With a look at their first watch, the ANOMALY-01, which won't be available for too much longer...
CODE41 is young microbrand that aims to challenge the typical approach to watch retail. Founded by Claudio D’Amore in 2016, who was a luxury watch designer for big Swiss brands such as Tag Heuer & Montblanc, he aims to "gather enthusiasts around a watchmaking project, to help it to become a reality. In the process, said members become project Creators.".
By creating watches that mix a high build quality, affordable pricing and a pretty unique style, CODE41 have amassed a community of over 300,000 people! They first started on Kickstarter with the model we have with us today, the ANOMALY01 (As well as the ANOMALY02). They had over 800 backers with a total of CHF 543,150 raised which tells us that they have definitely done something right. One of CODE41's values is to always stay transparent with the origin and cost of the parts so that the buyers can clearly see where their money is going, I think this really helps them connect on a personal level with their customers, which of course is quite different to the usual from Swiss brands!
The ANOMALY01 demonstrates their values in a pretty great way, with this open heart dial & 3-dimensional design which incorporates inspiration from skeleton watches and brings it a modern flair, combined with the pretty unique use of the transparent discs for the running seconds and 24-hour displays. This view of the beating heart of the movement is quite metaphorical to their transparent and soulful approach and as you can see, the rest of the watch also shares their unique style. CODE 41 has this to say about the watch:
"Men's automatic watches fitted with visible "manufacture" movements are fascinating, but they're often just too expensive. The Anomaly-01 combines a spectacular mechanism with an affordable price via a high-quality standard movement and a machined dial that seems to be part of the mechanism itself."
Overall, my impressions of this watch are definitely positive. The finishing on the case and dial is very well executed for a micro-brand watch and its clear that the design is considered from every angle (definitely not 'off the shelf'!). The 3-dimensional design of the dial makes it much more fun and interactive to look at, but doesn't necessarily help legibility. The watch is also quite big with its 42mm diameter and 24mm lug width, however the slight skeletonization of the lugs help it so wear a bit smaller than expected.
One thing I'm not too keen about is the balance cock imitation at the 6 o'clock mark, it does help to balance the design but since it obviously doesn't attach to anything it seems slightly gimmicky, but I'm sure that's down to personal preference as you could argue that it works to bring attention to the beating heart of the movement! The rest of the dial is very nicely executed, with crisp edges and finishing to be found as well as enough contrast to make sure that the different levels don't blend into one or become hard to look at.
Like all good things, though, the first ANOMALY collection is coming to an end...
"Our ANOMALY collection is now 4 years old. Through its success, CODE41 has become a community brand firmly established in the Swiss watchmaking scene (and beyond).
Nevertheless, the ANOMALY 01 and 02 as you know them will soon no longer be produced. It’s becoming very difficult, if not impossible, to get hold of Miyota and ETA movements (a situation that many are already calling the “movement crisis”)."
The restrictions of movement supply is a real issue, as we are also feeling with our range of Geckota watches. Although for the consumer that is interested, there has never been a better time to invest in the ANOMALY range, since it will now be a limited part of the brand's history and with time will become much harder to find.
Strap Suggestions for the CODE41 ANOMALY01
Another great thing about this watch is that thanks to the toned-down colour scheme, it looks great on so many different types of straps... Here are a few of my favourite combinations!
First off is this lovely beige genuine leather strap made for us by a famous Italian manufacturer. The light brown tones of the strap pair perfectly with the brown undertone of the grey dial & gives the watch a fantastic vintage look, which surprisingly works quite well considering the watch head is pretty modern.
Next up, our Contoured Handmade Italian Leather strap, once more this combination delivers a strong vintage style but thanks to the darker leather colour & side stitching becomes a bit more dressy, this is more of a subtle combination that allows the watch to speak for itself & be worn in more dressy situations!
Now for our 141 Nylon NATO, an absolute classic in our straps lineup and one of our constant best sellers... Paired with the black version this gives the watch a sleek and subtle sporty style that is ready to be worn anywhere. The NATO construction adds some springbar protection so would be perfect if doing any outdoors activities and would look perfect with any casual outfit.
Finally, our popular Cordura water-repellent strap. This gives the same water-resistant & hard-wearing benefits as the NATO above but gives you the benefit of being a 2 piece strap, so there is no added bulk or thickness to the watch. I think this dark navy blue option looks super cool with the watch and definitely gives that modern/sporty edge, perfect for any occasion.
If you would like to learn more about CODE41 you can check our their website here. We would like to take this chance to thank them for sending us the watch to review!
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