If you want to experience the future of online watch retail based on augmented reality, Formex is the only watch company that can give you a glimpse of it today. 

Compared to other competitors in the watch industry, Formex undoubtedly is a young brand celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2019.

By the end of 1999, the first Formex watch was launched and opened the door for a new generation of timepieces. Inspired by the engineering and mechanics of high performance racing cars and bikes, it featured the brand’s signature patented case suspension system which led to a more robust and comfortable watch. The brand name is a combination of the two French words “forme extrème”, which translates into “extreme shape”.
In the following decade, Formex launched various collections of modern timepieces and became widely recognized among aficionados of extraordinarily designed sports watches. At that time, Formex watches were made for the segments "Water – Land – Air", Their segment identifiers were clearly organized: DS for Water, TS for Land, and AS for Air.

In 2015 Raphaël Granito took over Formex. Here’s a translated excerpt from an interview with Raphaël Granito from a German website:

“I was not looking for a watch brand that I wanted to buy. The purchase is due to more fortunate circumstances. At that time, I was still working at my father's company, Dexel. Dexel mainly designs and manufactures cases and sophisticated case systems for various high-end watch brands. I was involved in watch product development when an offer was made by the old owner and founder of Formex, H.P. Grädel, with whom we had worked for many years.
“After a thorough analysis, we decided to take the step, even though the climate in the watch industry was anything but optimistic at that time. Formex was bought by us privately and is not legally affiliated with Dexel, but benefits from the vast experience and network that my father's company has spent over 30 years developing and producing high-tech watch cases.”

In October 2016, Formex completely opted out of brick and mortar sales, going down the direct and online only route. Being detached from any retailer and selling exclusively on their online shop, Formex is no longer bound to the conventional, exorbitant sales margins applied in the watch industry. It allowed them to be in direct contact with their customers across all stages of buying and owning a Formex watch.
If you want to experience the future of online watch sales based on augmented reality, Formex is the only watch company that can give you a glimpse of it today.  Their direct sale model is accompanied by some thoughtful, interesting and helpful features:

You can use the Formex “Try-On-App” (IOS and Andoid) with your smart phone to see what model might suit you and your wrist best.

Their app breaks through the biggest obstacle of online shopping, namely the inability to try on a product before buying it. Pictures and videos only provide a limited imagination of how a watch will look like on your own wrist.
Formex faced this problem and developed an app that uses augmented reality to project a watch on the wrist to give a feel of real-life size and look of their timepieces. The surprisingly realistic looking 3D model follows the wrist movements and thus can be observed from different angles and distances.

The Formex application was recently voted the 3rd best app in the Best of Swiss Apps 2017. This app is amazing, you really need to try this even if a Formex is not your cup of tea. Trying the app is fun included.

Once you have selected a watch, the order process is very simple. Just a few clicks and your watch is on its way to your doorstep. Shortly after your order is processed you will get an order confirmation by email. It took us one day in Germany when we ordered the Elements Full Steel watch. You will also get an email when your watch is ready to be shipped, and Formex provides some helpful links  to track your parcel (UPS), to check all order details, and to provide you with a user guide video on Youtube.
Expect your watch within 2 business days (Europe) respectively 2-3 business days for overseas orders. After a week, you will get another email providing you with information about their warranty, service and care (i.e. cleaning, use in salt water, strap cleaning).

All Formex watches come with a 30-day money back guarantee. If you think it’s not the right fit, you can return your watch free of charge. If you contact Formex before returning your watch, Formex will even have your shipping expenses covered.

The courier dropping of your Formex will not hand you a customs and sales tax bill nor ask you to pay them cash, as Formex have already taken care of customs fees with their shipping partners. The price you see on the Formex online shop is exactly the price you pay.
After having owned the watch for about a month, you will get another email to share your Formex experience on Facebook, Instagram or whatever social media you prefer and to subscribe to their newsletter.

The after-sales customer service was as impressive as visiting a boutique on high street market, and receiving a personal phone call or hand written thank you note.
Formex is also leveraging the online Kickstarter platform to launch a project in September 2018 with Essence automatic chronometer watch.  The watch materials include 316L grade stainless steel, grade 2 titanium, carbon fiber composite, sapphire crystal and calf leather for the strap. All the movements are certified by COSC (the official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute).
Essence watch has a combination of brushed finish and mirror-polished bevels on the case and bezel, thermally blued screws, custom built skeleton rotor, patented case suspension system, and patented carbon fiber composite folding clasp that allows for a fine-adjustment. Essence “early-bird” pricing is $680 for Sellita COSC or $385 for ETA Elaboré non-COSC.

Editorial Credit: Mike Stuffler and Bhanu Chopra

Photo Credit: Formex and Mike Stuffler