Not all microbrands are created equal...
For a few years now, microbrands have been giving the more mainstream watch companies a run for their money. One of the brands leading the charge against the horological establishment is Formex. The independent Swiss microbrand has recently built up a reputation for offering watches packed with ergonomic features at a price that puts other brands to shame.The brand’s two flagship models, the REEF and ESSENCE have all the specs you’d expect from a quality Swiss watch. The REEF features a ceramic bezel, sapphire crystal, 300m water resistance, and is powered by a chronometer-grade Sellita SW300-1. Meanwhile, the ESSENCE has a depth rating of 100m, a sapphire crystal and display case back, and uses a chronometer-grade Sellita SW200-1.
These specs alone make Formex’s watches more than a match for other Swiss brands. However, Formex’s watches have a few other key features that put them head and shoulders over the competition.
A Spring-loaded Case
The ESSENCE uses a patented Case Suspension System that’s been a key feature of Formex’s watches since the company’s founding in 1999. Basically, the watch case is actually two parts, with the main piece housing the dial and movement being mounted on four springs.
The two benefits of this system are firstly that it protects the movement from heavy shocks, and second that it makes the watch more comfortable to wear as the case moves with the wearer’s wrist movements.
You Can Change The Bezels
The REEF has a unique and very interesting feature, which is that its bezels are interchangeable. It’s a fun way to change up the look of the watch, and with five colours available there are plenty of potential colour combinations available.
And, whilst ceramic bezels are nothing new, the REEF’s has its numerals etched in relief. This subtle difference over traditional engraved numerals gives the REEF’s bezel some subtle depth that’s missing from more conventional dive watches.
It's Easy To Find The Right Strap
Both models make use of quick-release straps and bracelets. These can be quickly fitted or removed to the watches by hand in a matter of seconds and are great for those of us who like to change up the look of our watches often.
The clasps also have fine-adjustment systems built into them, which means it’s very easy for the wearer to find the perfect fit. It’s a useful feature that’s sadly lacking from a lot of high-end Swiss brands. Its inclusion on Formex’s straps and bracelets demonstrates the brand’s attention to detail.Formex is clearly a brand that doesn’t like to rest on its laurels, and it’s refreshing to see a brand offering such strong value propositions at the entry-level luxury price point. It’s an ethos that really highlights just how slow the majority of heritage brands are to move with the times and introduce new features.
So, if you’re looking for a Swiss watch that’s a bit different from what everyone else is wearing, as well as excellent value for money, you can’t go wrong with a Formex.
You can explore the full Formex collection on WatchGecko here.