Expensive features in an affordable package - the Formex Reef
If you like tool watches like me you are probably going to like this review because I managed to spend time with one of the coolest divers from 2021, the Formex Reef. The issue that I have with tool watches is that they are utilitarian (of course..) but sometimes that leaves no space for refinement, look at Tudor as an example, in one corner of the catalogue you have the Black Bay 58, it's so refined that almost becomes a bit of a fashion accessory and on the other you have the Tudor Pelagos, so utilitarian that is a bit brute. Here is where the Formex Reef comes in, it has great features that you can find in more expensive watches but it doesn’t lose track of its nature, it's here to do work.
Formex recently rebranded the company and a new logo is featured in the dial, I have to say that it looks great and gives a perfect vibe to the watch, the good thing about these changes is that Formex hasn’t drop their quality on the watches or increase the prices, they are still offering some of the best value pieces at their price range. As I mentioned, all the features on the Reef are quite unique and it does take some time to go through all them which as a reviewer, is a nice problem to have, let's begin.
Being a diver you do want a good size watch and the Reef doesn’t disappoint with its 42mm case and a 47mm lug to lug, you can already tell that it wears well on almost any wrist (mine is 6.25mm), as I mentioned previously the case has many cool features such as bevelled edges and polished vs. brushed surfaces making it looks angular and crisp, the crown guards and the flank on the left side gives also the impression of a very symmetrical case.
I love this dial, the fume grey is something that I am currently obsessed with and together with the applied indices, logo and date (in grey too) well placed at 6 o clock the whole watch looks not only well executed but also expensive. I took a lot of macro shots of the dial and there was nothing to complaint about, the closer I got the better the dial looked, it is so refreshing to see dials executed this way at this price point. The Reef comes in a great variety of configurations, a ceramic bezel or a steel one which by the way are interchangeable and can give you a new look in seconds, the dials are also in different colours but again to me the grey is the winner. Powering the watch we can find a Sellita SW300 -1 which has been COSC certified to perform impeccably.
On the wrist:
One of the good things of the Sellita movement is that it keeps the watch very thin at only 11mm which makes the Reef one of the most comfortable divers I worn so far, is flat and with that short lug to lug length makes the watch a dream to wear every day. Our demo unit was on a 22mm steel bracelet and as the watch itself, packs a lot of feature like on the fly adjustment, solid end links and a quick release system, see what I mean? The goodies just keep on coming.
Another thing to highlight about the Reef is its legibility, the contrast of the applied markers and the dial are perfect for a quick glance to check the time and then is the lume which is a torch of BGW9 Superluminova, just check out the cool shots below.
As you can see I really enjoyed my time with the Reef from Formex, the brand has a great design language and packs all of their watches with features that are impossible to match at this price point. I like this new take on a diver and together with the rebranding of the company the whole package feels more solid, more luxurious which is odd to say about a tool watch but then again, this is what I like about the Reef, it can blend in more than 1 situation. Thanks again to Watch Gecko for sending this piece, please check them out for stock on this model https://www.watchgecko.com/
For more information visit www.formexwatch.com
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