Home Featured Article Hands-On With The All New Formex Reef

Hands-On With The All New Formex Reef

by Blake Buettner

Formex has introduced an overhaul of their model this week, together with a brand new brand, marking a shift within the Swiss based mostly firm’s strategy to the market after 21 years in enterprise. The primary watch to characteristic the brand new branding components known as the Reef, a sturdy dive watch with a formidable spec sheet to match. The Reef heralds a brand new design path for the model that we first noticed the seeds of within the Essence assortment, and marks a major maturity of their dive watch assortment. We spent a while with a prototype of the Reef to see simply how far they’ve come on this regard.


Arms-On With All The New Formex Reef


Chrome steel 316L with titanium grade 2 container


COSC licensed Sellita SW300


Blue, Black, Inexperienced, or Silver


BGW9 Tremendous LumiNova




rubber or chrome steel

Water Resistance






Lug Width



Screw down


three Yr Worldwide



The present Formex dive watch, the Diver, presents a brutal tackle the style, with a case measuring north of 46mm, and a design that appears to be Components 1 impressed. What makes it distinctive is the case suspension system, which mounts the case upon four springs right into a chassis of kinds, making for some critical shock absorption capabilities. Whereas the Reef presents a much more approachable design, it forgoes the suspension case in favor of extra manageable dimensions. This transfer, coupled with the rebranding which replaces the outdated racing impressed brand with a extra sober and wise execution, ought to enchantment to a a lot wider viewers than the Diver was able to procuring. That’s to not say the persona of the outdated Formex has fully left the constructing. 

The Reef is a considerable watch, with onerous edges and angles creating huge floor areas across the case. You possibly can name the case a distraction to the dial, however it creates a platform showcasing the bezel and dial in a literal sense. The lugs and case partitions originate from a flat floor below the bezel meeting, and the place most watches make this a seamless transition, Formex has opted to drag that flat floor out past the diameter of the bezel, a selection that creates a 3rd tier of floor space, as there’s a chamfer from the platform to the lug and case wall. This creates a stage of pressure between case and dial, and supplies plenty of drama on the wrist. One thing that ought to enchantment to old-school followers of the model.

Viewing the Reef exterior the context of a wrist you’d be forgiving for assuming it was no less than 45mm in diameter, however strapping it on reveals a surprisingly wearable and comfy expertise. The case measures 42mm in diameter, and 11.4mm in top, with a lug to lug distance of simply 47mm. The 22mm lug span feels giant right here, and the flat chamfer between the lugs is a focus on the wrist, however general that is a simple watch to put on all day. The curvature of the truncated lugs create a neat match, whereas the quick hyperlinks of the bracelet drape simply and comfortably across the wrist. 

It’s value noting right here that Formex owns a lot of their very own manufacturing capabilities, and even present companies for different, a lot bigger manufacturers of their area of Biel Switzerland. This knowhow is obvious within the development of the bracelet, which is secured through fast launch buckle that homes a quite simple resolution for micro changes. A tab throughout the buckle will be pressed and slid to make as much as 10mm of adjustment, permitting the wearer to rapidly make changes on the fly for consolation. 

The dial and bezel are a bit extra conventional in look, although are nonetheless fairly fashionable in execution. The bezel is zirconium oxide ceramic, with the numerals and markers raised and polished throughout the in any other case matte floor. The meeting itself is a 60 click on unidirectional rotating bezel with giant lume pip at 12 o’clock. The impact of the ceramic is much like what you’d see on a Yachtmaster and it supplies a welcome transition level between the case and dial. The bezel will be had in blue, inexperienced, black, or chrome steel.

The dial itself is vibrant with a sunburst texture atop a gradient that will get darker on the edges. Colour choices listed here are blue, inexperienced and silver, and the looks is very depending on the lighting situations. The blue pattern we obtained to expertise can transfer from black, to gray to full on blue with ease. The impact is kind of beautiful and urges fast appears on the watch all through the day. Whenever you do look, getting a learn on the time is straightforward because of the extremely legible hour markers and palms, every crammed with BGW9 Tremendous LumiNova. The hour markers stand tall towards the rehaut, angling sharply towards the dial, every with brushed surfaces and polished chamfers. They catch plenty of gentle, however no matter  the situations, there’s sufficient lume current to by no means drop out of sight. Likewise with the hour and minute hand, which additionally characteristic plenty of dimensionality, however by no means mirror as black. 

A date window is carved into the dial with steeply raked cuts at 6 o’clock, the place a shade matched date wheel resides. The brand new utilized brand seems at 12 o’clock whereas the southern portion will get the title of the watch with a heap of kerning utilized, together with the chronometer and depth ranking beneath. 

Formex is utilizing a Selitta SW300 in chronometer spec for the Reef, which retains the case dimensions in verify and supplies them a platform to acquire COSC specs. It is a truth displayed within the full title of the watch, which is the Reef Computerized Chronometer COSC 300M, which is a little bit of a mouthful, to not point out redundant. Fortunately, they’ve left the COSC bit off the dial and also you’re left with the essential elements: it is a dive watch with a chronometer motion, and a 300m depth ranking. Pair that with the innovative case and home-built bracelet and also you’ve obtained a compelling providing right here from Formex. When you had a tough time getting on board with their designs of outdated, we’d encourage you to take a re-evaluation with the Reef.

The Reef is on the market for order now from Formex, with costs beginning at $1,670 on rubber strap, and $1,790 on the bracelet. Delivery is scheduled to start in December. More from Formex.

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