Formex Gets in on the Summer Watch Act with the New Essence Splash Collection

Windup Watch Fair Chicago is officially in the rearview mirror, and as we come up for air from another successful event in the Windy City, it’s time to take stock of some of the new releases that saw their debut at the show. Windup is increasingly becoming a venue for brands to unveil new releases to a captive audience, and this year’s Chicago show saw a handful of both completely new and iterative drops that had watch enthusiasts buzzing all weekend. Formex is just one example, bringing a new collection of Essence references in 39mm and 43mm case sizes with bold colors that make an already fun sports watch just a little more vibrant. 

The new Essence Splash Chronometer Limited Collection feature dials that are hand-sprayed with bright and bold colors in the brand’s Swiss dial manufacture. The colors range from pastel shades to bold neon, with the full lineup including Sunflower Yellow, Jungle Green, Sunset Orange, Baby Blue, and Lavender Purple. The distinctive feature of the Essence dial, the CNC machined horizontal lines that are run across it, remain in this collection. These dials have a matte finish, which makes the colors pop and appear more uniform, and stands in contrast to other Essence dials that are a bit more reflective. 

The Splash collection appears across both the 39mm Essence in stainless steel as well as the 43mm Essence Leggera with a case made from carbon and ceramic components. Seeing them in person at Windup, the larger Essence Leggera dials really make an impression in these colors, which of course are given additional contrast by the black case of the ultra lightweight models. The orange, in particular, was a standout for me, but all five options will likely find their fans in either case size. 

Of course, all the usual Formex bells and whistles are present here, including the brand’s patented deployant clasp that allows for quick adjustments up to 7mm without removing the watch from your wrist, and the Formex Case Suspension system, which allows the interior portion of the case to ride up and down four integrated springs along with one’s wrist movement. The steel watches in 39mm include the excellent Formex bracelet that has a hidden micro-extension built into the clasp allowing for an easy 4mm adjustment if needed, and all straps and bracelets have quick release functionality built in, so no tools are needed when it’s time to switch things up. Like other Essence models, these run on a chronometer certified Sellita SW-200 automatic movement with a 41 hour power reserve. 

The new Formex Essence Splash Chronometer collection is a limited production run that Formex says will only be available during the summer months. The retail price starts at $1,480 for the 39mm version, and $1,640 for the Leggera version. Formex

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.