Normally we can classify something as a wristwatch, a pocket watch or a clock, but in some instances, an object can transcend these labels and morph into something complex. Just think of Bovet’s convertible Amadeo watches or the recently introduced Omega Chrono Chime 1932. Swiss independent watchmakers Code41, a community-based brand founded in 2016, is looking to add an entirely new class of timing devices to the mix with its Mecascape Sublimation One. This creation is not born for the wrist but is a merger between a pocket watch and a desk clock in one. And it looks incredibly cool!
Code41 was founded by Claudio D’Amore, who had worked hard to realise his watchmaking ideas by involving the public in everything he does. We’ve seen this approach before from Tom van Wijlick and his Lebois & Co / Airain revival, for instance, and it has also been very successful for Code41. The most significant benefit is the fact you create a product with input from potential customers, who feel involved and committed to the cause. And yes, tying in potential customers early on leads to actual customers when you’re ready to launch! The first Code41 project resulted in a mechanical wristwatch that raised over half a million CHF in funds and put in effect Code41’s Total Transparency to Origin philosophy in a big way. The following collections allowed the company to expand with a loyal following that grew 30-fold in just six years, a turnover in 2021 of CHF 10 million and selling watches to clients in 130 countries worldwide. So this simple idea, on paper at least, to let people have a say in what you do creates a loyal following in the long run if it’s done right!
With about a year in development, the Code41 Mecascape Sublimation One is now ready to go, and the brand has teased it. But what is it exactly if it doesn’t fit the bill of a wristwatch, pocket watch or clock? Simply put, it is a hybrid of several things and got its name from the contraction of ‘Mechanical’ and ‘Landscape’ to become ‘Mecascape’. The Sublimation One is the first product to be introduced under the Mecascape name, so it is expected more will come further down the line. This new vision on a timing device, as Code41 puts it, results in a very contemporary and super original piece.
The Mecascape Sublimation One is large; that much is pretty obvious, but it’s also rather technical! The exterior casing is made of titanium, which keeps the weight down. In terms of size, we’re looking at 108mm in width and 71mm in height, with the thickness coming in at 8.1mm, including the sapphire crystal. So, all things considered, it is smaller than a traditional 10×15 photograph (to put things in perspective). The case has rounded corners and a mostly brushed finish with polished sections here and there. The thing looks quite modern and industrial, with a raised bezel profile and screws holding the caseback in place. A crown on either side winds the watch at one end and sets it at the other. A small push button on the left side changes the date if needed.
It would make little sense to talk about a dial in the traditional sense of the word, as the Mecascape Sublimation One has quite the canvas on display. 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 subdial. The right-hand 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 a representation of a world map.
With the movement being almost entirely skeletonised, you can see every little detail of the horizontal construction and all its components. The finishing of the dial/movement is very modern and architectural, with horizontal brushing, bevelled edges, polished screws and more. In terms of colour, Code41 offers black with white and red, silver with black and red, or steel blue with white and neon green. The hands for the hours, minutes and GMT display are skeletonised and have a coloured tip. The remaining two hands are solid and finished in a single colour.
Code41 has collaborated with Le Cercle des Horlogers to create this movement, a movement specialist also enlisted by Trilobe. This 100% 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.
The Code41 Mecascape Sublimation One is launched today and retails for USD 9,360 / CHF 9,595 / EUR 9,995 / GBP 9,225. It comes with a protective leather sleeve lined with microfiber, which can hold a credit card or business card and, of course, the stand to put it on your desk or side table at home. If you’re interested – and I can fully understand why – pre-orders can be made directly with Code41 now.
For more information, 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.