Lausanne-based CODE41 describes itself as more a “community project” aimed “to bring enthusiasts together around a watchmaking project” than a traditional watch brand. Following that mission statement, CODE41 has announced the launch of a new line of automatic models arising from its DAY41 project, an initiative to create a ladies’ watch based on input from female watch lovers. The resulting models, it discovered, look just as good on a man’s wrist as a lady’s.“In attempting to create a beautiful women’s watch,” the company states, “in the end we’ve quite simply made a beautiful watch, regardless of gender.”
The DAY41 watches feature a chambered-structure round case with distinctively shaped lugs along with an openworked dial that becomes an extension of the self-winding mechanical movement inside. Thanks to the thousands of women whose input was solicited for the project, CODE41 discovered that this type of mechanically driven timepiece would have a wide female appeal, despite the majority of ladies’ watches being powered by quartz calibers.
The cases are in 316L stainless steel and available in two sizes, 37 mm and 40 mm in diameter — contemporary dimensions that work well with a variety of wrist sizes and thus eminently wearable for either a man or a woman. Water-resistant to 100 meters and featuring a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal on both front and back, the cases have been a high-grade brushed and polished finish. The 37-mm models are available in five color variants, including one set with diamonds, while the 40-mm version offers three variants.
Inside the DAY41 is a skeletonized version of the Swiss STP automatic movement, with a bidirectional oscillating weight, a frequency of 28,800 vph, and an above-average power reserve of 44 hours. It includes a stop-seconds function and boasts a high level of precision, tested in five positions rather than the usual two to three for a daily difference of -0/+15 seconds. While the DAY41 satisfies the prerequisites of being a Swiss Made watch, it does not tout this on its dial; the company’s founders chose both Swiss and “Grade A” foreign suppliers for various components and believe that the label, which attests to 60% of a watch’s value coming from Switzerland, is misleading.
Each DAY41 watch is also offered on a variety of strap options, all fitted with a clever quick-change system that allows the wearer to change styles quickly, easily, and without the use of tools. In addition to the selection of leather straps and steel bracelets, the company has developed three eco-friendly straps made from recycled leather, flax, and even paper. Finally, all the wristbands are equipped with three-blade, push-button-operated buckles.
All pieces of the DAY41 pre-ordered during the first 30 days will be numbered, engraved Creator Editions, with a special discounted launch price lower than the $900 starting price. CODE41 offers a 30-day free return policy from receipt of the order and a two-year guarantee that ensures free repairs as quickly as possible.