Introducing the Updated Formex Essence Forty-Three

The Formex Essence is one of the more under the radar values in Swiss sports watches. The brand isn’t discussed as frequently as others who play in this general price point, but they offer something genuinely unique in the form of their case suspension system, which is designed to reduce the impact of sudden shocks to the watch case by adding a suspension not unlike what you’d find in most cars. In the current moment, most of the focus of the watch world is on styles that are inspired by historical watches, and the tech forward and modern aesthetic of the Essence doesn’t fit neatly into that mold. But that’s OK – Formex does their own thing, and has carved out a nice niche for themselves with fans of casual but elegant sports watches with a twist. Their latest release is a new take on the Essence in a 43mm with some subtle updates that reflect Formex’s latest branding changes. 


When we covered the release of the slightly downsized Essence in 39mm late last year, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that Formex would eventually update the flagship 43mm model (the original size of the Essence) with their new applied logo and dials with precision CNC machined grooves running across it. That’s exactly what they’ve added to these updated models, as well as a date wheel that matches the dial color, a small but important touch that enthusiasts are sure to appreciate. 

The 43mm and 39mm Essence, side by side

The Essence Forty-Three, as it’s officially known, will come in a total of five colors: blue, black, green, gray dégradé, and white. For the white variant, the applied hour markers and hands have been given a black coating and a polished finish in the name of legibility, which sets it apart somewhat from the colored dials (this is a new dial color available for the 39mm version as well). In addition, Formex is making a green leather strap available that pairs with the green dial, which had previously been an option for the 39mm Essence. There seems to be a full synching of options between sizes, which is a customer focused move on the part of Formex that shouldn’t go unnoticed. You can choose the Essence in the size you prefer, and not have to make any compromises when it comes to dial colors or strap and bracelet options. 

Tech specs on the Essence are impressive for a watch at this price point. The movement is a Sellita SW200-1 which has been chronometer certified, and the case measures just 10.6mm thick while maintaining a 100 meter water resistance rating. The watch can be purchased on a variety of leather or rubber straps, as well as a bracelet with has been designed to match the finishing of the case, with a mixture of polished and brushed surfaces. The bracelet also includes a micro-adjust system built into the clasp for fine adjustments without link removal, and the bracelet itself has a quick release system at the endlinks for tool-free swaps. 

The Essence Forty-Three is available to order directly from Essence, and starts at $1,280. The white dialed Essence is expected to ship in July, but the other colors are available right now. 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.