There are traditional watchmakers and then there’s CODE41, which is more like a vast community network and Swiss luxury watchmaker rolled into one. Founded in 2016 by industry veteran Claudio D’Amore—who’d previously designed pieces for everyone from TAG Heuer to Montblanc—the brand takes customer engagement to unprecedented levels. Each and every release is brought to life with help from a growing community of over 500,000 collectors and enthusiasts, who play a vital role in the design process. Throw in a completely transparent business model and you don’t just get terrific bang for your buck, but an enduring sense of trust between every active participant.
All Hail the NB24
Of CODE41’s releases to date, its NB24 chronograph is perhaps the most quintessential. The “NB” stands for Nigel Bailly, the pro race-car driver (and brand ambassador) who fulfilled a lifelong goal when he competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021. Taking his name to heart, the watch delivers an aggressive combination of performance and design, exuding a robust technical character with advanced materials to match.
Touting exclusive Swiss manufacture movement, aeronautic carbon fibre and grade 5 titanium construction, sapphire crystal protection, and a rare oscillating weight on the dial face, the NB24 Creator Edition launched in 2021 and broke sales records within a few week’s time. Now the legendary piece is back in the form of two new versions, both of which similarly embody the best of the brand and its community alike, but with some crafty touch-ups.
The Legend Continues
Thanks to the direct feedback loop the brand shares with its customer base, CODE41 is able to churn out upgrades and improvements with exacting precision. And what do the people want? A stunning orange dial, for one, as well as a new Stratom case design that was first introduced during the recent launch of the T360 Tourbillon. So goes the third generation of the mighty NB24—aka NB24 Stratom—which exudes an urban influence and multi-layer sporty design.
For all the traditionalists out there, CODE41 also refined the aesthetic of its original NB24 to offer a NativeDNA version. This one is currently available and it carries forth the iconic features and details that have come to define the range. From the chambered construction to the distinctive lugs to the high-grade materials to the motorsport underpinnings, it makes for both an instant classic and a bold piece of wristwear.
Differences notwithstanding, both models offer high-end components and an exclusive mechanical movement. CODE41 assembled the movement using the famous and ultra-reliable “Valjoux” 7750 as a base. By adjusting the counters, redesigning the bridges, and most importantly, adding a peripheral weight to the dial side of the watch, the brand created a one-of-a-kind movement and spent a small fortune in the process. Every single component except the mainspring and jewels was produced in-house with a TTO label (Total Transparency on Origin) to prove it.
How to Score a New NB24 Chronograph
The NativeDNA version of the NB24 is available now through CODE41’s website with speedy seven-day delivery. As for the NB24 Stratom, it will be available for pre-order starting 20 September and limited to just 200 units, with deliveries expected to start in the summer of 2024. The piece is being offered at a price of €7,900 (including tax) and if you want to know more, the brand is all too happy to share every detail of its story and production. This is watchmaking for the people and by the people but with the hallmarks of a high-end Swiss operation (minus the mark-ups and lack of transparency). It’s a family affair, baby!