Formex adds accessibility to its new line of automatic field watches
Way before the Field Automatic, Formex had already built itself a solid reputation around quality watchmaking, never afraid to break the mould when it comes to innovative design. Since Formex changed ownership in 2016, they've been focused on watches that push boundaries in technological innovation. Of course, we're referring to their Case Suspension System, which we saw introduced with their Formex Essence line of chronometer watches, and their REEF dive watches that utilized an exchangeable bezel for quick customizations on the fly. Not forgetting their COSC-certified movements with incredible accuracy.
Formex often utilizes cutting edge materials to complement their remarkable design traits, like meteorite or carbon fibre (titanium is about as conventional as it gets for the brand), and usually comes with a price tag that reflects some serious engineering.
Which is why the new line of Formex Field Automatic watches are a breath of fresh air, starting at £685 Formex is making their premium Swiss watches more accessible than ever without compromising on those impressive design specs. At first glance the watch is exactly what it sounds like, a field spec watch with an automatic movement. You won't find a suspended case here, but there is still plenty to get excited about...
The 41mm case follows the familiar profiles of a modern field watch, but with refreshing details that are easy on the eyes. The case has a strong masculine presence, featuring hard lines and sloping edges that fit with Formex's style. Made from grade 2 titanium, the case has been given a surface hardening treatment from 145 Vickers to 900 Vickers, with a bead blasted finish that looks contemporary and industrial. Thanks to the short lugs, the case really highlights the lines and angles of the watch without feeling overpowering on the wrist - measuring a very wearable 47mm lug to lug at just 10.6mm tall.
There's plenty of dial colours to go for with the Field Automatic. Six in total, each striking and highly contrasting with a no-nonsense matt effect. Available in Charcoal, Ash Grey, Petrol Blue, Ultra Violet, Sage Green and Mahogany Red. Each colour option also comes on either a complimenting leather strap or a one-piece nylon strap.
The dial features recessed Arabic numerals and markers in a bold highly legible font, which adds depth to the dial and fits with the industrial style of the case. It definitely reminds me of the kind of watch Harrison Ford would wear in the original Blade Runner. Formex uses old radium (100% safe) Super-LumiNova ® coatings on the syringe hands and recessed markers. True to typical field watch specs, the dial offers easy legibility in low light conditions. At 6 o'clock you'll find a date display that blends into the dial unobtrusively, all housed under a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.
A Sellita SW200-1 movement powers the Field Automatic. This movement isn't COSC-certified (like we see in some other Formex watches). However, the Sellita is still a strong and reliable movement with a 38-hour power reserve that can be easily serviced. This movement sits under a solid titanium caseback, engraved with a futuristic honeycomb-like motif. The Field Automatic also has a screw-down crown that feels tactile and a decent 150 meters of water resistance.
The leather strap options all compliment their corresponding dial colours, and benefit from Formex's patented carbon fibre composite clasp. This uses a fine-adjustment system which allows you to adjust the strap in 5 steps over 7mm. The nylon strap options on the other hand, use a Velcro fastener for quick and easy adjustments. You don't need tools to change the 20mm straps, thanks to the quick-release spring bars.
Formex impresses time and time again and the Field Automatic is no exception. It's a solid field watch with a fresh take on design, made even better by the low price point. All Formex Field Automatic watches are available from WatchGecko starting from £685 for the Nylon strap options and from £840 for the leather strap options.