Formex, according to the company founders, means forme extrème, or extreme shape. The two new limited-edition watches in the Essence Space Rock Automatic Chronometer series do not look extreme or unusual but pack some exciting solutions. Take the patented case suspension system that employs four springs between the two case parts, designed to protect the movement and provide comfort to the owner. Or the deployant clasp with a fine-adjustment feature that can be “operated” when the watch is on your wrist. Not bad, considering the money these direct-to-consumer watchmakers are asking for their Swiss-made chronometer-certified watches with meteorite dials.
These new references stand out from the rest of the Formex (or any other crowd) because the dials are made of meteorite. The Widmannstätten (if you are a German-speaking person) or Thomson (if you are a Brit) pattern, found in nickel-rich meteorites, has a powerful visual effect, its attractiveness magnified by the cosmic origins of the four billion-years-old material. The geometrically arranged lines, interlocking longish to rectangular, that appear in iron meteorites when a cross-section is etched with acid are an absolute joy to admire, with light hitting the dials under different angles. Formex presented two limited edition Essence Space Rock watches with meteorite dials a couple of years ago in 43mm cases; they were sold out quickly. This time the company is offering very similar-looking models, with trendy case sizes – 41mm and 39mm – in ultra-light carbon fibre and stainless steel, respectively, to pre-order.
The 41mm all-black carbon fibre Formex Essence Leggera and the steel Essence 39mm Space Rock watches are driven by a COSC-certified Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement. It is marked as “chronometer grade” and differs from the standard versions of this calibre. It has a Glucydur balance wheel – resistant to deformation, non-corrosive and non-magnetic. The movement is fully decorated and features thermally blued screws and a custom-built skeletonised rotor, and all can be seen through the transparent caseback.
The different patterns of the extraterrestrial meteorite dials make each of these Formex timepieces unique. They might be just 0.65mm thin, but they do not look delicate. The aperture at 6 o’clock shows the date, printed on a grey surface to not distract from the silvery-grey metallic shades of the meteorite cross-section. The polished hour markers are applied and filled with luminous material, as are the hour and minute hands.
The stainless steel 39mm Essence Space Rock comes standard with a bracelet with a hidden micro-extension; the price is EUR 1,690. More options are available on the brand’s website, with leather or rubber straps also possible ( EUR 1,590). The 41mm carbon Leggera is offered for EUR 1,850 on an all-black NATO-style nylon strap created with WatchGecko, and the company website allows a choice of other straps. You can change all straps and bracelets without tools in seconds. And for the 41mm, nylon, rubber or leather straps are also possible. Both watches are available for pre-order, with delivery promised at the end of January 2023. For more or to purchase, please visit www.formexwatch.com.