A relatively young Swiss watchmaker, CODE41‘s motto is to break the codes of traditional watchmaking and distribution – to innovate off the beaten track. Not only is the creative process shared with its community, which can decide on aspects of future creations, but the brand has also created highly distinctive watches over the years, powered by rather impressive movements with a surprising price… Check out the tourbillon, and you’ll understand. However, looking at the Mecascape, you might well ask yourself: “What am I looking at?” Is it a desk clock, a pocket watch, a credit card-shaped timekeeping object… What’s clear about this horological UFO is that it is here to make an impact. And it’s now back for a limited amount of time and in limited quantities.
The Mecascape Sublimation One, contrary to 99% of the Swiss watchmaking production, isn’t born for the wrist. It’s not really a pocket watch either, at least not in the traditional sense. It’s a portable horological object that can also be used as a desk clock with a profoundly modern soul in line and serious mechanics. Just like previous creations, Claudio d’Amore, founder of the brand, has involved his audience in everything related to creating this timepiece.
What is Mecascape Sublimation One? It is a hybrid concept – no battery involved – of pure mechanical watchmaking that does not fit on the wrist. It is the strongest expression of the brand’s creativity so far, pushing its ideas to another level. Mecascape isn’t meant to be standard; it’s a controversial object, a talking piece made to bring everything the brand stands for into reality. The result is this rectangular, thin, blade-shaped mechanical movement framed by a titanium cover that fits in the pocket or stands on a desk. And yes, it does tell the time, too.
The Mecascape Sublimation One is unusual in shape, design and function. It is also highly technical. Its casing is made of grade 5 titanium and serves as a frame, just like a protective box to hold the movement. At 108mm in length and 71mm in height, it isn’t a small object, but it is surprisingly thin, too, at only 8.1mm, including the sapphire crystal on top. As such, it’ll easily fit in your jacket pocket, hardly larger than an old-school iPhone of the late 2000s (and, of course, much smaller than the average TV-like modern smartphone). Industrial, almost brutal in the approach, it shows matte surfaces and polished accents, with two crowns located on each side to wind the movement and set the indications. A push button on the left side changes the date if needed.
The “dial” of the CODE41 Mecascape, being much larger than a traditional wristwatch, creates a perfect canvas for complications and additional, non-overlapping features. The largest indication is for the minutes, which is positioned in the upper left corner of the case. The hour dial partially overlaps this, and the date indication is also integrated into the minute dial. The final element on this side of the case, as far as indications go, is the small seconds sub-dial. The right side of the movement displays the power reserve in a semi-circular scale in the top right corner. Below that is the GMT display with a 24-hour scale and the representation of a world map. Three versions are available: black, silver and blue, each with different coloured accents.
All the elements seem to float on top of the movement, designed as an integral part of the Mecascape, with architectural openworked bridges. The decoration is also satisfying, with horizontal brushing, bevelled edges, polished screws and more. This hand-wound, thin-shaped movement has been developed with Le Cercle des Horlogers. This Swiss-made movement is created from scratch for CODE41 and uses 237 components, including 39 jewels. It is wound by hand and can store up to 8 days of power in its barrel. The frequency is 28,800vph, and the balance wheel is nestled between the small seconds and the GMT display. Around the back, a sapphire crystal porthole reveals yet more details of the movement.
Following an already sold-out first batch of Mecascape, CODE41 returns to the market now with a batch of 30 additional pieces. You’ll have to be fast, as 1,200 enthusiasts signed up for the waiting list. The pre-order campaign, which has just started, will only last for two weeks. The price is now set at EUR 16,800. For more details, please visit code41.com.
Sponsored post: This article is sponsored by CODE41. However, it reflects the writer’s opinion and has been written according to MONOCHROME’s editorial policy.