CODE41 take the next step with the T360 TourbillonFergus Nash
Since CODE41 released their X41 AeroCarbon back in 2020, I have viewed the independent brand as a champion for watch collectors. Since their foundation in 2016, they have pushed the boundaries of affordability by offering highly technical watches for a fraction of the big-name prices. With an emphasis on clear, honest communication about component cost and sources, you can be sure that any CODE41 release delivers genuine Swiss-made quality. Finally, the brand has touched on the holy grail of complications in releasing the CODE41 T360 Tourbillon for less than US$10,000.
CODE41 thrive on breaking down barriers, and that doesn’t stop with the design of the watch. The distinction between movement, case and dial is fairly ambiguous given the artful and architectural skeletonisation, but the calibre within the T360 Tourbillon is well worth diving into straight away. All of the manufacturing partners are listed on the T360 Tourbillon’s project page, along with their location in Switzerland and which components or services they provide for the movement. For example, the design of the calibre itself was by BCP Tourbillons SA, with only 19 jewels and 141 components, the T360 Tourbillon can offer a huge 105-hour power supply and chronometer-level accuracy within +/-5 seconds per day.
Another aspect of CODE41’s uniqueness is their sci-fi aesthetic, which is also usually reserved for mega-luxury watches that often approach (if not exceed) six figures in price. The classic CODE41 case with its strut-like lugs and squared-off haunches is an option to house the T360 Tourbillon, but they have also introduced a brand new case shape for the first time since their inception. With an even more extreme silhouette, the “Stratom” case is built like a tank. The wide, flat, and sharp-edged bezel appears to be screwed on with proprietary CODE41 screws, representing the same triangular design that’s used on the tourbillon case. A vertically brushed finish gives off a very industrial aura, as does the milled diagonal texture on the black-coated crown.
The NativeDNA case, used with many previous CODE41 releases, is almost dressy in comparison to the brutalist Stratom. It’s still brushed and sporty, albeit the design uses some subtle curves that calm the storm of edges. The steel bracelet isn’t entirely integrated with its straight-end links, but the gap its lugs form somewhat adds to the alien aspect of the skeletonised dial.
From the sapphire display caseback, the CODE41 T360 Tourbillon’s movement is just as interesting to peer through. The facets of the sharp bridges are even more pronounced thanks to contrasting finishing, with fine brushing sending the colour into shadow and micro-blasting creating blazing highlights. Both the Stratom and the NativeDNA case variants are 42mm in diameter, with a 12mm and 11.7mm thickness respectively, surprisingly wearable considering the high-intensity style.
As for the dial design, the difficulty of separating the cascading bridges and struts from the movement doesn’t stop the CODE41 T360 Tourbillon from offering a variety of appealing colours as voted for by the public. With the case and structural dial components made of grade 5 titanium, PVD treatments have been used to bring in black backdrops with elements in blue, red, and orange. There’s also an all-blue finish with a sophisticated and powdery tone, as well as a rainbow finish that evokes the gradient of heat treating. Customisation has also been made a priority for the T360 Tourbillon, allowing customers to choose between their favourite dial colours, case shape, and straps.
In terms of practicality, CODE41 have put a big focus on reliability for their watches and are championing a more rigorous form of testing. Shock resistance, gearwheel ageing, winding stems and magnetic resistance are among the tests that the T360 Tourbillon has been put through well above the industry standard, so you know that this is a watch designed to be worn every day rather than just sit in a winder looking pretty. It’s this hybrid approach of affordability and technicality which makes the CODE41 T360 so special, putting the technology of a haute horology timepiece into the hands of an ordinary consumer. The fact that the design was also crowdsourced with more than 12,500 votes and 400 comments also brings a feeling of community into the brand, which doesn’t happen often enough.
CODE41 T360 Tourbillon pricing and availability:
The CODE41 T360 Tourbillon is now available for pre-order until May 17, 3pm CET. Price: starting from US$9,598
|Case Dimensions||42mm (D) x 12mm (T) (Stratom)
42mm (D) x 11.7mm (NativeDNA)
|Case Material||Grade 5 titanium|
|Crystal(s)||Sapphire front and back|
|Strap||Leather, rubber or titanium bracelet|
|Movement||T360 Tourbillon, manufactured by BCP Tourbillons SA|
|Power Reserve||105 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, tourbillon|
|Availability||Now, on pre-order|
|Price||Starting from US$9,598|