These Carbon and Ceramic Watches Feature a Built-In Suspension System

Formex is a value-focused Swiss brand whose newest watches include technical features and materials you’re more likely to find in race cars.


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

Swiss watch brand Formex was founded in 1998 with a focus on the world of racing, reflected both in its designs and technical features: The brand’s own patented suspension system, for example, which is built into its watch cases, is something you don’t really see elsewhere. Formex’s newest watch, the Essence Leggera, includes this feature, along with others that make for a striking value.

The Essence Leggera has a 43mm-wide case made of a carbon composite, which is known to be hard and light and offers the ability to make a black watch without the need for a coating that can easily scratch. The bezel is ceramic, which has some similar properties and is nearly scratch-proof, just like the sapphire crystal over the dial.

Why a suspension system on a watch? The idea is meant for the likes of motorsports and speedboat racing where watches and the delicate mechanisms inside could be damaged by violent knocks and vibrations. To guard against this, the watch uses four springs between between the two halves of the watch case to absorb potential shocks.

Available in three versions (gray dial, blue dial and a forged carbon fiber dial, each with plenty of lume) and powered by a chronometer-certified Swiss STP1-11 automatic movement, the Formex Leggera comes on a choice of straps and is available directly from the brand online. Even with all its high-tech features, the Leggera starts at $1,650 and goes up to $1,880 for the carbon dial version — which seem pretty reasonable to us.

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