The comfort of a watch depends first of all on the ergonomics of its case and lugs. If they are well made, the watch will be perfectly positioned on your wrist and thus the comfort will be better.
However, that’s only part of the equation. The strap, as well as its clasp, play an important role in this quest by brands. No matter how pretty a watch is, if it doesn’t feel good on the wrist, it won’t have much commercial success. This is understandable, since a watch is one of the only objects in contact with our skin for such a long time.
The material of the bracelet, whether it is steel, leather or rubber, will have an impact on how it feels when worn. But that’s not all, the clasp also plays an important role in this quest. And it’s this little component that caught our attention today. I would even say that it is the Formex micro-adjustment clasp that caught our attention. Let me tell you why.
The desire to embark on the project of creating a new type of adjustable clasp doesn’t just happen. It is a desire that drives you and haunts you for several days or even weeks.
Adjustable clasps already existed at the time. Optimizing the comfort of the wearer is a quest that has been driving brands for many years. It was therefore necessary to come up with something new that would really bring added value to watch wearers.
Ease of use and millimeter fit were the guidelines during the research and testing phase. “Let’s start with the customer’s needs to find the right solution. What we see, as professionals in watchmaking, may be different from what our clients experience every day. That’s why it’s so important to listen to them.”
Having a small wrist, handling a Formex, with their micro-adjustment clasp solution, was a lifesaver for me. Finally, I could put on the watch I was wearing in the right size. I was so won over that it was a solution I expressed to other brands, sharing my user experience with them.
Raphael explained that “it was the whole thing that was difficult because we made it out of a new material (carbon composite). The micro-adjustment system required the design of a clasp that works on a completely different concept than what existed in terms of opening, closing and holding the clasp. It took us 2 months of design and 6 months of prototyping to achieve this result. It’s the only system on the market that allows you to make the adjustment without opening the buckle or removing the watch from the wrist.”
A simple pressure and the clasp adjust as you wish. If it’s too tight, just press again and the strap loosens a little. It’s so easy and yet it must have been quite a challenge for the brand’s teams. We get to see and experience a finished product while they had to imagine and create it.
The operation is relatively simple from an external point of view. The two metal dots that we see in the picture slide into the holes of the bracelet, and it is these two dots that will move. If you want to loosen the bracelet or tighten it, they slide. And to do this, simply apply pressure on the steel pushers. An ingenious system that allows you to make the adjustment while keeping the watch on your wrist.
For some time now, we have had the opportunity to regularly handle Formex products. Having a privileged contact with the teams, I could see and feel this deep desire to please the customer and to offer the best possible product. The micro-adjustment clasp fits into this logic. It is just one example among many others.
“From the beginning of the takeover of the brand, we had a strong focus on the comfort and ergonomics of our models, and we already had experience in the development of this kind of systems, due to my past at Dexel SA. For us, technical development does not stop at the watch head. We put a lot of effort into the overall concept of our products,” says Raphaël.
For example, in the REEF collection it is possible to change the bezel. With a flick of the finger, you change the bezel and your watch changes face. What may seem simple to use has required a lot of effort and investment. Once again, simplicity of use and reliability were the guidelines for such a project.
But there are also the materials of the cases and bezels of Formex watches that fit into this logic. For example, the Formex Field has a titanium case: at an affordable price, you can experiment materials that are often found in watches in a completely different price range.
Carbon case and folding clasp or ceramic bezel are other examples of what can be found in the Formex catalog.
All these are only examples of the attachment that the Formex teams have for the beautiful watchmaking.
The product proposal in watchmaking is vast. We can find everything and for all tastes. However, this plurality of proposals should not be an opportunity or an excuse to offer poorly manufactured products. The Swiss watch industry must be irreproachable to maintain its global aura, and this concerns all price levels. From entry-level to Haute Horlogerie, every player in this industry must be driven by a spirit similar to that of Formex. And it is up to us, consumers and enthusiasts, to come and find this spirit.
Discovering this brand has been such a source of pleasure that I am honored to share it with you regularly. I hope that this article will have helped you discover this brand from the canton of Bienne.