When it comes to affordable luxury watches under $5,000, one name truly shines – Formex. Founded back in 1999, this brand underwent a remarkable transformation in 2016 when CEO Raphael Granito took the helm. What was once known for oversized, industrial designs has now evolved into something sleek and modern. Formex boasts three collections – Essence, Reef, and Field. But what sets Formex apart is its commitment to innovation, with features like a patented case suspension system and convertible bezels. And now, they’ve unveiled something truly stunning: the Formex Essence 39 Malachite. Let’s dive into this Formex Essence 39 review.
The Essence 39 Case: Sleek and Sporty
The Formex Essence 39 has a 39mm case, measuring only 10 mm in thickness with a lug-to-lug distance of 45mm. Most of the case has a brushed finish, but there’s a polished bezel slope and a slender chamfer along its edge. These touches give the watch a sporty vibe. The design, with its angles and facets, adds to its dynamic look. You’ll notice this in the bracelet’s end links. Another neat feature is the polished bolts that secure the case suspension system. Speaking of which, the suspension system is an engineering marvel.
It allows the movement, dial, and bezel to reside separately within the larger midcase. This system moves along with your wrist, enriching comfort and giving the watch a distinct presence. While the case and bezel are made of stainless steel, the suspension system container is crafted from grade 2 titanium, although it remains hidden from view.
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The Formex Essence 39 – Functionality and Comfort
At 3 o’clock, the crown offers excellent grip, though it might feel slightly small on larger fingers. Despite not being a screw-down crown, the watch maintains 100 meters of water resistance. The bracelet is designed for comfort, thanks to shorter links that allow better movement.
But what really makes it stand out is the micro-adjust link within the butterfly clasp. This means you won’t struggle to get the perfect fit, as is often the case with such clasps. The end links are robust and come with quick-release tabs. However, due to the 20mm lugs’ short length, fitting alternative straps without curved spring bars might be challenging. Formex also offers the Essence 39 with rubber or leather straps, both featuring another innovation: a micro-adjustable carbon folding clasp.
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The Enchanting Malachite Dial
Under the flat sapphire crystal, the Formex Essence 39 Malachite truly shines. The malachite dial is a sight to behold with its wavy striped pattern. What’s unique about it is that each piece is one of a kind, as the malachite’s color and pattern vary depending on how the dial is cut.
Formex has applied faceted markers and hands that match the dial’s beauty. They have brushed tops, and polished bevels, and are generously coated with Super-LumiNova BGW9 for excellent visibility in low light.
The dial takes the sloped chapter ring from the green Essence 39, creating a harmonious color match with the malachite. The only downside to the natural stone dial is that the beveled date window is replaced by a separate polished date frame at 6 o’clock, which some may find slightly disruptive. Nevertheless, the malachite’s striations maintain the horizontal striping found in the original “garage door” design.
Tip: Where to find the Formex Essence 39 for sale? Check out their official website!
The Formex Essence 39 Malachite is powered by a chronometer-certified Sellita movement, specifically the SW200-1. You can admire this movement through the sapphire case-back, featuring a custom skeletonized rotor, blued screws, and some basic pelage on the plates. This movement is known for its reliability, ticking at 28,800 vibrations per hour with 26 jewels and a 41-hour power reserve.
It can hold its own against any other comparable mass-market movement. The caseback also showcases the quick-release system and the separation between the suspended case container and the main case, highlighting Formex’s technological prowess.
Innovation and Availability
Formex has taken a significant step by introducing the Essence 39 Malachite. It truly added a unique twist to an already exceptional timepiece. While the green Essence 39 was already a favorite, the malachite dial elevates the watch’s beauty to a new level.