With their funding goal reached within the first 30 minutes of their successful Kickstarter campaign and a total pledge amount of $350,000 USD, Formex’ new Essence Automatic Chronometer is now in production and offered at exclusive pre-sale prices on their Online Boutique. Discounted pre-sale prices include, as is usual on orders made on their website, all taxes and duties, free express shipping, a free 30-day no questions asked return policy and a 3-year warranty. You can access pre-sale prices for the Essence collection here.

The Biel/Bienne based independent watch brand with its nearly 20-year watchmaking history was the first to launch a highly precise and top-quality COSC-certified Automatic Chronometer on Kickstarter, supported by xxx backers. Even at the original retail quote, the price is quite a statement, considering the choice of materials, the number of details, and the unique features the guys at Formex have put into the Essence Automatic Chronometer.

Formex Essence Automatic Chronometer Blue on blue leather strap

Ok, let’s take it one step at a time. While Formex is known for its rugged watches, their hand-writing can be clearly recognized in this comparably smaller and more elegant timepiece. Take the symmetrical 43mm stainless steel case with its incredibly detailed brushed finish on both the base and bezel, perfectly rounded off with hand-finished mirror-polished bevels. The machined indexes and hands, filled with strong BGW9 Super-LumiNova, ensure maximum legibility, day or night. They harmonize with the case’s finishing and provide a perfect balance between elegance and the brand’s high-octane spirit.

The dial with its vertical brush and CNC-machined horizontal lines is one of the watch’s most defining features. To achieve the crisp lines and sharp angles, each line has been machined into the dial individually, rather than using a hydraulic press. AR-coated, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass protects the dial in the front and allows an unobstructed view of the movement’s intricate decoration together with thermally blued screws and a custom built, skeletonized rotor on the back.

You can access pre-sale prices for the Essence collection here.

COSC-certified and fully decorated Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with custom built skeletonized rotor

About that movement… here’s where Formex made a big leap forward by building in Sellita’s highest quality grade Chronometer SW200 Automatic movement. Each one of these movements is certified by COSC (the official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute) and undergoes the meticulous 15-day rate test to ensure extraordinary levels of mechanical accuracy and precision. Each certified chronometer is unique, identified by a number engraved on its movement, and a certificate number issued by COSC. While less than 3% of Swiss watch movements are officially certified, Formex further rate tests them per the same criteria after assembly, to measure if there is any deviation from the certification rates.

Besides contributing to the visual appeal of the watch, the details on the Essence also serve a purpose. For a timepiece to be a watch for all occasions, it needs to feel exceptionally comfortable on the wrist. Formex decided to integrate their tested and proven patented Case Suspension System, requiring a complex and well thought out case construction. This unique mechanism provides shock absorption to protect the movement as well as adapting to the wearer’s wrist motion, not unlike the suspension on a car or a mountain bike.

For even more wrist comfort, Formex added their patented Carbon Fiber Composite Folding Clasp that allows for a 7mm micro adjustment of the strap length on the go, allowing for a perfect fit on the wrist in all conditions and temperatures. This folding clasp can be used for their selection of calf leather and rubber straps, and easily be swapped within seconds and without the use of any tools. This means that when upgrading the Essence with additional straps, there’s no need to buy the additional clasp, making it much more affordable to change the look and feel of the watch. The same applies for their stainless-steel bracelet, where Formex engineers have developed a tool-less changing system. The steel bracelet’s clasp further provides a micro-extension of 4mm.

Formex Essence Automatic Chronometer Silver on brown leather strap

In keeping with the brand’s reputation for doing things a little differently, Formex utilizes the benefits afforded by their direct-to-consumer approach and offers the Essence watch with its impressive specification at an equally impressive price. Pre-sale prices in their Online Boutique start at $520 USD, for an automatic version without COSC certificate and with sunray dial. The COSC version is available at a pre-order price of $920 USD. Later retail prices for the watches will be $650 USD and $1,180 respectively. These prices include all taxes and duties, express shipping, a 30-day return policy and a 3-year warranty.

With the Essence, Formex brings a highly precise and top-quality mechanical everyday chronometer with a very affordable price tag. You can access pre-sale prices for the Essence collection here.

Formex Essence Automatic Chronometer

Technical Specifications

Dimensions43mm diameter, 10mm height, 22mm lug width
Water ResistanceWaterproof to 100 meters / 330 feet
CaseStainless steel 316L with titanium grade 2 container. Patented Case Suspension System
GlassScratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
Case backExhibition case back with sapphire crystal. Laser engraved stainless steel 316L
DialBlack, blue, brown or silver dial with vertical brush and individually CNC machined horizontal lines. Machined Indexes filled with BGW9 Super-LumiNova
HandsFilled with BGW9 Super-LumiNova
MovementCOSC-certified Sellita SW200-1 Automatic Swiss Made movement, fully decorated with custom made skeletonized rotor. 25 jewels. Frequency: 28’800 A/h (4 Hz). 38h power reserve.
StrapCalf leather available in black, blue or brown. Rubber strap and stainless steel bracelet as upgrade. All straps and bracelets can be changed without tools.
CertificationCOSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres)
PriceEstimated delivery: March 2019:

Pre-sale price $ 920, later retail price: around US$ 1’180, –

Essence model without COSC certificate and with sunray dial available on pre-sale from US$ 520. Later retail price: around US$ 650, -.

–       All taxes and duties included

–       Free express shipping

–       Free 30-days returns policy

–       3-year warranty