CODE41 are one of the most unconventional and modern watchmakers around. They’re a brand whose vision is led by their collectors, aiming to constantly improve on their designs based on feedback. Can you imagine Rolex doing that? What that translates to in watchmaking terms is exciting projects that put quality and accessibility first. Their latest project displays this ethos to the extreme, largely as the new CODE41 X41 Edition 6 collection includes one of the most affordable sapphire cased watches on the market.
The X41 is a 42mm diameter timepiece available in titanium, AeroCarbon and as of 2022, sapphire crystal. Sapphire cases are the most difficult and expensive to produce, as a single case costs around CHF 3,600 to make. Which means you typically only see them at the upper echelons of horology for prices upwards of £20,000. The material is second only to diamond on the hardness scale and is half the weight of steel. These properties make it incredibly hard to manipulate and shape limiting its usability in affordable watchmaking.
However, the rewards for producing a sapphire case are dramatic. The result is an ergonomic and comfortable case that’s super durable and has a unique, transparent aesthetic. It’s one of the only materials that lets you admire the heart of your watch from every possible angle. Which is definitely something you’ll want to do with the X41 because of its skeletonised manufacture exclusive movement and display. Plus, as one of the most affordable sapphire watches, it’s one of the few changes you’ll get.
That skeletonised display is one of the key areas CODE41 collaborated with their collectors on. After all it’s the area of the piece you’ll spend the most time looking at. It’s very industrial and technical in style with the bridges providing large, angular surfaces ripe for colour. After a vote, it was decided that a green and a rainbow pattern colourway should be added to the dial. The green has a distinctive olive tone and the rainbow has that mesmeric quality you see in oil.
As part of the collector led focus, in addition to affordability, the X41 is also incredibly customisable. Meaning you can choose between any of the new for 2022 components and pre-existing ones. For example, if you like the new sapphire case but prefer the old blue colourway, there’s a sapphire blue option.
Likewise, if the green dial is your favourite but you want it in the older AeroCarbon or titanium cases, those are available too. Another thing to consider is the bracelet, which is now available in a transparent style to match the sapphire case.
The calibre itself is Swiss and a manufacture exclusive. It’s automatic with a 45 hour power reserve and a peripheral rotor, which enhances its lightweight properties while simultaneously providing a clearer view of the movement through the caseback. Plus it has great accuracy and a high frequency. This movement was one of the first major hurdles of the X41 in its early days. It’s arguably CODE41’s greatest achievement.
There’s only one question left to ask: if this is one of the most affordable sapphire watches around, how much does it actually cost? Well, CODE41’s spirit of transparency means they’ve shared a full cost and pricing breakdown, which you can find on the pre-order page here. To produce the sapphire watch costs them £5,304 and according to their data, they sell them at a little over double production costs.
So ultimately the X41 has a price tag of £13,995, not accessible in a conventional sense by still a fraction of what most sapphire watches cost. However, the titanium and AeroCarbon variants are even more accessible at £4,995 and £5,445. The CODE41 X41 Edition 6 is only available in limited numbers of approximately 600 pieces with each production run consisting of 150 watches. To find out more or order your own X41, head to CODE41’s website.
Price & Specs:
- Model: CODE41 X41
- Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 11.7mm height, transparent sapphire, AeroCarbon or grade 5 titanium case, skeletonised dial with green, rainbow, blue, black or grey bridges
- Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
- Movement: CODE41 manufacture exclusive movement, automatic, 33 jewels, 297 parts
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 45h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
- Strap: Black, blue, green, red, translucent white or warm grey rubber with 2 blade deployment buckle, leather, perforated leather or alligator leather with deployment buckle or titanium/black DLC coated titanium bracelet
- Price/availability: £4,995 – £5,295 (titanium), £5,445 – £5,745 (AeroCarbon) and £13,995 – £14,295 (sapphire), limited to 600 pieces
More details at CODE41.