The CODE41 X41 Edition 6 delivers an ultra-hard, full sapphire case at an astonishing price The CODE41 X41 Edition 6 delivers an ultra-hard, full sapphire case at an astonishing price

The CODE41 X41 Edition 6 delivers an ultra-hard, full sapphire case at an astonishing price

D.C. Hannay

Following the success of their previous releases, Swiss watchmakers CODE41 are back with the latest version of their bold and highly technical X41 in the shape of the new Edition 6. This time, they’re upping the ante with the introduction of new variants that are available in an ultra-hard full sapphire case.

Typically the domain of the upper echelons of haute horlogerie, this new release brings the high-tech material to enthusiasts at an unheard-of price. As always, CODE41 gets rid of the usual marketing hype with their upfront pricing information, allowing their customers to see the true costs of manufacture with, pardon the pun, unprecedented transparency. Naturally, there is a profit margin, but everything from the case and the movement to even the packaging and marketing costs are all broken down, including the origin of parts. Another thing: CODE41 insists on a much higher percentage of Swiss manufacturing costs in their timepieces than the 60% minimum required by law. You can read all about it and CODE41’s pricing strategy in this interview with CEO Claudio D’Amore here.

The Case

CODE41 X41 Edition 6

Edition 6 will be available in three case materials this time around, each of them both high-tech and ultralight: Grade 5 titanium, AeroCarbon, and new for this edition, full sapphire. The highly sculptural case retains the same dimensions as the previous Edition 5, with a 42mm diameter, a height of 11.7mm, and a 24mm lug width.

CODE41 X41 Edition 6

With its aggressive angles and machined recesses, the look is reminiscent of a spaceframe that’s been trimmed of all excess for maximum strength-to-weight, and it wouldn’t look out of place if it were a component of a state-of-the-art racecar or fighter jet.

CODE41 X41 Edition 6

All versions, aside from the Sapphire, are individually tested to 100 metres of water resistance – 30 metres for the Sapphire. As far as weight, the titanium is 2x lighter than steel, and the AeroCarbon 4x lighter. The sapphire version is also 2x lighter than steel, but raises the stakes with a scratch resistance exceeding steel, titanium, and carbon by far. In fact, only diamond has a greater hardness than man-made sapphire, and no other watch case material offers its unique transparent look. The fact that a full sapphire case is being offered at this price point (when most manufacturers charge many multiples) is nothing short of astonishing.

The Dial

CODE41 X41 Edition 6

CODE41’s dials have always, quite rightly, commanded attention for their intricacy and visual interest, while remaining quite legible. Version 6 is no exception. There are new colours for this version available on the wildly angular, brush-finished bridges, exploding in all directions with a visual kinetic energy that’s akin to jazz improvisation.

CODE41 X41 Edition 6

Colour choices for Edition 6 (voted on by fans at the CODE41 website) include plain steel, black, blue, a subtle-yet-tasteful sage green, and a wild rainbow-finished version that’s sure to be a popular choice. All colours are available no matter which case material you choose, and let me tell you, that rainbow colourway looks utterly stunning in the full sapphire case.

Skeletonised hour, minute and second hands are centre-positioned, and a grande date display resides just below 12. Everything is well-protected with a sapphire crystal that’s antireflective-coated. The dial, as loaded with intrigue as it is, thankfully doesn’t detract from the view of the movement componentry beneath.

The Movement

What about that movement? It’s skeletonized, natch, and in addition to the riotous bridgework visible from the dial side, there’s a signed custom peripheral oscillating weight around back, an uncommon feature that trims the overall movement height. A total of 297 components make up the 33-jewel autowinder, and it beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour at 4Hz. Power reserve should be good for 45 hours, and precision is listed at -2/+10 seconds per day, with adjustment performed in 5 positions before it leaves the workshop. As with CODE41’s previous releases, all that eye candy is visible through the sapphire caseback.

The Strap

Strap options range from several choices of smooth, textured, or perforated leather, as well as a signed high-quality rubber with a sculptural look, all in a variety of colours. New for Edition 6 is a translucent rubber-like strap, perfectly suited to the sapphire version. Whatever you choose, they all employ a quick-release system for easy strap changes, so you can mix things up on a whim.

The Verdict

You’re going to have a tough time finding a true Swiss manufacture watch with the same level of visual excitement, fit and finish, and sheer value for the money as what CODE41 has once again delivered. And with the addition of the sapphire case to the line-up, the bang-for-buck proposition is even better than ever.

CODE41 – X41 Edition 6 pricing and availability:

Registrations of interest and pre-orders for the CODE41 – X41 Edition 6 are available now here. Prices start at $5,443 USD.

Brand CODE41
Model X41 Edition 6
Case Dimensions 42mm x 11.7mm, 24mm lug width
Case Material Grade 5 titanium
Water Resistance 100 metres (Grade 5 titanium & AeroCarbon), 30 metres (Sapphire)
Dial Openworked, choice of five colours for the bridges
Crystal Sapphire, front and back, AR coating
Strap Rubber or leather strap
Titanium bracelet
Movement Swiss automatic, centre hour/minute/second, grande date, 45-hour power reserve
Price Starting at $5,443 USD, depending on dial colour and case material