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Pushing the technical side -The Formex Essence Leggera (now also available with meteorite dials)

I have been in this hobby for more than 10 years and my taste has been affected by knowledge, making it change quite a bit. At the beginning it was all about appearance, my first real watch was to commemorate an special moment and nor value or technical aspect were words that never came into the picture, with time passed it was all about heritage, that lineage that we always try to savor was key, who wore what or how old the brand is? And then of course with even more time, technical knowledge creep in, from fine finishing to unique complications, I’ve started to geek out and there was no turning back. So where do you go afterwards? I think the answer for me is value, and value is perceived (at least for me) on technical capabilities at a price point that is unbelievable. I have seen great brands doing a very basic watch on an exotic material with prices that are far from fair, or maybe you want a special dial with a unique design case, but then prices will go up again, so what are we really paying? Is that brand heritage that I don’t care as much? Or perhaps we are paying the salary of an ambassador? Don’t get me wrong I have

those watches, but I am talking about what really gets me going at the moment. Formex is a brand that I’ve been following for ages now, I have review 2 of their watches and this is my third, but it has always been out of stock, and after a great conversation at a watch event, Raphael (the CEO) kindly said ill send you an Essence Leggera Cool Grey for a review as soon as I have one available and here it is, and it does not disappoint. To call the Essence Leggera a technical watch would be an understatement, the Leggera part of the name is an evolution of their current line up Essence and as suggested (for those with some Italian skills) it means light, let’s not dwell more on what makes this piece not only one of my favorites pieces from this year, but one of my favorites period, hope you enjoy the review and the macros.


As being a technical watch the specifications has to be well covered, the watch is 41 mm as the name highlights, it is very thin at only 11mm and with a lug to lug of 46.4mm, it wears so well on my 6.25 inch wrist but with the difference that is barely noticeable, flat and comfortable aided by a case that has a patented suspension system, similar to a car, Mr. Cool Grey has shocks that adapt to you wrist position, it really wears like nothing else in terms of comfort and to add an extra layer, the watch is made of Carbon Fiber, it really is a high tec kit that weighs only 40 grams! Yes, you read that correctly, it is in par with any G-Shock out there in terms of weight, this Essence

Leggera really gets my value alarm beating hard. Flipping the watch over, you have an exhibition case back showing the Sellita SW200-1 movement which has been COSC certified adding another layer of precision, it is decorated with ‘perlage’ and a modified rotor, the Formex Essence Leggera has a 41 hours of power reserve and also has a date complication (matching with the dial, thanks Formex) at 6 o clock, it looks incredible as the dial has a perfect sense of symmetry when looked from every angle, the ceramic bezel is the cherry on the top, un-scratchable and well executed. But we are not done yet, not even by a mile because we still haven’t talked about the in- house made Cool Grey dial, yes as previous reviews I am going to repeat that I am obsessed with the color grey and I think it might be the this Essence Leggera which I spotted a couple of years back that did it for me, this is the perfect grey in my opinion, it looks liquid and has a hint of purple (or I might be imagining it) I dare to say, looks like no other dial in the watch industry, the applied markers and brushed hands glide along the dial during the day with ease, legible and ready to read and when the night comes the BGW9 Super-Luminova appears with its blue hue that just matches that grey, we all know that these 2 colors pair perfectly.

On the wrist

With a light case (a very light case) and a very thin profile, the Essence Leggera wears outstanding, there are no complains about the size and together with the articulated case, the watch is perfect for everyday wear but also high impact sports if needed. This Cool Grey Essence has another trick down its sleeve and its literally there (on the sleeve), is the clasp. Not only the clasp is made of carbon fiber to match the case -I know it sounds obvious, but I forgot already the amount of times that a manufacturer has done this faux pas- but also it has a patented micro adjustment system (yes another patent) which can adjust the folding clasp up to 7mm, this well executed clasp really makes the difference not only in hot summer days but also finding the right fit with any of the strap options that Formex offers, for me the watch came with a curved quick release rubber strap and it’s going to stay like this, there is a grey nylon strap that really complements the look of the dial, that might be the one for this watch as it would reduce the weight even further. I wore the Essence Leggera a full week and never got tired of it, it is a watch that does all right, sure is not a dress watch but is not trying to be and this is were many brands make a mistake, they are afraid to go far into a particular direction and the result is that they stand still, not Formex and not this piece.

Another thing that I consider is that each carbon case has its own pattern so effectively every piece is unique, studying the Essence Leggera with macros I’ve learnt to love this particular watch, there are some unique variations here and there, it is really a perfect all-rounder.


There is no secret that this is a piece that I would love to have in my collection someday, not because I love the dial and technical details, but because I don’t have a piece at the moment that I can wear every day without thinking about it, the case is virtually indestructible, it is lighter than any watch I own, the COSC certification gives me the precision I enjoy and it has adjustments on the case/clasp that creates a wear experience that many watch brands are keen to achieve. You might think that I am exaggerating or over excited but look at similar

watches in the market that can offer these refinements and you start to get scared of the prices pretty quickly, the Essence Leggera Cool Grey is starts under 1500 GBP which to me is mind blowing, there is a watch in the market with this material and is exactly double the price, I will not name the suspects but I think we are paying for that diving heritage, so back again to the initial point, if heritage does not move your needle, then hopefully Cool Grey dial will do it for you.

As the title mentions, there is one more thing from Formex, something from out of this world (i know bad punt) because when I was doing the photoshoot for the Cool Grey, I've received an email with the images (see below) and press release of the new 39mm and 41mm Space Rock Essence which features a meteorite dial and a smaller case option, the 39mm comes in a stainless steel case and the 41mm comes in the Leggera form with carbon fiber one, both are limited editions of 88 units and have all the features described above, looking forward to see one in the wild so please, make sure you grab one.

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