Limited to just 30 models, but with a surprising price tag...
In August we did a full review of the Formex Essence Leggera Electric Blue. This watch was ultra-light thanks to its impressive Injected Carbon Fibre Composite construction yet provided all the strength and durability required to be a 100m water resistant COSC chronometer.
A special edition of this watch will be released very soon by Formex who are now taking pre-orders for a highly limited release of just 30 models. The new model is called the Essence Leggara Automatic Chronometer Dégradé.
This unique timepiece has a handcrafted Dégradé dial which features razor-sharp horizontal lines that have been CNC machined one by one. In order to further enhance the exclusivity of the limited release Formex have chosen the new model to launch a patented Micro-Adjustment Strap System based around their existing Carbon deployment clasp. This clever invention allows for fine adjustment of the strap length quickly in the field for a perfect fit on the wrist in all conditions and temperatures. The same clasp can be used for different Formex straps. As with the non-limited Essence Leggera the case deep black colour is achieved through material choice rather than surface coating. External elements such as the crown and bezel are Zirconium Oxide ceramic, a scratch-proof material that will never show any signs of wear or aging.
The Essence Leggera is, without doubt, a special watch and this limited release member of the family will really enhance the reputation Formex have built for quality pieces with a unique avant-guard spin.
MOVEMENT - Swiss Made STP1-11 (self-winding) Automatic (Chronometer grade), officially certified by COSC. 26 jewels. Date display. Custom-built skeleton rotor with thermally blued screws. 44 hours power reserve.
CASE - Diameter: 43mm
Water resistance: 100 metres / 330 feet
Weight: 50g (case only)
MATERIAL CONSTRUCTION - Bezel: Zirconium Oxide Ceramic
Case: Injected Carbon Fibre Composite
Glass: Sapphire crystal (front and back) with anti-reflection treatment
STRAP - Multiple options: Italian calf leather, black rubber or black Nylon all of which have curved spring bars, Quick Release function and carbon fibre composite folding clasp with patented Micro-Adjustment System.
SPECIAL EDITION DIAL - Hand-applied Dégradé finish with horizontally cut lines which are CNC machined into the dial base one by one. BGW9 Super-LumiNova on hands and indexes.
REFERENCE - 0330.9.6924.910
PRICE - £1,650 Limited to 30 Units
A personal perspective
If you look back at the review of the Electric Blue Leggera its clear, we were impressed with first hands-on with a Formex. At times, the watch industry can be guilty of a lack of innovation, pushing similar models for years, but Formex has really made an effort with the Essence Leggera. The new Dégradé model only enhances the Leggera line further and gives it a greater feeling of exclusivity. The dial may not be to everyone’s taste but Dégradé finishes are popular with brands such as Glashütte Original, Rolex, Oris and Baume and Mercier who are all producing them. For sure Formex’s first foray merits the limited status.
What really excites me though is not the dial but the micro-adjustment on the carbon composite deployment clasp. As any of us who use deployment clasps, especially on leather, know it can be a pain making adjustments and the strap inevitably always suffers. This new system completely alleviates that problem. There are no parts to fall away and no risk of the watch itself dropping, as the ratchet system is captive and can be adjusted in seconds on the move.
It is surprising that the limited edition is the same price as the production Blue model we reviewed. I think this is one of those rare occasions where I would have been happy to pay more, thus adding to the sensation of rarity. The 30 Dégradé special editions are available for pre-order now with a delivery date of the end of September so move fast if you want one. Reserved serial numbers are available on request.