…by your significant other! Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Formex has brought us something brilliant. Behold the brand new dial for their Essence ThirtyNine in mother of pearl.
It has been a pleasure having this watch in for review at Love ‘N Watches. Back when we reviewed the original 43mm Essence (review can be found HERE), we were not only smitten with the way the brushed and polished surfaces of the case and watch reflected light, we were also impressed with the comfort of the shock absorbing case that is integrated into the watch. The 43mm size was a great fit on RanchRacer, but for my smaller wrist I prefer something smaller. It was even bordering on a bit too big for RR.
Enter the Essence ThirtyNine. The new 39mm size is truly a “sweet spot” for a lot of people regardless of gender. We were able to do a hands on review of the ThirtyNine, and also chatted with Raphael and Marcus of Formex on the podcast. They talked about how they had received numerous requests for an offering less than 43mm. We asked, and they listened.
We were so pleased to be able to spend some time with their latest offering of the ThirtyNine with the mother of pearl dial. This has been by far my favorite offering. When one thinks of a mother of pearl dial, the first thing that comes to mind is something “feminine” or having a lot of color. This is not a case of “shrink it, pink it, quartz it and put diamonds on it”. Although many female watch collectors enjoy a watch with a bit of bling, the serious collector often wants the same watch marketed for larger wrists, but in a smaller case size. This topic was the reason we started our podcast over three years ago. Seeing the 43mm Essence released in 39mm is exactly the trend the female and collector with a smaller wrist loves to see.
I was honestly not sure what to expect when waiting for the new ThirtyNine to arrive. This dial takes on its own personality depending on the light and surroundings. It really depends on the piece of shell, and this dial has a consistent color that has a lot of depth and a silvery feel almost like liquid or mercury. It is not a “busy” texture and doesn’t distract from the overall design of the watch. In low light it appears as a rich silver. In sunlight it has depth, subtle color, and truly glows. The horizontal design characteristic of Formex dials is a lovely contrast to the organic swirl of the shell, and gives it a sporty, linear feel that goes well with the angular lines of the case and bracelet. It has a dressy look to it, but is also fun which makes it versatile with the most casual wardrobe. I tried it with a variety of clothing from jeans and a white linen shirt, to a feminine dress, a leather jacket and a grey winter sweater and leggings. It works with it all.
How does Ranchracer feel about it? He finds the ThirtyNine to be a great size and really enjoyed wearing it on the available bands. The colors suit him, and the leather bands compliment the brilliance of the dial. Despite this offering being the same 39mm case, the shell dial makes it wear differently than the original colorways. For Ranchracer, he feels it’s dressier without being feminine, and for me the shine and softness of the dial tempers the edginess of case and bracelet giving it a more elegant look, essentially meeting in the middle. Additionally, he is very impressed with the innovations used in the case system and clasps.
How about the new dial? The polished applied indices and new logo rest on top of the dial made from the inner shell layer of a Pinctada maxima shell (also called the silver-lipped oyster). This is a large shell that grows up to 30cm (almost 1 foot!) The hands and dial also have excellent lume (yes, it was put through the official Perpetualgirl “sleep test”) and the dial/hands were visible after several hours even without my glasses. The movement has a decorated rotor, and is visible through the exhibition back. This watch is powered by a SW200-1 Swiss Made Automatic movement that is COSC certified, and has undergone the 15-day rate test for accuracy and precision. After 24 hours on the wrist, the watch was perfectly accurate. The nitty gritty details are below, including water resistance. Here at LoveNWatches we take extra precautions with our review pieces, so although we don’t get them wet, work on cars or wear them around our livestock, the watch is rated to 100 meters – that would mean it can withstand average water sports, horse kisses or a dip in the pool.
Extra details – something that I’m particularly fond of in a watch is a quick micro-adjustment on the bracelet. The ThirtyNine has that function, and in concert with the luxurious jubilee feel of the steel bracelet, it allows for extreme comfort. The shock absorbing properties of the case only add to that comfort. The bracelet and offered leather straps have quick adjust lugs making strap/bracelet changes a snap without tools. The deployant clasp has a sliding micro-adjustment as well. The only improvement I’d like to see on this watch is to round out the sharp corners on the end link quick release mechanism so that it doesn’t scrape the skin when the watch moves along the wrist when worn loosely.
This is a most versatile watch, and can be worn by any gender. There are so many design facets to this offering that allow it to appeal to many. It touches on dressy and sporty while having both class and flair. As Ranchracer and I share many of our watches, the ThirtyNine MOP dial fits that bill – it is truly a watch that can be shared with your significant other, and one that is worthy of fighting over. It was difficult to send this one back, but out of the blue Ranch Racer surprised me with one of my very own. I’ll be guarding it with my life!
The ThirtyNine MOP dial retails for $1,650 (includes taxes, duty and shipping). Additional details can be found at formex.com.
• Diameter: 39mm
• Height: 10mm
• Lug width: 20mm
• Lug-to-lug: 45mm
• Water resistance: 10 bar (100 meters/330 feet) • Weight: 65g (case only)
• Swiss made Sellita SW200-1 (self-winding) automatic (Chronometer grade) • COSC Certified
• 26 jewels and glucydur balance wheel
• Date display
• Custom-built skeleton rotor with thermally blued screws
• 38 hours power reserve
• Mother-of-Pearl dial with hand-applied Formex icon and hour markers filled with Super-LumiNova® BGW9
• Bezel: Stainless steel 316L
• Case: Stainless steel 316L
• Glass: Sapphire crystal (front and back) with anti-reflection treatment
• Italian calf leather straps with curved spring bars,
• Quick release function and carbon fiber composite folding clasp with patented micro-adjustment
• Stainless steel bracelet with quick release and micro-extension function*
*All Essence straps and the bracelet can be changed by hand without the use of tools. The carbon fiber composite folding clasp with patented fine adjustment system can be changed without tools and can be used for all Essence ThirtyNine leather straps.