French independent watch releases two modestly priced watches with meteorite dials under their Space Rock collection. The watches are available in two case sizes – a 39mm stainless steel case and a 41mm carbon/ceramic watch.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
New: Formex Essence Space Rock and Essence Legarra Space Rock in meteorite dials
The watches are available on the Formex web shop. The 39mm Essence Space Rock in SS case retails from SGD 2,300 and the 41mm Essence Leggera 41mm in carbon/ceramic case from SGD 2,700. Prices include worldwide shipping, but are before taxes. Pre-orders are accepted on their shop now. Limited Edition of 88 pieces each.
Interesting launch from a French independent – Formex to include watches with meteorite dials. The classical meteorite dials fitted on watches which usually command much higher prices. And other than the Too Watch Co’s Artic, these dials are tip of the iceberg embellishments on high value watches. Some recent examples are Louis Moinet Space Revolution (CHF 360k) or their considerably lower priced Super Moon at CHF 17k. Or the De Bethune DB25 Starry Varius Aérolite with its POA status. Rolex has some, as do Jaeger-LeCoultre, Parmigiani. But all are rather more expensive than the under SGD 3k mark that Formex pitched theirs at.
This is not their first rodeo at the meteorite game either. They first released meteorite dials in a 43mm case, a limited edition of 50 pieces, which we were reliably informed sold out within a few days. As their popular watches are smaller cased, they decided on this novelty collection in 39mm and 41mm. They chose a more standard stainless steel case for the 39mm, and a carbon case for the 41mm topped with a ceramic bezel.
Movements remain the same Sellita SW200-1, but they claim to have chosen the highest quality grade, and COSC certified.
Visually, the watch looks rather good, with the inclusions on the dial’s meteorite making beautiful equilateral triangle patterns typical of the crystal structure formed by the slow cooling process.
Formex Essence 39mm & 41mm Leggera SPACE ROCK Automatic Chronometer Limited Edition (88 pieces each)
Formex Swiss Made Watches unveils the new Essence Space Rock Automatic Chronometer Limited Edition timepieces. A product of over 4 billion years of history, the extraterrestrial dials are crafted from an ancient iron rock known as the Muonionalusta Meteorite. Based upon the popular Essence ThirtyNine and Essence Leggera FortyOne, the new Formex Space Rock Limited Edition watches encapsulate the history of our solar system, and they are available with either a 39mm stainless steel case or with an all- black 41mm case made from ultra-lightweight carbon fiber and ceramic. Both versions feature the same detailed hand-finishing as the original Essence model, with an officially COSC-certified mechanical Swiss caliber and Formex’s patented Case Suspension System, which allows the watches to be more comfortable on the wrist. Prices start at $1,650.00 for the Essence ThirtyNine model and $1,850.00 for the Essence Leggera FortyOne version, with both watches individually numbered and limited to just 88 pieces each. The Formex Essence Space Rock Automatic Chronometer Limited timepieces make their debut during the peak of the 2022 Geminid Meteor Shower, and both models are available for pre-order now, with delivery scheduled for late January 2023.
A Meteorite on Your Wrist
Some four ice ages ago, an iron meteorite blasted into the Earth’s atmosphere and slammed into a 25 x 15 kilometer area that sits north of the Arctic circle, centered at 67°49’ N, 23°9’ E in what is now northern Scandinavia. Besides their remote location, finding these meteorite fragments is extremely difficult as the ground is completely frozen solid most of the year, and the area is also covered in 24 hours of darkness for several months at a time. To make a dial from this unique extraterrestrial material, special machining and treatments are required to reveal the distinct characteristics of this ancient iron-based meteorite. The beautiful equilateral triangles that create the naturally-occurring Widmanstätten pattern are the result of a very slow cooling process that takes place over the course of millions of years, during which the crystalline structure of the minerals within the core of the asteroid changes. After being cut and treated, the final product is a perfectly flat disc that measures just 0.65mm thick and perfectly showcases the natural pattern of the meteorite. Since the textures are organic and cannot be artificially reproduced, each individual dial will appear slightly different, making every single watch a completely unique piece.
Encased in Stainless Steel or Carbon & Ceramic
The new Formex Essence Space Rock Limited Edition watches are available as both the 39mm Essence ThirtyNine with a 316L stainless steel case, or as the 40% lighter Essence Leggera FortyOne, which features a 41mm carbon fiber composite case that is fitted with a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel and crown. Formex introduced the larger 43mm versions with meteorite dials back in April 2020, which were limited to 50 pieces and sold out within just a few days. These smaller case sizes are Formex’s best- sellers and they are explicitly intended to be unisex watches. Applied indices with mirror-polished bevels are deep-filled with brightly glowing Super-LumiNova® BGW9 andprovide maximum legibility, regardless of whether it is day or night.
A Certified Automatic Chronometer
Driving the hands of both Formex Essence Space Rock Limited Edition watches is a Swiss Made, COSC- Certified Chronometer Sellita SW200-1 self-winding movement with an extended power reserve of approximately 41 hours. We’ve chosen the highest quality “Chronometer” grade because it offers premium components not found on the standard versions of this caliber, such as a Glucydur balance wheel, which is exceptionally hard and stable, in addition to being highly resistant to deformation, non- magnetic, and also non-corrosive. The fully-decorated automatic movement features thermally blued screws, and it is wound by Formex’s custom-built skeletonized rotor. Each one of these movements is independently 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, reliability, and precision.
Built for Everyday Wear
In addition to contributing to their signature visual appeal, the details on the Essence Space Rock Limited Edition watches also serve a purpose. For a timepiece to be well-suited for all occasions, it needs to feel exceptionally comfortable on the wrist. Both versions of the Space Rock Limited Edition feature Formex’s patented Case Suspension System and a deployant clasp made from lightweight carbon fiber, which features a unique gradual fine-adjustment system that is capable of perfectly adapting to the ever- changing size of a person’s wrist due to factors such as heat and humidity. All straps, including the optional stainless steel bracelet, can be changed within seconds and without the use of any tools by using their built-in quick release systems. Additionally, the bracelet features screwed links, a new 1.5x link for additional sizing options, plus a unique micro-extension system to match the industry-leading comfort of our leather, rubber, and nylon watch straps.
The Formex Essence Thirty-Nine Space Rock and Essence Leggera FortyOne Space Rock watches are available at the Formex Online Boutique and at selected partners. Prices start at $1,650.00 for the Essence 39mm in stainless steel and $1,850.00 for the Essence Leggera 41mm in carbon fiber and ceramic, with shipping, taxes, and duties included for most countries. Owners can select their preferred serial number at the time of purchase, and delivery of all Formex Essence Space Rock Limited Edition watches scheduled to take place by the end of January 2023.
Formex CEO, Raphael Granito, said of the launch, …
“Our sporty yet elegant designs combined with genuine, user-oriented features are convincing and word gets around. For example, our case suspension is not a gimmick, but immediately noticeable when wearing the watch on the wrist. Also, our patented carbon folding clasp can be quickly and finely adjusted on the wrist without even having to take the watch off. With our Space Rock LE in a smaller, more wearable size, you can carry a piece of billion-year old history on your wrist, while keeping track of your personal time. The incredibly ancient dial, combined with the Essence’s modern and elegant design, create a very unique look and feel that is enticing every time you see it.”
Formex Space Rock Technical Specifications
Formex Essence 39 mm Space Rock Automatic Chronometer LE, SKU: 0333.9.6699.xxxx
Formex Essence Leggera 41 mm Space Rock Automatic Chronometer LE, SKU: 0331.9.6399.xxx
Water Resistance Waterproof to 100 meters / 330 feet
Glass Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
|Dimensions||Essence: 39 mm diameter, 10 mm height, 20mm lug width, 45mm lug-to-lug Essence Leggera: 41 mm diameter, 11 mm height, 22mm lug width, 46mm lug-to-lug|
Essence: Stainless steel 316L with titanium grade 2 container
Essence Leggera: Carbon fiber composite with titanium grade 2 container
Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
Essence: Stainless steel 316L
Essence Leggera: Scratch-resistant Zirconium oxide ceramic
Meteorite dial. Formex icon and hour markers filled with Super-LumiNova® BGW9
Filled with Super-LumiNova® BGW9
COSC-certified Sellita SW200-1 Automatic movement, fully decorated with a custom made skeletonized rotor. 26 jewels, frequency 28’800 A/h (4 Hz), 41h power reserve
Essence: Stainless steel bracelet with screwed links and stainless steel buckle with patented 4mm micro extension. Italian leather straps or black rubber strap with carbon fiber composite clasp with patented gradual 7mm fine adjustment system.
Essence Leggera: Black NATO strap by WatchGecko with pin buckle. Italian leather straps, Nylon straps or black rubber strap with carbon fiber composite clasp with patented gradual 7mm fine adjustment system. All straps and the bracelet can be changed using a patented Quick Release system and does not require the use of any tools.
COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres)
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