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I enjoy covering watches that are three things: firstly, extremely unique and awesome to look at. Secondly, made by a watch brand that doesn’t have the exposure to match their quality – it’s like unearthing a hidden treasure. And finally, those which perceive a more luxurious price tag than it truly is.
With its machined dial that seems to be part of the mechanism itself and a delightful case, the Code41 Anomaly-01 puts a big fat tick in all three of those boxes. The fact that it houses a mere Miyota movement with an RRP of £678 / $734 / €761 / 768CHF may put some off, so let’s check out whether is worth the money.
Please note, if you use code WIAA, you’ll get 10% off, making the cost nearer £600.
Firstly, it’s good to raise Code41’s “Total transparency on origin”. This is down to the fact that many excellent watches brands are manufactured in China, and they hope to dispel the negative connotations that may come along with that. After all, the “Swiss Made” tag doesn’t guarantee quality – there are so many brands out there which provide better build quality, specs and finishing which are not made in Switzerland than some Swiss brands.
Anyway, let’s check out the watch.
- Dimensions: 42mm diameter x 13mm height x 50mm lug to lug
- Weight: 120g
- Water resistance rating: 5ATM / 50m
- Movement: Miyota 82S7
- Accuracy: +14.7 sec/day
- Lug width: 24mm
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: £678 / $734 / €761 / 768CHF
- use code WIAA for 10% off; £610
- Buy here: https://code41watches.com/collections/anomaly-01/
The video review
This is certainly not your regular watch – both in the case and dial departments. It’s a bit difficult to accurately categorise this watch; but that’s one of its pluses – it’s unique, bold and stands out. The overall craftsmanship is outstanding, which is good to know considering the price.
The sides of the case feature an engraved, polished channel. It’s not a traditional slab / barrel shape, it so looks and wears reasonably well for the 42mm diameter.
There’s a lovely array of finishes; it’s primarily brushed which is handy for longevity and durability, but with polished accents to pick up the light and a blasted underside of the case to keep things visually engaging.
Sitting atop of the case is a flat sapphire crystal, which is slightly bevelled around the edge. Interestingly, there’s a polished inside edge of the bezel which drops down to meet, creating a valley. Whilst this is just a minor thing, it is rather interesting. The anti-reflective coating is very clear, which allows the complexities of the dial to shine through.
The push-pull crown is seriously delightful to behold and use. It has the “41” logo engraved deeply on the brushed end. However, the star of the crown is the exquisite polished knurled grip.
The caseback is very rounded, almost bulbous. It is secured in place by a hex screw in each corner, showing sophisticated build quality.
The lugs are another interesting element of the case. They contain hex screws in the end, but the screws don’t secure the strap – they secure the inner polished cylinders, which in turn are where the strap attaches to.
Much like the case, the dial is unconventional; remarkably designed and crafted. It is a smorgasbord of details – featuring a wide range of levels, nicks and grooves, hollowed elements, and skeletonisation.
The dial is jam-packed full of layers, providing excellent depth whilst viewing through the clear sapphire crystal. This is most likely the cause of the 13mm height, but it’s an acceptable trade-off.
The main minute and seconds hands are skeletonised with lumed tips, but the most interesting aspect of them is the fact that they have an angled base, and raise out of the central pinion. They are polished too, so they catch the light well. Legibility is good.
Like the rest of the dial, the subdials are unorthodox. There are no hands, instead, Code41 have opted for rotating discs and red arrows inside and outside as pointers. It may make perfect setting slightly difficult, but it shouldn’t be a concern. Under the macro lens, the printwork on the discs could be better, but they look fine to the naked eye. The subdial at 4 is the running seconds, whilst the subdial at 9 is a 24-hour indicator.
The open heart at 7 is the only glimpse into the movement. It’s a great feature of the dial, providing some energy and noticeable action.
The lume strength is fairly average; nothing too outstanding. I do however like the way that the minute track is lumed to make reading the time easy in low light.
There are 11 different strap options with the Code41 Anomaly-01; this one being the “perforated black calf leather with deployment buckle”. The 24mm width is a surprise for a 42mm diameter watch, but the square case shape makes it work.
The perforated aspect of the strap makes it very sports-like, with 32 holes in alternating rows of 4s and 3s. They do make the strap very airy and comfortable on, especially in the heat. The leather thickens up nicely at the lug ends, where the holes reside – the overall quality of the leather is top-drawer; it’s soft, supple and the matte finish works well with the rest of the watch. The matching black stitching is all tremendously neat, as well as the two keeper loops.
The strap is loaded with quick release pins, which is a good thing – especially when the strap comes in a separate box so you have to fit it yourself.
The butterfly clasp is 22mm wide, fully brushed, with the Code41 logo engraved on the top bar. Whilst it’s nothing extraordinary, it’s reassuringly solid and easy to use thanks to the release buttons either side.
The movement powering the Code41 Anomaly-01 is the Miyota 82S7 and is probably the only aspect of the entire watch that may raise some concern. With an RRP of £678 / $734 / €761 / 768CHF, you could be lead into thinking that a “better” movement should be used, maybe even a Swiss one.
However, don’t be mislead. Believe it or not, this price is pretty much spot on when you compare the alternative watches using it; examples being the SevenFriday P3 and Dietrich OT-3.
The unusual thing about it is the second and 24h hands are subdials, and in the case of the Code41 Anomaly-01, they’re discs – which are even more so.
It’s not the most good looking movement, but that’s not an issue due to the closed caseback. The open heart at 7 is a welcome porthole into the mechanism, which appears remarkably clean.
Specs include a power reserve of 42 hours, 21,600 beats per hour (6 ticks per second), 21 jewels, hand and automatic winding capabilities, and hacking seconds.
The accuracy is coming in at around +14.7 sec/day, which is a bit higher than I would have hoped.
It’s hard to determine the category this watch belies within. At a glance, I’d say it fits most into a sports watch, but that could just be due to the strap. There’s no doubt about it; it’s stunningly eye-catching. The dial is phenomenal (made great by the clear crystal); the case flawless.
A controversial movement, perhaps; but due to the overall sensational quality of the watch, I’m not finding myself disappointed with it or mentally “demanding” a better movement.
It’s not to everyone’s taste, but I review so many watches I rarely get “wowed” by something. I was pretty chuffed when that happened when I unboxed the Code41 Anomaly-01.