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  • Derek Watanabe

FORMEX Reef



FORMEX was established in 1999 which is an independent family owned brand based in Biel/Bienne Switzerland. FORMEX has very strong ties to High-End manufacturing which allows them to create some of the finest pieces at a reasonable price. All of the watches are designed, developed and assembled in their in-house headquarters in Switzerland. Most important is that every piece goes though a variety of Quality control tests before it is shipped out. All of their watches also come with a 3- warranty which is great with most brands offering just 1 or 2 year warranties. I was most intrigued by the FORMEXReef which is Chonometer certified Diver with excellent specs and some pretty cool features.


Spces:

  • Swiss Made Sellita SW300-1 (self-winding) Automatic (Chronometer grade), officially certified by COSC. 25 jewels. Date display. Custom-built skeleton rotor with thermally blued screws. 56 hours power reserve.

  • Diameter: 42mm

  • Height: 11.4mm (perceived 9.4mm)

  • Lug width: 22mm

  • Lug-to-lug: 47mm

  • Water resistance: 30 bar (300 metres / 1000 feet)

  • Weight: 90g (case only)

  • Bezel: Unidirectional rotating Zirconium Oxide Ceramic bezel (blue, black, green) / Stainless steel for the steel bezel

  • Case: Stainless steel 316L

  • Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflection treatment

  • Multi-finished & hand-applied Dégradé. BGW9 Super-LumiNova on hands and indexes.

  • Stainless steel bracelet with screwed links, brushed with mirror polished bevels. Lug width 22mm. Features a gradual Micro-adjustment of 10mm at the folding buckle.

  • Zirconium oxide ceramic 120 click unidirectional quick change bezel





The Reefs dial has an excellent sunburst effect and is manufactured at Formex and is the gradient is sprayed by hand. The indices are applied by hand and the mixed brushing and mirror polishing is exceptional.



The print on the dial is very solid an crisp. The FORMEX emblem is brushed and cut nicely too.


The broad hour and minutes hands are finished with the same fine brushing on the surface and mirror polished bevel edges. The lume is evenly applied and while the Hour hand has little overlay on the surface its still very nicely done. The hour markers around the dial are also all evenly placed which is great for being hand applied, showing great attention to detail.



The beveled date window fits in the design of the case quite nicely. Up close its executed very well and the color matched date wheel is sweet.


The bezel as mentioned before is a Zirconium Oxide Ceramic The graduations according to FORMEX are Femto-lasered. This type of lasering is made to be highly precise in cutting, carving and engraving for the smallest of components with the highest accuracy. The precise cutouts on the bezel are superb and really show this level of quality. The gear like outer gripping on the bezel shows a mix of brushing and polishing which also flows with the design of the watch. The bezel is easy to rotate and grip with no back play. I should note that the nature of how the bezel is cut that small pieces of fabric, dirt and dust will get lodged around the bezel. The changing out of the bezel for me is little hard to do as some can simply pull it off by hand I needed a tool to get under and pop it off. I'm sure over time it will get easier to pull it off to swap our the bezels. Still a great feature to have to change the look of your watch.



The symmetrical case design is really well thought out. I do love the symmetry as it focuses my eye inwards toward the watch. The crown is incredibly smooth and easy to use and very sturdy.




The caseback is very comfortable while being light on text and just adds tot he 300m water resistance. The fine brushing is well done and inside has double gaskets which is always nice to see.



The easy quick change bracelet system is easy to use and is very much welcomed feature. I love seeing more and more brands have this option as it should be standard. Also note the very fine brushing which is just fantastic.



The bracelet is very comfortable and feels light yet solid on the wrist. The end links are secure and have little to no wobble on them.


Adjusting the bracelet is very easy and the clasp to me is slightly oversized for how thin the bracelet is but nonetheless very well made and finished. The pushers are very solid and also easy to use.



The FORMEX Reef is an absolute stunner of a watch. The retail price right now is currently $1,790 USD and at that price I think it is certainly well within its price range. The quality is certainly there and combined that with all the hand work that was done on each piece is really something to consider for your next piece if you don't already have one. The features also make this watch stand out with its symmetrical design, SW300 Chonometer certified movement, quick change Bezel System and bracelet make this watch worth every penny. I am excited to see any new future releases from Formex.


To learn more about FORMEX click on the link below:


FORMEX REEF








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