Since its creation in 2016, the Lausanne-based CODE41 brand, founded by Claudio D’Amore, has always banked on a policy of total transparency on its production costs, sales margins, and the origins of each of its components. In order to be as transparent as possible, the company has even created its own label, the TTO Label, standing for Total Transparency on Origin, and working on the principle that the “Swiss Made” label can be obtained without any real difficulty nowadays and is thus losing its value.
CODE41 reveals to its potential customers everything: its sources, how many parts are sold and how they are sold, how everything is made, and what the brand will do to sell the finished product for the best price. This is a gamble that has paid off: CODE41 is now very well-known in the watchmaking world, owing in large part to its first models, the Anomaly 01 and 02.
After selling out of the first 500 watches in barely a few days, a total of almost $2,000,000 in pre-sales, CODE41 granted the wish of many members on its waiting list by launching a new edition of its X41 watch. With 300 pieces available, this timepiece maintains the brand’s original ambition, namely offering an example of fine watchmaking for less than $6,000. The success of this goal can be seen in the enthusiasm for the project (as well as the thousands of people signed on to the X41 waiting list). Incidentally, the latest figures published by the Swiss Watchmaking Federation show that this price sector is the one most affected by foreign competition; after all, Swiss expertise naturally fills this niche, and the launch of the X41 is proof that the demand for such a timepiece does exist.
Before going into more detail about the interior of this watch, let’s talk about its exterior components. With an ultra-modern design and a titanium structure, its case measures 42 mm in diameter, with a total thickness of 11.7 mm. it combines polished finishes with satin-brushed bevels, and the lack of a conventional dial allows the time to be read directly from the skeletonized movement. At the same time, some bridges are engraved with markers and finished off with red-tipped hands to help the user tell the time. As for the crown, it’s shaped like a turbine and found at 3 o’clock, with an engraving of the brand’s emblem. It features two scratch-resistant sapphire crystals, one on the front and another on the back. The whole timepiece is water-resistant to 50 meters (5 ATM), the standard for such a watch intended for urban use, and fitted with a leather strap equipped with a deployment clasp.
Now let’s move on to the movement that makes the X41. It was devised in conjunction with Timeless, a Swiss manufacturer based in Courfaivre that specializes in the design, production and assembly of mechanical movements. For this collaboration, CODE41 and Timeless both set the bar high: a grande date, winding by means of a peripheral rotor, a 45-hour power reserve, and a daily deviation of -2/+10 seconds. Relatively thin thanks to its peripheral oscillating weight — a little technical feat mastered only by major brands like Carl F., Bucherer, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet — this movement, which oscillates at a rate of 28,800 vph, is made up of 297 parts, with a design that allows the wearer a better view of its workings. It’s worth remembering that, while it was outsourced to another company, the movement was developed exclusively for CODE41.
If you´re still not familiar with CODE41, formally known as the Goldgena Project, we strongly recommend that you visit the official website. The brand’s approach is quite simple: unveiling the secret underside of the watchmaking industry while demonstrating full transparency with its own timepieces. With the TTO (Total Transparency on Origin) label, the brand reveals the origin and the price of each of the components that make up its watches; thus we learn that the movement alone cost $1,620 to produce. And rather than limiting itself to the 60% figure for value of Swiss origin required to obtain the “Swiss Made” label, CODE41 has reached nearly 90%, vastly surpassing the prerequisites. With a price tag close to $6,000, CODE41 is making a strong impact.