The peregrinations of a crowdfunded and radically upfront brand

In March 2016, a mysterious posse of cowboys going by the name of GOLDGENA PROJECT made waves in the tranquil waters of Swiss watchmaking when they revealed the secrets of Swiss Made. This made some people not very happy at all, but plenty more signed up to help launch CODE41: a community-oriented brand whose aim is to produce good mechanical watches at affordable prices, and be totally upfront as to the origin of parts, costs and development. And did we mention that the project was initiated and organised by a renowned Swiss watch designer (Claudio D’Amore) who for the past 11 years has worked with many of the leading watch brands.

By Yves Vulcan

THE COLLECTION

CODE41 is proposing two crowdfunded models. ANOMALY-01 is driven by a Japanese MIYOTA 82S7 mechanical movement and sells as an advance order for CHF 497 (regular price CHF 647). ANOMALY-02 comes equipped with a Swiss ETA 2824-2 movement at an advance-order price of CHF 525 (regular price CHF 750).

WHY NOT SWISS MADE?

While Swiss Made watches are great quality and appreciated the world over, it's worth remembering that a watch can have the Swiss Made label and still source virtually all its components in Asia! The CODE41 team decided to be totally upfront about the origin of the components it uses, and to choose Swiss and non-Swiss parts for their characteristics and high quality/price ratio, not to meet the criteria of a sometimes misleading Swiss Made label.

WHY CODE41?

41 is the country code for Switzerland, and while the project is rooted in international synergy, both for production and the community, the GOLDGENA PROJECT team wanted to show their attachment to Switzerland. In computing, code 41 is a system error; a tongue-in-cheek comparison with the project, which is an anomaly in the Swiss watchmaking system.

With the development stage complete and prototypes ready, the CODE41 team has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise the money needed to manufacture the first series. In just ten days, more than 660 people backed the project for a total CHF 360,000. Don't leave it too late: you have until December 22nd to join them!