It’s been awhile since my last review of the Formax brand. Back in 2017 I reviewed the Element Chronograph and the GMT Diver. Both were excellent watches, but were very large and more on the sporty side. Formex has just released their new Essence model. This model is more toned down and leans more on the dressy side. The Essence comes in both COSC, and non COSC versions. The main difference between the two are the some of the decorative elements, and of course, the price. I was able to get a hold of their non COSC Essence Automatic Silver model and, so far, so good.

The Dial

With a sunray dial with machined indexes, the dial on this Formex Essence has a very clean and elegant appearance. The contrast between the sunray dial and polished hands/indexes makes visibility surprisingly good. There is a small date window at the 6 o’clock position. There is not much more to this dial, but that’s a good thing. There is no clutter, just a nice clean dial. This dial is protected by an AR coated sapphire crystal.

The Case

The Formex Essence measures in at 43mm in diameter and is made from 316L stainless steel. This is not a small watch, but on the wrist is feels smaller then it is. The case is a mix of brushed and polished finishes and has a nice elegant yet casual look. Formex uses a patented suspension system which provide extra comfort. The case is not one piece. There is the main case which houses the movement an then there is the outer part with the lugs to connect to the straps. The suspension system is between these two parts. This allows the main, inner case, to move independent from from the outer case. This movement is noticeable when doing a lot of wrist movements. It actually works. Water resistance is a good 300ft which is not bad for a non diver.

The Movement

I have always loved exhibition case backs. Seeing a movement run, even the most basic ones, is an enjoyment to me. Formex uses the ETA 2824-2 movement and I really like the look of this one. This movement has 25 jewels and a power reserve of 38 hours. Can’t go wrong with this one.

The Strap

This Formex Essence Silver came with a brown Italian oiled calf leather strap. The strap is very soft and fits comfortable on the wrist. The best thing about this strap is the clasp used to lock this on the wrist. The Essence comes with a folding clasp with a carbon fiber composite frame with a fine adjustment function and stainless steel 316L clasp. The fine adjust function is fantastic. You can make six size adjustments with this clasp which really makes wearing this watch comfortable at anytime of the day. 

The Lume

Formex uses BGW9 Super-LumiNova on the hands and on the indexes. What great about the BGW9 lume is that the glow in the dark is a very cool blue/green. In the light you only see an off white color which blends in really well with the hands and indexes.

The Formex Essence is a great combination of sportiness and casual elegance. You can wear this for just about any occasion. Build quality is excellent on all elements of this Essence. This is the simpler, non COSC version of the Essence and is budget friendly at $785 USD. If you like what you see, go check them out at While you are there you should check out their augmented reality app. You can virtually wear any model by using their digital try-on app. Pretty amazing.


  • Brand and model: Formex Essence Automatic Silver
  • Price: $785.00 USD
  • Who’s it for? Anyone wanting a sporty yet casual timepiece.
  • Would I wear it? For sure
  • What I’d change: Nothing, looks great.
  • The best thing about it: Great case design.

Tech specs from Formex:

  • Movement: Swiss Made ETA 2824-2 (self-winding) Automatic (Elaboré grade), regulated by Formex. 25 jewels. Date display. Standard rotor with Formex logo. 38 hours power reserve.
  • Case: 43mm diameter, 10mm thick, water restant to 330ft
  • Material: Bezel and case, 316L stainless steel. Sapphire crystal front and back.
  • Strap: Italian calf leather straps with curved spring bars. Quick Release function and carbon fiber composite folding clasp with patented Micro-Adjustment System.
  • Dial: Sunray dial with machined indexes. BGW9 Super-LumiNova on hands and indexes.

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