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Introducing: Formex Essence FortyThree Automatic Chronometer 2021

Formex Essence FortyThree Automatic Chronometer

Formex is a brand that fly under the radar of most watch collectors – which is a shame, as a lack of marketing budget doesn’t mean a lack of quality. Quite the opposite, in fact. They put all their efforts into producing innovative new designs, such as the patented case-suspension system that significantly boosts shock-resistance. The resulting timepieces are consequently high quality and accessible, a fact epitomised by the Essence FortyThree Automatic Chronometer, which has just become available for pre-order.

At the heart of any Formex timepiece is its sporty heritage, which comes from the founders’ love of motor racing. The original Essence was Formex’s cornerstone, a solid all-round watch – not dissimilar to the new Christopher Ward C63 Sealander – that is complimented by other collections of dedicated diving watches and chronographs. Which means it’s about time for the Essence to receive an update in the form of the FortyThree Automatic Chronometer.

Formex Essence FortyThree Automatic Chronometer ref. 0330.1.6331.744

The 43mm case remains largely unchanged from its predecessor, bearing the same sharp, sporty angles and Formex’s patented shock-resistant case-suspension system. It is constructed from a combination of stainless steel and titanium making it highly durable and scratch resistant.

The most apparent change to the FortyThree is the dial, which now has a cool vertically brushed finish with horizontal line engraving created by a CNC machine. It’s a classy and simple look that is vaguely retro to some degree. What’s more, it’s available in a choice of five colours.

Formex Essence FortyThree Automatic Chronometer ref. 0330.1.6311.100

Those colours are blue, black, dégradé brown, green and white. The first three will be familiar to Formex fans as they’ve been seen on previous collections but the green and white are new. All of them are cool choices in their own right, but to me the two new colours stand out – the green for adhering to modern trends and the white for frankly looking the best.

Formex Essence FortyThree Automatic Chronometer ref. 0330.1.6321.100

Another of update for the new edition are the strap and bracelet options. The leather straps now come with Formex’s new deployment clasp with fine-adjustment system, while the steel bracelets feature a hidden micro-extension. Both of these changes allow you to make tiny adjustments to the size of your strap or bracelet easily and come with a quick change system, so you don’t need a tool to swap from strap to bracelet or vice versa.

As for the calibre housed inside, it’s one we’re all familiar with, the Sellita SW200-1 Swiss automatic movement, which is COSC chronometer certified. Sure, the chronometer status is great for the price but these days the 38-hour power reserve is starting to look a little underwhelming.

Formex Essence FortyThree Automatic Chronometer caseback

For £1,250 there’s no denying that the FortyThree is a nice update to Formex’s signature timepiece. For some people it might be a little too middle-of-the-road for their tastes but on the whole it’s a cool piece with great all-round utility and plenty of daily wear appeal. And considering the number of people who sleep on Formex, it’ll probably be fairly exclusive as well.

Price & Specs:

Model: Formex Essence FortyThree Automatic Chronometer
Reference: 0330.1.6324.100 (brown dégradé dial with horizontal lines)
0330.1.6300.100 (green dégradé dial with horizontal lines)
0330.1.6331.744 (blue dégradé dial with horizontal lines)
0330.1.6321.100 (back dégradé dial with horizontal lines)
0330.1.6311.100 (white dégradé dial with horizontal lines)
Case/Dial: 43mm diameter x 10.6mm height, stainless steel with hand-applied dégradé dial with horizontal lines
Movement: Swiss Made Sellita SW200-1 calibre, automatic, COSC-certified Chronometer, 26 jewels
Water Resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 38h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Italian calf leather, rubber or stainless steel bracelet
Price/Availability: £1,500, available to pre-order now and is expected to ship later this year, in July.

More details at FORMEX.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.