Formex Essence Leggera Gets 41mm Featherweight Case

Formex is scaling down their Essence Leggera with a new 41mm case option (dubbed the Fortyone) joining the existing 43mm model. The trick case construction, chronometer spec movement, and ultra light materials remain, making this the brand’s lightest watch to date at a mere 40g, or 1.4oz. Leggera is the Italian word for light, and in this case, borrowing from Lamborghini’s repertoire to use Superleggera might be more appropriate. It’s a lot of watch jammed into an exotic case priced well south of $2k. 

The newest Leggera Fortyone utilizes the now familiar Formex Essence design language applied to 5 different dial options: Forged Carbon, Cool Grey, Electric Blue, Arctic White and Mamba Green. Those last two get a horizontal ridged texture added to the dial, in contrast to the flat grey and sunburst blue. The theme of the watch is pushed a bit further with the forged carbon dial, which is the lightest option, and black marble in appearance.


The Essence Leggera utilizes the Formex case suspension system, which integrates neatly into the 41mm x 46.4mm case, which measures just 11mm thick. Acting a bit like the suspension of a car, 4 springs are mounted at each corner of the case, allowing the dial and movement some upward travel. The springs will absorb shocks, as well as adapt to the movement of the wrist. If you press against the caseback with your thumb you will observe the central portion of the case lift out of the chassis by a millimeter or so. Just how much this affects the daily wear experience of this watch is something we’ll tackle in a long form review of this watch. 

The case and adjustable clasp are both made of a carbon fiber composite, while both the crown and bezel are Zirconium Oxide ceramic. This pairing is presented in such a straightforward way by Formex, who manufactures the case parts themselves, that you’d think it was just par for the course among watch brands. In reality, use of these materials has traditionally been reserved for far pricier watches until relatively recently, and Fromex is now wielding them with a level of expertise that’s frankly shocking at this price point.

Inside, Formex is using a Sellita SW-200 in top grade chronometer spec, undergoing 15 days of COSC certification to ensure -4/+6 seconds per day of accuracy. The movement is visible through the caseback, where you’ll find a bespoke rotor spinning away in full view. For a watch that bills itself as a tough, active lifestyle companion, I’d welcome a no-nonsense closed caseback over the exhibition window. 

The Fortyone joins the Fortythree and Thirtynine (which is only available in steel) within the Formex Essence Leggera family, and is priced from $1,640. Opting for the Carbon Fiber dial will take the price to $1,990, and buyers are free to choose from a broad range of straps including rubber, leather, and fabric options. The watch is available to pre-order right now with deliveries expected to begin this summer. We’ll have more on this one in an upcoming review, until then, visit Formex for more information.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.