CODE41 built its brand by combining the best of traditional watchmaking with avant-garde materials and design, bringing these worlds together at surprisingly affordable prices. For just $5,740, the CODE41 X41: Edition 4 offers the best of high-end watchmaking — custom Swiss movement, including a peripheral rotor and Grande date complication, exceptional materials, artisanship, and finishing, and the kind of attention to detail that defines the best of Swiss watchmaking — all at a fraction of the usual cost.
CODE41 launched its brand in 2016 and has been community-driven since its inception. It is a brand created and driven by enthusiasts. Customers are involved in each step of the process, from manufacturing to strategy to logistics. Customers can even vote and provide feedback throughout the design and manufacturing process.
Just released for preorder, the CODE41 X41: Edition 4 builds upon the success of the X41: Edition 3 through the addition of an AeroCarbon case. Why AeroCarbon? Because CODE41 is all about pushing the boundaries of what is possible in horology. AeroCarbon is used exclusively in the aeronautics and aerospace industry for good reason: It’s half the weight of titanium and exhibits 2.5x the resistance to bending than steel. In other words, this is no simple composite case. Specially produced and manufactured in France, the production of AeroCarbon requires 300 ultra-thin layers, each laid perpendicular to the last, and compacted with 10bars of pressure in an autoclave. The result is a case material that is extremely dense, lightweight, watertight, and strong — everything you want in a watch case.
The 42mm AeroCarbon case of the X41 sets the stage, but the dial is the star of the show. The X41 features a skeletonized dial that puts the custom movement on full display. Complementing the black AeroCarbon case, the movement is supported by aggressive, angular elements and surrounded by a deeply engraved chapter ring that features luminous hour markers. The skeletonized theme continues to a luminous handset, adding nighttime legibility. At 12 o’clock, a grand date complication takes center stage, the two date wheels moving harmoniously to provide instant legibility that merges seamlessly with the watch’s design language.
When young brands launch, rarely, if ever, do they do so with a completely custom movement. But CODE41 isn’t just another brand. To produce the movement for the X41, CODE41 partnered with Timeless, one of the top Swiss movement manufacturers that produces all its movement components in-house, with the exception of the balance wheel. In the case of the X41, the Geneva-based design group produced a movement with a peripheral rotor — a feature found only in a handful of brands, on a select few models costing many times that of the X41. Peripheral rotors are incredibly difficult to perfect due to challenges with the precision-machining required to produce the components. After several years of development, the X41 nailed process, and the result is a high-precision automatic movement that beats at 28.8kbph, features 33 jewels, Incabloc shock absorption, and a 45-hour power reserve. To ensure accurate timekeeping, each movement is regulated in five positions prior to delivery.
One of the concerns with custom movements is the availability of parts and service in the future. Code 41 addressed this issue from the inception of the movement, producing an extensive inventory of spare parts and working with Timeless to ensure continuity of service and parts well into the future, even if the worst were to happen to your CODE41.
The “Swiss Made” label, once a source of pride in watchmaking, has become muddied by the vague requirement to attain the label: 60% of the value of the watch must come from Switzerland. As a result, many brands obfuscate the origins of materials, components, and manufacturing, devaluing the Swiss Made label. CODE41 watches easily exceed that 60% requirement, with 90% of the value coming from Switzerland. Despite earning the designation, Code 41 eschews the “Swiss Made” label and instead opts for full transparency, listing the cost and origin of each component used in the manufacture of its watches.
The X41 exemplifies the best of high-end Swiss watchmaking, but this only matters if the watch is a joy to wear. With a 42mm case, 48mm lug-to-lug distance, and a featherweight 45-gram weight (72 grams with leather strap), the X41 will be exceptionally comfortable, day in and day out. The X41 is available on a selection of quick-change leather straps and ships in a custom box. Simply put, with the Code41 X41 AeroCarbon, Code41 is offering true haute horology at a fraction of the cost. The X41 starts at $5,740. Visit CODE41’s website to pre-order the X41: Edition 4.