Formex is an accessibly-priced Swiss-based brand that’s been around since 1999, yet you may have never heard of them. However, with their latest Essence Automatic Chronometer, we think you’ll be hearing a lot more about them for two reasons: good price point and unique case suspension system.
The company, which operates out of Biel/Bienne, is planning a Kickstarter campaign and offering a highly discounted Early Bird special for $680 if you place a $50 deposit within the appropriate time frame (Kickstarter launch: September 25, 2018, at 5 pm CEST). Afterward, the watch will go up to $1,135.
Crafted from a stainless steel case measuring 43 mm x 10 mm, with a 22 mm lug width, and weighing 95 grams on a leather strap, the Essence Automatic Chronometer, at the Early Bird pricing, gives you a lot of watch for the money.
Driving the central hours, minutes, and seconds hands, as well as a date, is Sellita caliber SW-200 which beats at 4Hz, has 26 jewels, and bi-directional winding, with a power reserve of 38-hours. And as the name of the watch states “chronometer,” this is an officially COSC certified chronometer grade movement.
The case features a sapphire crystal and fixed bezel (that’s both polished and brushed), secured by four pentagon screws, and that has been finished by hand, along with an exhibition caseback. Water-resistance is 100 meters. You can choose between a blue (shown), black, brown, or silver dial.
The dial features vertical brushed and individually machined horizontal lines and faceted hour and minute hands with machined indices that are filled with luminescent material. A date aperture sits, symmetrically, at 6 o’clock.
One of the most interesting features of this watch – and a signature of the Formex brand – is the patented case suspension system. The case itself has a suspension, like a car, motorcycle or upscale bicycle, and it dampens any shocks, which is designed to both protect the movement and make it wear more comfortable on your wrist.
There will be a choice of between a leather strap, rubber strap or steel bracelet, and the each can be changed out with built-in tool-free system strap change system.