Doesn’t it feel like watch brands emerge on Kickstarter like sand on the beach? They are all jostling for position with taglines like “revolutionary design”, “affordable luxury” or the promise to “disrupt the industry”. With Alpina successfully launching their latest smartwatch on Kickstarter, they demonstrated the crowdfunding potential for established watch brands. Formex with its nearly 20 years of Swiss watchmaking history and more than 40 in-house developed watch collections, comes to Kickstarter to introduce the first ever officially COSC-certified Automatic Chronometer launched on a crowdfunding platform.
Why launching a watch on Kickstarter makes sense
Selling direct-to-consumer already allows for a completely different price calculation in favour of the final customer. Launching a watch on crowdfunding terms lowers the overall cost even further as the production quantities of each model are set before manufacturing even starts, thus eliminating overproduction and reducing the marketing cost significantly. Formex passes on these savings straight to the customer with savings of more than 40% on the original after-crowdfunding price. The fact that an established brand has a well functioning supply-chain and a lot of experience in manufacturing should offer backers additional peace of mind as quite often Kickstarter-born brands are unable to live up to the promised shipping deadlines or in some cases are unable to deliver at all.
Stand-out features of the new Essence Automatic Chronometer by Formex Swiss Watches
The Essence Automatic Chronometer is an officially COSC-certified mechanical Swiss Made timepiece. At 43mm, it’s just the right size, not too big, not too small. Elegant and casual at the same time, this watch reveals a pure wealth of details and unique features. With the Essence, Formex brings a highly precise and top quality mechanical everyday Chronometer with a very affordable price tag. Early Bird Specials are available now.
A highly accurate and precise COSC-certified Automatic Swiss Made movement
The Essence is powered by Sellita’s highest quality grade SW200-1 Swiss made mechanical automatic movement, beautifully decorated and wound by Formex’s in-house developed and custom built skeletonized rotor. Each one of these movements is certified by the COSC (the official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute) and undergoes the meticulous 15-day rate test to ensure extraordinary levels of mechanical accuracy and precision. Each certified chronometer is unique, identified by a number engraved on its movement and a certificate number issued by the COSC. While less than 3% of Swiss watch movements are officially certified, Formex further rate test them according to the same criteria after assembly, to measure if there is any deviation from the certification rates.
Crafted from the finest raw materials – finished with an incredible wealth of details
Understated at first glance, but beneath the apparent simplicity lies exceptional craftsmanship in every respect. Take the symmetrical 43mm stainless steel and titanium case with its incredibly detailed brush finish on both base and bezel, perfectly rounded off with hand-finished mirror-polished bevels. The machined indexes and hands, filled with BGW9 Super-LumiNova, ensure maximum legibility, day or night. They harmonize with the case’s finishing and provide a perfect balance between elegance and the brand’s high-octane spirit. The dial with its vertical brush and CNC machined horizontal lines is one of the watch’s most defining features. To achieve the crisp lines and sharp angles, each line has been machined into the dial individually. Scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass protects the dial in the front and allows an unobstructed view of the movement’s intricate decoration together with thermally blued screws and custom built skeletonized rotor on the back.
Unique features contribute to function and comfort
Besides contributing to visual appeal, the details on the Essence also serve a purpose. For a timepiece to be a watch for all occasions, it needs to feel exceptionally comfortable on the wrist. Formex decided to integrate their tested and proven patented Case Suspension System. This unique mechanism provides shock absorption to protect the movement as well as adapting to the wearer’s wrist motion, not unlike the suspension on a car or a mountain bike. For even more wrist comfort, Formex added their patented Carbon Fibre Composite Folding Clasp that allows for fine-adjustment of the strap length on the go, allowing for a perfect fit on the wrist in all conditions and temperatures. The Essence will be available on a rubber strap and a metal bracelet, both with their own fine-adjustment system. All the straps and bracelets can be changed without tools.
The most accessible Chronometer on the market, by far
In keeping with the brands reputation for doing things a little differently, Formex have chosen to unveil the Essence via Kickstarter, making it the first ever officially COSC-certified Automatic Chronometer launched on a crowdfunding platform. Utilising the benefits afforded by a Kickstarter campaign, together with the advantages of their direct-to-consumer approach, Formex are offering the Essence watch with its impressive specification at an equally impressive price. Early-Bird prices start as low as US$ 680, with an automatic version (without COSC certificate and with sunray dial) available from US$ 385. After Kickstarter, the models will later be offered on Formex’s Online Shop at about US$ 1’100 and US$ 650 respectively.
Formex CEO, Raphael Granito, said of the launch, “I’ve spent the past 10 years developing and producing watch parts for the most famous brands out there. Now here at Formex I am able to use that knowledge and experience to create the best possible watches with the quality attributes and design features that are usually only found in high end timepieces at a much higher price tag. We designed and crafted the Essence to be the high-quality mechanical watch for the daily adventure, in or without a suit. Launching the Essence on a crowdfunding platform allows us to combine the best of two worlds – a high-quality watch manufactured by an established and trusted Swiss Micro-brand, offered at Kickstarter prices.”
Formex now allows a limited number of Early backers to pay a deposit of US$ 50 for the Essence Automatic Chronometer and US$ 40 for the Essence Automatic to secure the best price and delivery as early as December 2018. Both versions are available with either a black, blue, brown or silver dial and different leather straps, a stainless steel and a rubber version.
Technical Specifications: Formex Essence Automatic Chronometer
Dimensions: 43mm diameter, 10mm height, 22mm lug width
Water Resistant: Waterproof to 100 meters / 330 feet
Case: Stainless steel 316L with titanium grade 2 container.
Patented Case Suspension System
Glass: Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
Case back: Exhibition case back with sapphire crystal. Laser engraved
stainless steel 316L
Dial: Black, blue, brown or silver dial with vertical brush and individually CNC
machined horizontal lines. Machined Indexes filled with BGW9
Hands: Filled with BGW9 Super-LumiNova
Movement: COSC-certified Sellita SW200-1 Automatic movement, fully decorated
with custom made skeletonized rotor.
Frequency: 28’800 A/h (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 38 hours
Strap: Calf leather available in black, blue or brown. Rubber strap and stainless
steel bracelet as upgrade. All straps and bracelets can be changed
Clasp: Folding clasp with carbon fiber composite frame with Patented Fine
Adjustment and stainless steel 316L buckle.
Certification: COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres)