To create its recently launched Day41 model, the community of watchmakers at Lausanne-based Code41 solicited the input of an often-overlooked constituency: the thousands of female watch enthusiasts who populate online forums and discussion groups along with their male peers. The intent of the Day41 Project was to develop a watch for ladies, a companion to the very masculine Anomaly models that Code41 had very successfully rolled out the previous year. When the final timepiece was created, it turned out to be more of a unisex watch, suitable both for ladies and for gents, particularly gents with slimmer wrists. We recently had the opportunity for a hands-on experience with one of the new Day41 pieces.
The Day41 case is made of 316L stainless steel and has a chambered structure; its cushion-shaped contours flow into distinctively shaped, straight-edged lugs that curve dramatically toward the wrist. The 37-mm size of our review model, compared to the 40-mm dimensions of some others in the collection, is versatile as well as contemporary; it works well with a variety of both men’s and women’s wrist sizes, though thicker-armed gents might opt more readily for the 40-mm sizes. The case boasts a variety of brushed and polished finishes; nonreflective, scratch-resistant sapphire crystals on both the front and back; and a stylishly textured crown with a “41” engraving. It’s also water-resistant to a respectable 100 meters, though this timepiece’s luxurious looks and its attractive leather strap will likely deter most owners from wearing it in the water.
The self-winding movement inside the Day41 — which, thanks to its skeletonized design, offers dynamic views into its workings from both the dial side and the back — is courtesy of STP (Swiss Technology Production). Its noteworthy features include a bidirectional rotor decorated with côtes de Genève, a frequency of 28,800 vph, and an above-average power reserve of 44 hours. The movement 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. The front-facing side of the movement essentially serves as the watch’s dial, with the balance wheel beating in clear view at 12 o’clock, and decoratively engraved, crisscrossing bridges swept over by skeletonized hour and minute hands with luminous inserts and a thin central seconds hand. As with most skeleton dials, optimal legibility is not its strongest suit, but the use of Super-LumiNova on both the hands and the subtle rectangular hour markers keeps the wearer oriented at nighttime as well as daytime.
While the Day41 satisfies the prerequisites of being a Swiss Made watch, it does not tout this on its dial; company founder Claudio D’Amore and his team chose to go with both Swiss and what they term “Grade A” foreign suppliers for the various components. However, unlike other brands that opt for this approach, Code41 is unique in its dedication to transparency. It’s even created its own in-house standard, called TTO for Total Transparency on Origin” — which informs prospective buyers of each watch’s production costs, sales margins, and even the origins and costs of each of its components, from movement to case to dial and strap to packaging. In this way, D’Amore demonstrates how the “Swiss Made” label — which nowadays can can be obtained with as little as 60 percent of a watch’s value sourced in Switzerland — is thus losing its cachet in the current marketplace.
The Day41 37-mm model in stainless steel in our review is mounted on a caramel-colored leather strap with off-white contrast stitching. As on all Code41 watches, this strap is equipped with a quick-change system that allows the wearer to switch straps (the company offers a variety of alternative bracelets in several colors and materials) very easily with just a gentle press of a fingernail. The strap has a soft underlining that is very comfortable on the wrist, and the triple-blade deployment clasp, while it can rub against the skin slightly if set too tight, makes for a secure closure. Another engraved Code41 logo adorns the satin-brushed steel buckle.
Each Code41 Day41 watch comes complete with a 30-day free return policy as well as a two-year guarantee that ensures that it will be collected and repaired at the company’s expense in case of any technical issues during that time. Pre-order prices start at $1,180 for the 37-mm steel model in our review; models with black, anthracite, or rose-gold PVD coating, and others with diamonds, are priced ascendingly higher. Click here for more info and for pre-orders.