We have a lot of time for Swiss brand Formex at NWC magazine. Why? Simple really, they love creating beautiful watches, packed with features, that are Swiss made and yet affordable for mere mortals. Yes, a Vacheron Constantin Overseas, Hublot Big Bang or a Richard Mille is a superb thing, but it costs the same as a small house in the wilds of Grimsby.
Formex are making this Reef Radiant for enthusiasts with 300m resistance, steel case, ceramic bezel and a COSC grade movement inside that’s been tweaked and tested by Formex in-house. It’s been created for a US based site called Collective and we like that approach; listen to potential customers and build something they want to own.
The watch looks chunky in the pictures but it sits just 9.4mm high on wrist – that’s slim, even if the extra lug on the left side of the case gives it a hefty width. In fact, it’s only 42mm, so not even as wide as things like the LIV divers, or crazy ass 50mm wide Invictas. Nice AR coating on the sapphire crystal, plus a treatment to the dial paint to resist fading over time. Details matter.
The movement is a Sellita SW300 class, but they’ve been busy in the lab at Formex on this, here’s the word;
“We’ve chosen its highest quality grade “Chronometer” because it comes with premium components such as a Glucydur balance wheel which is exceptionally hard and stable, very resistant to deformation, non-magnetic, and non-corrosive. Another reason why we’ve purposely chosen this thin movement is because it allowed to construct the REEF at just 11.4mm thickness and a perceived height of 9.4mm.
The movement is completely 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 per the same criteria after assembly, to measure if there is any deviation from the certification rates.”
The Reef Radiant can be bought from the Collective site in the USA, but if you’re in the UK then you can buy it for £2050, plus shipping and import duty from the Formex site.