Review – Formex Essence…In 39mm!

Back in June of last year we had the opportunity to review the Formex Essence. You can read that review here. As you’ll see we were very, VERY impressed with the Essence, to the point where I was actually considering replacing my blue dial Rolex Oyster Perpetual with one. But – you knew there’d be a “but” – at 43mm it was just too large for me to commit to it, and it certainly didn’t work on PG’s wrist. When talking to the Formex guys on the Podcast a few months ago we posed the question of watch sizes and if there were any plans to offer some smaller pieces. Here’s what Rafael said…

“We’re actually getting almost daily requests to make the Essence into a smaller version as well, so that is definitely something that is on the not so distant horizon for us.”

Well folks, that horizon is upon us. Introducing the Formex Essence 39mm, identical in every way to the original 43mm Essence only downsized for a friendlier fit on smaller wrists.

ThirtyNine just hangin’

Perpetual Girl’s Take…

As I was able to spend a lot of time with the ThirtyNine due to its smaller case size, I was delighted that I noticed more of the features than I did when we reviewed the larger, original 43mm Essence. Visually, more of the bracelet can be seen which really allows for the faceted, angular look of the links to be noticed. The light reflecting off theedges of the case is also prominent. If the Rolex Oyster Perpetual case and bracelet style resembles a Ferrari in design, I feel like the Formex ThirtyNine resembles a more edgy Lamborghini. Car geeks will get the analogy.

The innovative features of the ThirtyNine truly contribute to the overall comfort experience of the watch. Since it does have a slight masculine feel to it, I wore it quite loose like a bracelet. When gravity caused the watch case to slide down over my wrist, the shock absorbing feature of the case allowed it to flex over my wrist instead of cutting into my hand as my wrist moved. I have to say that this is one of the most comfortable watches I have ever worn. It is obvious that your watches will get more wrist time the more comfortable they are, and the Essence ThirtyNine proves that point. At times I forgot I was wearing a watch until it caught my eye!

Again, noticing the subtle variations in the horizontal elements of the dial is a pleasure in all different types of lighting. It’s very dynamic and takes on a range of blue to teal to grey tones. The brush strokes in the bezel also compliment the overall dial design. It’s not only an extremely comfortable watch. The overall composition between dial, case and bracelet is superb, and looks good in any size and color. Speaking of color, after seeing the ThirtyNine colorway lineup including a very saturated hue of green I would love to see more bold colors added in the future – think red, orange, yellow and more.

“I can truly see the Essence done in a range anywhere from 34 to 39 based on how dressy you want it to feel.  The Essence is beautiful the way it is. The female collector doesn’t want it to be changed into a quartz and have a bunch of diamonds on it – that’s kind of the theme that we see manufacturers do, but we want to see the exact same watch  – just smaller. I see a lot of men looking for smaller watches as well.” ~ @perpetualgirl, July 11, 2020 interview with Formex

As we have repeatedly mentioned on our podcast over the past three years, the female watch collector not only enjoys a traditional smaller dainty watch (even with precious metals and gems) she simply wants the same watches made for men but in a smaller size. Men who enjoy smaller watches agree. The “ThirtyNine” does not disappoint in that category. The play of light on the surface angles as well as the depth and colorplay in the dial has plenty of action and does not need to be “feminized” in order to appeal to any gender of collector. Both the 43mm and 39mm Essence are perfect just the way they are, and a great example of what a collector looks for in a watch they dream of in a smaller size.

Spring loaded center section

“We really want to do collections that are more female oriented as well. It’s interesting that you said you don’t necessarily need to bling it up with diamonds or zirconia  or ‘over feminize’ the design, which I actually completely agree on, and the design is exactly what I wanted to go for. I don’t think it needs to be pink or ‘blingy’ for women to buy it. It’s better to not have a particular gender in mind when you design something.” ~ Rafael Granito, July 11, 2020 interview with Formex

The ThirtyNine is available for pre-order at and retails for $1,440 USD on the stainless steel bracelet and just over $1,300 USD on a leather strap.

Vital Stats

  • CASE
    • Material: 316L Stainless steel
    • Diameter: 39 mm
    • Thickness: 10mm
    • Patented suspension system
    • Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating
    • Case Back: Screw-back sapphire exhibition
    • Water Resistance: 10 atm
    • Inter-lug Width: 20 mm
    • Sellita SW200 Chronometer grade
    • COSC Certified
    • 28,800 vph
    • Stainless steel H-Link with patented micro-adjustable butterfly clasp
    • Strap Option: Italian calf leather or black rubber with patented micro-adjustable carbon composite deployant clasp.


Perpetualgirl and I are just your basic obsessed watch geeks who enjoy bringing our perspectives on watches and the watch industry to other like-minded geeks.

View all posts by ranchracer →

2 thoughts on “Review – Formex Essence…In 39mm!

  1. You mentioned you have a small wrist; can you post more pictures of the Formex Essence 39 on a smaller wrist (less than or equal to 6.5 inches)?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.