CODE41 has become known in the world of watchmaking for some years doing watchmaking, but not like others. The Anomaly-01 collection It is an important step for this brand that is not one, since it was its first collection offered to the public: CODE 41 Anomaly-01. Let’s take a look together at this horological UFO that shakes established things.
Code41 Quick Story
We were already interested in CODE41 when we launched its X41 project, which consisted of “creating the first community manufacturing movement and democratizing haute horlogerie.” So we had already reviewed his story, but here is a summary of his trip, and some additional information:
- In 2016, a watch design workshop in Lausanne (in Switzerland) launched the “Goldgena Project”. Its modest objective is to revolutionize the watchmaking sector based on three aspects: the reduction of intermediaries in the distribution, the concept of transparency regarding the origin of the materials and the margins applied, and the introduction of a community aspect in the organization itself of a watchmaker’s house.
- In the same year, the organization considered that the “Swiss Made” label was not representative of the quality of a watch. He launched his own quality label: the TTO: “Total transparency at the origin”.
- Always the same year, use the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to create a community, exchange with its members and propose a collection based on what it deduces.
- For this, he decides to use the CODE41 brand, and this is the birth of the Anomaly-01 collection.
The name CODE41 refers to two important points:
- The country code for Switzerland is 41. This marks the deep attachment of project members to their origins and heritage.
- Code41 is known in computer science as a system error. CODE41, therefore, sees himself as a kind of hair in the soup of the world of watchmaking, a mistake caused voluntarily in the system but so well oiled by Swiss and international watchmaking.
Intrigued by this team, we decided to look at the collection that launched them and is still available today in small series: the Anomaly-01 collection.
Anomaly-01: a strong identity
The same name of the collection also clearly refers to this concept of a disruptive agent in a sector governed and directed by timeless concepts that seem unbreakable. The bet is bold, and that’s why we also talk about it.
As mentioned, the Anomaly-01 collection is the result of a dialogue between the Goldgena / CODE41 project professionals and the members of their community who have grafted into the adventure through Kickstarter, but also social networks and word of mouth.
CODE41 says that it is based on listening, exchanges, collaboration and the spirit of the community to create a collection to which buyers have contributed directly, either financially through crowdfunding, or specifically giving their opinion on technical aspects, aesthetic and other through various surveys and questionnaires.
As we know today to discover their different collections, CODE41 teams are not used to making lace. They often offer stunning watches, but being careful to maintain an elegant side. This was already the case of Anomaly-01.
The box is rectangular with rounded sides, near a barrel shape but with a round bevel. It is available in the classic 316L stainless steel, but also with a PVD finish in several colors, or in forged carbon for the most expensive model.
It closes with a sapphire crystal treated against scratches to protect the dial and components. The source of the box is opaque, also in stainless steel, finely engraved with the brand logo in the center and some technical information on the outer band, including the words “TOTAL TRANSPARENCY IN ORIGIN”, the label developed by CODE41, which We also find on the outside of the dial the letters TTO at 5 o’clock.
In this rectangular case, we discover a fairly charged non-symmetrical round sphere, which seems to have been drawn and designed in such a way that it gives the impression that it is an integral part of the movement. It is available in black and silver.
Several separate elements give you relief and a kind of elegant complexity, such as these hour markers between 1 and 3 o’clock, as well as at 8 and 9 o’clock, which appear to have been chiseled in the raised outer band of the dial .
In the most central strip, we discover a tiny railroad painted in white and luminescent, which extends between the indices of 10h and 4h, which becomes more minimalist between 4h and 10h.
The center of the dial offers a Côtes de Genève finish, which also extends over a slightly wider band between the 4 and 10 o’clock indexes. Since this finish is often used in movement components, this reinforces the concept of a kind of dial / movement fusion. It is also the case of a draft near the center of the dial, between 3 and 5 o’clock, which reveals the pendulum with a ruby in the center, to which a kind of steel branch is anchored accentuates the industrial inspirations of the watches .
There are also two transparent rotating discs instead of the sub-dials of the movement. These discs indicate their information through two small red fixed arrows, one in the center of the disc and the other outside, which are the only more “striking” color elements of the clock.
The hands of the hours and minutes are thick skeletal hands, whose center is filled less than half from the outer end, and luminescent.
Serious technical characteristics
The automatic caliber that drives the models of the Anomaly-01 collection is the Miyota 82S7. We no longer introduce Miyota, this Japanese firm that belongs to the giant citizen and be one of the largest producers of watch movements in the world. The use of a Miyota caliber is itself a guarantee of quality, and in this case one more proof that CODE41 equipment knows what they are doing.
The 82S7 caliber, therefore, is a classic two-hand movement for hours and minutes, to which a sub-dial of small seconds and another sub-dial of 24 hours are added. For this Anomaly-01, these two sub-dials are used as rotating discs with fixed needles fixed to the dial as mentioned above.
This Miyota 82S7 is equipped with 21 rubies, beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour (i.e. 3 Hertz) and offers a power reserve of 40 hours for a respectable accuracy of +/- 60 seconds per day.
Like many Miyota movements, this 82S7 offers excellent value for money. It is as reliable as robust and easy to maintain. It is used to train relatively modern watches for brands that are not liked by everyone, such as the Swiss-German brand Daniel Niederer: Sevenfriday, or the French brand Emmanuel Dietrich,: Dietrich.
All of their bracelets are interchangeable and compatible with all of their other models, that is, the models of their Anomaly-02 collection powered by an ETA Swiss caliber, or those of their recent X41 collection equipped with the first community-made movement.
One of the most used alloys for watches in this range is 316L steel from which the boxes of certain models are made, in particular due to their non-magnetic characteristics and high corrosion resistance.
The PVD finish used for colored steel models is also of high quality. It is a specific technique that allows an ultra-thin layer of color to be applied to steel. This layer is twice as strong as the steel itself.
With its leather strap, the stainless steel model weighs 110 grams, and the model with the middle and the crown in forged carbon, only 90 grams. Steel bracelets are also available.
CODE41 guarantees a water resistance of 5ATM for the models in this collection. As a reminder, this means that washing your hands will not jeopardize your Anomaly-01, but avoid submerging it completely.
This is what the forged carbon model looks like:
As your TTO label wants, CODE41 announces the source of the materials and the location of the different design stages of its Anomaly-01 watches. This is what they teach us:
- DESIGN: SWITZERLAND
- EQUIPMENT: SWITZERLAND
- ORCHESTRATION: SWITZERLAND
- MANUFACTURING: CHINA
- LEATHER: ITALY
- MOVEMENT: JAPAN
During their Kickstarter launch campaign, they went even further, announcing their production costs by component:
- Case watch: 55 dollars
- Sapphire Crystal: 10 dollars
- mark: $ 40
- hands: 5 dollars
- Leather strap: 20 dollars
- Miyota 82S7 movement: 30 dollars
- Housing and control: $ 15
- Packaging: 10 dollars
This gives a production cost of $ 185. Hard to make more transparent. We understand that this innovative way of doing things is seen as a disruptive agent in a watchmaking world in which there are many taboos related to prices.
Code 41 Anomaly 01: What to conclude?
With the Anomaly-01 collection, CODE41 wanted to show its character from the beginning. It seems that project members wanted to demonstrate from the beginning that they were able to do innovative things in terms of design, while using quality materials. When advertising as a kind of voluntary error of the system, an anomaly in the world of watchmaking that they consider “flat”, they had to defend a solid image with aspects of specialists and an understanding of the sector. They had decided to criticize. Of course, it was made with this Anomaly-01 collection.
This is his most accessible collection in terms of price, but as with all his collections, stocks are very controlled and limited. The models of its Anomaly-01 end of year 2019 series are still available, but stocks are visibly declining. Check out here if you want to be part of the adventure … and this with your first model!
CODE41 has not finished giving its opinion on the sector and making it evolve on its scale. We keep an eye on its development and keep you informed in case of interesting news.