Formex is a relatively recent Swiss brand specialised in accessible yet well-equipped sports watches. Based in Biel, it produces modern timepieces with high-performance materials, interesting technical solutions and reliable Swiss movements, often certified chronometers. Launched in 2018, the Essence watch has become the brand’s bestselling model, with its combination of sharp design, sporty attitude and impressive value for money. In 2020, the Formex launched the ThirtyNine, a smaller and updated take on the Essence. Following this makeover, the brand now releases a facelifted edition of the FortyThree Automatic Chronometer, with several visual and technical updates, as well as new dial colours.
The Essence is the brand’s vision of a classic all-rounder watch. While the Reef is a powerful diver’s watch and the Element is a rugged chronograph, the Essence is a more traditional take on the brand’s design cues. That doesn’t mean that this watch lacks personality. Far from that, actually. Following the inaugural models of 2018, a couple of limited editions – the ultra-lightweight carbon and ceramic edition called Leggera, the meteorite version called Space Rock, and the more compact 39mm edition, it is time for the brand’s cornerstone model, the 43mm Essence FortyThree model, to get its own makeover.
The updated Essence FortyThree
First, the case of the Essence FortyThree Automatic Chronometer retains the sharp lines and finishing of the original model. As such, it measures 43mm in diameter with a reasonable 10.6mm height, allowing for the watch to remain relatively discreet. It also retains a nice combination of polished accents and brushed surfaces, as well as the four visible nuts around the bezel. Finally, the tested and proven patented Case Suspension System provides shock absorption and adapts to the wearer’s wrist motion. The case is made of stainless steel but also includes a central container in grade 2 titanium, providing lightness and shock-resistance. Water-resistant to 100m, it comes with sapphire crystal on both sides.
New for this model are the dials. Following the design cues adopted on the Essence ThirtyNine, the new FortyThree Automatic Chronometer now features the new, more discreet brand’s logo, and a new dial pattern. It now combines a vertically brushed surface with horizontal lines that have been CNC-machined into the surface of the dial. Also, the date wheel now matches the colour of the dial. Five colours will be available, including the already existing blue, black and gradient brown. Also, the green dial launched on the ThirtyNine is now available on this 43mm Formex Essence (not photographed here). Finally, a new white dial option has been added to the collection.
Under the hood is a well-known, tried-and-tested movement supplied by Sellita, the SW200-1. This all-time classic automatic movement, however, comes with a chronometer certification by COSC. It also includes higher-grade parts, such as a Glucydur balance wheel (stable, very resistant to deformation, non-magnetic and non-corrosive). It is presented in a nicely decorated version, with blued screws, perlage and a custom-built skeletonised rotor.
Also, Formex is updating the strap and bracelet options for its Essence FortyThree Automatic Chronometer. Originally available on a leather or rubber strap with a double-action butterfly clasp, the well-integrated leather strap now features a single-action deployant clasp that hides the extra length of the strap on the inside. The clasp has been developed in-house and is made of lightweight carbon fibre composite with a steel buckle that features a patented gradual Fine-Adjustment System of 7mm – which can be activated while wearing the watch. The watch is also available on a brushed bracelet with polished chamfers. The clasp features a Micro-Extension System that extends the length of the bracelet by 4mm. Both straps and bracelets are equipped with a Quick Release system, allowing to swap from strap to bracelet without tools.
The updated Formex Essence FortyThree Automatic Chronometer is now available from the brand’s website and from trusted online retailers. The blue, black, green and brown dégradé dials are available from stock. The white dial is available for pre-order. They are priced at EUR 1,245 or USD 1,280 on leather strap and EUR 1,350 or USD 1,390 on steel bracelet.
Too large? The white dial makes it to the 39mm watch too
In addition to the existing blue, black, green and brown dégradé dials, the smaller and more compact edition of the Formex Essence, which measures 39mm and 10mm in height (without compromising the WR or the shock-resistance), is now also available with a white dial, on a leather strap or steel bracelet. Like its larger brother, it is now available for pre-order. Prices are the same as the Essence FortyThree.
For more details, please visit formexwatch.com.