Formex has just unveiled the Element; reimagining the brand design DNA into a bold, rugged chronograph offering excellent value for money. Just a few days after the watch premiered at Munich Time, we have visited the Formex team in Biel to go hands-on with their latest stopwatch… and here are the specs, some live pics and the price.
Since it was founded some 20 years ago, Formex has always crafted rugged watches with a sporty look and technical feel. As reported in one of our articles, the brand has shifted its business model from wholesale distribution to direct-to-customer. Together with efficient sourcing (Editor’s note: the family of Raphael Granito, Formex’s CEO has a long experience in the field), this has allowed Formex to provide its watches at a fraction of the price they were retailed before. The Element is no exception and provides a lot of watch – and testosterone – for your money.
The new Formex Element is a rugged chronograph with distinctively masculine features. Its industrial look is enhanced by its angular design. This sophisticated case is made of 38 components; it is built around a grade 2 titanium container housed in a 316L steel case. The bezel is framed by 4 screws and comes in steel or ceramic – an option offering powerful contrast. Like all Formex timepieces, the Element features the brand’s patented case suspension system. Inspired by the engineering of high-performance cars and bikes, it was designed to provide shock protection and enhanced comfort. It is water resistant to 100m.
If the Formex Element is by no mean a dainty dress watch, it wears smaller than its 46.5mm diameter would suggest, thanks to its ergonomic design and tapered lugs. The case is nicely finished, which is no small feat given the angular design of the case.
The watch is powered by the tried-and-tested Valjoux 7750. The robust, reliable and accurate cam-and-lever automatic chronograph movement comes in a version with day-date indication. It is visible through the tinted sapphire case back providing a rather technical look.
The dial is in keeping with Formex’s technical style. It features applied numerals and subdials. The luminescent hands and markers ensure enhanced legibility in the dark. The red details are a nice touch and the second scale printed on the flange adds to the sporty feel.
The Formex Element is worn on a calf leather strap, embossed with an alligator scale pattern for some versions. The quick release spring bar system makes it easy to change your watch band, and Formex will be expanding their strap and bracelet offer for the model soon. It is secured with a steel – carbon fibre composite folding buckle. Although unexpected at first, the carbon fibre composite blades are strong, lightweight and soft to the touch. They also offer interesting tensile strength and the work of carbon on carbon for the locking system is optimal. The clasp also features a user-friendly patented extension system for enhanced comfort.
Formex has developed an augmented reality app so you can try on virtual watches with your smartphone including the new “Element”. All you need to do is download their app and print a paper strap from it (or use one of their snap on straps that they ship with every purchase or service operation).
The gargantuan looking Formex Element is launching in 4 different versions: steel and steel/ceramic with either white or black dial. It is a bold, polarizing design that really makes a statement on the wrist. If you are looking for a sporty/technical chronograph offering great value for money, it is indeed a worthy pick starting at just CHF 1,190 – rather hard to beat for a Valjoux-powered chronograph featuring a sophisticated, well-crafted case. For more information about Formex watches, please visit www.formexwatch.com.
Technical specifications – Formex Element
- Case: 46.5mm x 14.5mm – stainless steel or ceramic-stainless steel – sapphire crystal and see-through case back with anti-reflective coating – water resistant to 100m.
- Movement: mechanical with automatic winding, Valjoux 7750 – 42h power reserve – 28’800 vibrations/h – 25 jewels – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, day and date indications.
- Strap: leather strap with steel carbon folding buckle
- Price: CHF 1,190 in steel, CHF 1,450 in ceramic/steel (incl. all taxes & duties, shipping, 30-day returns and 3-year warranty)