dial in combination with the shimmering case and the calfskin strap is a positive eye-catcher. The indices shine.

Formex Essence Chronometer Review
BGW9 Super-LumiNova – Photo: WATCHDAVID

I would immediately describe the entire design with the technical surfaces and the cursive Formex logo as well as the effect on my wrist as fast and sporty, but not aggressive. A case diameter of 43 millimetres sounds remarkable at first, but in everyday life it surprises positively because the watch doesn’t feel heavy or clunky at all. The Essence is light, dynamic and flat – very sporty. But we don’t want to be a superficial blog: So let’s go into detail and find out exactly what makes the Essence so special and whether it can really confirm the positive first impression.

The presentation – Formex Essence Chronometer

Formex Essence Chronometer Review
Formex Essence Dial – Photo: WATCHDAVID

Even if for me, as already mentioned, the content counts, you can always impress me with a beautiful package. The Formex Essence has got one of these. The packaging is made of black leather and has white seams and rounded edges in addition to the imprint of the sporty logo. Inside, the surface has a chequered pattern reminiscent of carbon, which is used in racing to build the chassis. In the middle, the watch is enthroned around a cushion. Somehow the association with a sports seat made of leather does not let me go. I’ll definitely keep the packaging. 

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The housing and its special suspension

Formex Essence Chronometer Review
Formex Essence Chronometer on brown leather – Photo: WATCHDAVID

The case is made of brushed 316L stainless steel and is of high quality. Despite the material it is remarkably slim and light. The case is 43 millimeters wide, but only 10 millimeters high and weighs 80 grams. Wow! So Formex does justice to the “extreme” in its name. All edges are dynamically and cleanly ground and the bezel sits perfectly on. Here, brushed and polished surfaces alternate, making the look even more interesting. The crown is also made of stainless steel, is pleasantly large and has a good grip and beautiful applications. Formex Essence Chronometer.

Swiss Made – Photo: WATCHDAVID

It’s getting really exciting now, because the special case suspension is unique. Take a look at the four screw connections between the upper and lower housing components. Here you can see the patented Case Suspension System, which strongly resembles the suspension of a motorcycle. The transfer of the function to the watch area is simply ingenious. Let’s have a look at the function: the shock absorbers absorb the pressure of impacts and shocks. The springs compress like a bouncy rubber and return to their original position shortly afterwards. This protects the movement and guarantees longevity. The positive side effect: I hardly feel the watch in everyday life, since the weight of the upper case component is immediately cushioned. By the way, the Case Suspension System has been a unique feature of every Formex watch since 1999.

Formex Essence Chronometer Review
Just a dream clock on my desk – Photo: WATCHDAVID

The eightfold screwed case back has a surprise in store. Slightly highlighted in the middle is a semi-circular sapphire crystal window that reveals the fascinating movement, which I’ll show you in more detail right away. Engraved are several specifications and the Formex logo in the middle. The case is sealed to a depth of 100 metres.

The Swiss automatic movement – COSC certified

The watch is powered by a Swiss Made Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement (chronometer) with 26 jewels, Glucydur balance and a power reserve of 38 hours, mechanically wound by a flywheel mass. It has a specially designed skeleton rotor and blued screws, which can be admired through the transparent case back. As if this data were not enough, Formex attaches great importance to having its Essence certified by the COSC. COSC stands for “Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres”, the official Swiss institute that determines the precision and accuracy of watches. The movement is tested under various highly demanding conditions. This ensures that each Essence follows a maximum of 4 seconds before and 6 seconds after every day.

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This is why the Essence can be called a “chronometer”. Only 6% of all Swiss watches carry this award.

Formex Essence Chronometer Review
The Formex Essence in all its glory – Photo: WATCHDAVID

The dial – Formex Essence Chronometer

The dial has a beautiful, cool blue and a milled surface, which is marked by incisions. These are CNC cut and razor sharp. The numerals, marked by line markings, have sharp edges, are slightly highlighted again and present themselves in a stainless steel look, as are hour and minute indicators. They are also filled with Super Luminova luminous material. The outer ring indicates minutes and shimmers in contrast to the matt dial. In addition to the logo under 12 o’clock, the lettering “Automatic Chronometer” and “Swiss Made” are printed at 6 o’clock. A trapezoidal date window is also embedded at 6 o’clock.

Case, dial & hands form a beautiful unit – Photo: WATCHDAVID

Formex uses sapphire crystal for the Essence. This is one of the hardest things there is. Indispensable for a robust and at the same time elegant watch. It also has an anti-reflective coating. The disturbing reflections when reading are thus omitted. Like the dial and movement, the cases, buckles and clasps of all Formex watches are made in Switzerland. 

The bracelet

Formex Essence Chronometer Review
#betweenyouandus – Photo: WATCHDAVID

At this point I usually lose a few nice words about the bracelet before I finish the review. Not so with the Formex Essence, which I wear on my wrist with a leather wristband. I am of the opinion that these bracelets belong to the absolute top class. That’s because Formex also relies on a patent here, namely for fine adjustment.

Each wristband has a folding clasp made of very light carbon fibre, which is not visible under the wristband, which makes the wristband look very elegant. Thanks to a multi-stage adjustment system with spring bars, the watch can be adjusted very quickly and perfectly to the wearer’s needs, which is very advantageous on hot summer days or during sports, for example. The bucket fort he Essence is just available in stainless steel.

Formex Essence Chronometer Review
Writing in the leather strap – Photo: WATCHDAVID

You can choose between calfskin bracelets in different colours or a stainless steel bracelet. The latter has a patented micro-extension. Changing this bracelet works in a matter of seconds and without tools. 

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Great leather bracelet with Formex buckle – Photo: WATCHDAVID

My conclusion on the Formex Essence Chronometer

Formex has done his homework. At any rate, the Essence doesn’t know flaws. It has so many qualities that I like. There is the noble, sporty design, which is reduced, technical and yet never boring or heartless. Factor two: comfort: I just like it comfortable and with technical solutions that make everyday life easier. The Essence has a large number of them. It springs, has a very high wearing comfort, anti-reflective coatings and intelligent solutions in terms of wristband. The important thing for me is that the technical features are always functional and never want to show off. And thirdly, there is this feeling of luxury – due to the high-quality materials, the dynamic design and the functionality. 

CLASP WITH FINE ADJUSTMENT – Photo: WATCHDAVID

Properties that I like very much and that have become very essential for me in everyday life. The price from 1105€ is also more than favourable. The Essence is on a very high level. A little tip: Depending on your taste, you can easily configure the watch on the homepage to find your favourite. I promise you, the Essence will live up to its name.

Movement

Swiss Made Sellita SW200-1 Automatic (Chronometer), tested and officially certified by COSC. 26 jewels and Glucydur balance. Date display. Custom-made skeleton rotor with thermally blued screws. 38 hours power reserve. 

Case

  • diameter: 43mm
  • Height: 10mm
  • Belt joint width: 22mm
  • Lug-to-Lug: 49mm
  • Waterproof: 10 bar (100 meters / 330 feet)
  • Weight: 80g (housing only)
SWISS MADE – Photo: WATCHDAVID

Material

  • Bezel: Stainless steel 316L
  • Housing: 316L stainless steel
  • Glass: Sapphire glass (front and back) with anti-reflective coating

Bracelet

  • Italian calfskin watch straps with curved spring bars, Quick Release System and carbon fibre folding clasp with fine adjustment system 
  • Black rubber strap with curved spring bars, Quick Release System and carbon fibre folding clasp with fine adjustment system 
  • Stainless steel bracelet with specially developed Quick Release System and micro-extension function. 
  • All bracelets for the Essence collection can be changed by hand without tools. The folding clasp made of carbon fibre composite material with patented fine adjustment system can be changed without tools and can be used for all Essence leather and rubber straps. 

The dial

Vertically brushed with razor-sharp horizontal lines that are individually worked into the dial bottom one after the other using a CNC machine. BGW9 Super-LumiNova on hands and applied indexes. 

Gallery – All photos WATCHDAVID®

Formex here:

Formex Homepage

This watch – Formex Essence blue

All Formex Essence Watches

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