Lausanne-based CODE41 had a watershed year in 2020. With the massive excitement first built around its DAY41 watches and then its X41 collections— the former of which we went hands-on with last December — interest in the radically transparent brand has seemed to reach a tipping point from the niche to the larger watch market.
This week, the Swiss brand is offering a sequel in 2021 to that excitement, unveiling its latest project, the new NB24 Chronograph. The new model required nine months of development, thousands of votes and countless conversations with CODE41 enthusiasts, all coming together to create the uncommon and value-oriented chronograph.
In unveiling the new NB24 Chronograph, CODE41 is partnering with Nigel Bailley, a young paraplegic driver entering the 24 Hours of Le Mans come June 2021. In Bailley, CODE41 sees a partner who shares its passion and determination to accomplish the impossible. In Bailley’s case, this is demonstrated by entering a race he has had his heart set on since at least 2017 in spite of the challenges presented by his condition; and in CODE41’s, it’s by designing and producing a haute horologerie creation for the wider community of watch collectors outside the super-rich.
Specs and Details
Focusing in on the NB24 Chronograph, we find a 42-mm by 13.7-mm sporty wearer, complete with slightly angled 24-mm lugs secured via stylized screws and accented with deep grooving. On the side of the cushion-shaped case, we see integrated pushers for the chronograph functions of the watch, with a grooved and engine-turned crown sitting between them; as a result of their tight fit, the case of the model features an impressive 100-meter water resistance. The watch is then strapped to the wrist on one of twenty interchangeable strap options, each of which features a simple tool-free assembly system.
As you may have noticed by the pictures, the new NB24 will be available in two different case materials, both of which encompass four distinct colorways including red, green, blue, and black. The first case material option is grade 5 titanium, a material 43% lighter than steel, and featuring twice the durability and finer detailing than more common grade 2 titanium.
The second case option is an extremely tough material called AeroCarbon, which is made from high-density aeronautical carbon fiber. The material is produced specifically for CODE41 on-demand from France, from blocks made up of over 300 layers of carbon fiber each placed at 90° to the previous and then compacted under 10 bars of pressure in an autoclave oven. This process guarantees an exceptional composite 2.5 times more resistant to bending than steel, and produces a striking dark look.
The dial of the NB24 features a skeletonized, avante garde chronograph configuration. Along the outer edge you can see the watch’s signature peripheral automatic rotor, while a color-accented and curved minute ring is found just within. At the 3 and 9 o’clock positions, subdials for the 30-minute chronograph counter and running seconds can be found, while a stylized date window sits at 6 o’clock. Finally, at the center of the dial and sitting atop a brand-engraved plateau are two skeletonized and lume-tipped sword-style hands, accompanied by a color-tipped pointer for the chronograph seconds.
Flipping the NB24 over, we discover a new and fuller view of the NB24 cam-driven manufacture chronograph that powers it from within. The CODE41 exclusive movement was designed and produced entirely in Switzerland in short production runs, with each caliber finished and assembled by hand.
The caliber features 326 individual components, including 35 jewels, beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph, and is accurate to -5/+5 seconds per day. Additionally, as mentioned, the peripheral oscillating weight is visible via the dial side of the watch, helping provide the automatic caliber with a 48-hour power reserve. Overall, the exceptional movement presents a solid value proposition for the overall cost of the timepiece, providing a high grade and uncommon look far below the typical costs of specially developed calibers.
Pricing and Availability
The NB24 is currently available for pre-order until February 25, with pricing starting at $3,480 and ranging up to $3,995 depending on the color and case material. As of writing, over 1,000 models have sold in the first week of pre-orders, with the total production run to be limited to what is sold during this period, and with the models set to deliver between October and November of 2021.
To learn more and inquire for purchase, you can visit CODE41’s website, here.