(5 / 5)
I’m back with more good stuff from CODE41, a watch microbrand that I have grown to love simply because they make really cool looking and well built watches. I have already taken a close look at the Anomaly 01 on this blog, so much of this review will be in comparison to that model. Now, why would I review a watch so similar to one I have already reviewed. Well, it’s not as similar as you would expect, and some might call the Anomaly 01 a risky design, while this is there more sober and dressier model. And with that in mind, I believe it deserves its own review!
I present to you, the CODE41 Anomaly 02!
Quick Pros & Cons
|– High Quality||– Japanse movement|
|– Great AR coating||– Weak Lume|
|– Original Design|
|– Great Strap|
|– Moderate size|
I want to start doing video reviews as well, since some people prefer that medium for reviews. So for the first time, and with limited equipment, i have done a video review for those of you are not into reading. Nothing flashy or fancy, straight to the point and all in one take! Little amateurish some might say, but you have to start somewhere 🙂
I have already described the very satisfying unboxing of a CODE41 watch in the other review, yet this one had me one the edge of my seat once more. Same packaging, same feel, the same satisfaction.
The Anomaly 02 has the same weight and case as the other model, but with a different dial and a different strap (i wanted to try their leather straps this time). And even though I am used to wearing the 01 model, i couldn’t help myself examining the case and its cool details.
When i see a watch for the first time, I can’t help but look for mistakes and flaws, whether it’s misaligned dial, flaws in the metal finishes, residue on the hands, grainy or incomplete printing and lume, misaligned crown, bad AR coating and misaligned date wheel. This watch has none of these flaws! Even my Breitling Headwind has a slightly misaligned bezel!
The only small disappoint i have with the anomaly 02, and the 01, is the longevity of the lume. But since they are dressy/sporty watches, I can forgive them for that.
A closer look
The case and crown
Like the 01 model, the Anomaly 02 is held together by the same beautiful watch case. Slightly 70s inspired with a sporty, industrial and futuristic touch. They did a great job playing around the brushed and polished metal finishes. I forgot to mention this in my last review, but the case also has a beat blasted finish on the underside of the case (not case back) and in the engraved stripe between the lugs.
Check out the video review to see how these finishes plays with the light!
The finished feels and looks great, the angled edges of the case are clean, but not too sharp or dull, giving your finger something truly satisfying to brush over.
I love the spacers at the end of the lugs, making sure the strap isn’t too wide while keeping a nice straight line from the side of the case and down to the lugs. The case’s shape actually gives the illusion that it isn’t a straight line, but sure enough, it is!
The crown features the same delightful triangular pattern, that doesn’t really grip your fingers well, but sure looks great. Perhaps it is because that part of the crown is polished. A polished beveled edge leads you to the flat, circular brushed side of the crown where a deeply engraved CODE41 logo sits proudly.
The sapphire crystal
The sapphire crystal usually doesn’t get its own heading, but they Anomaly 02’s crystal really deserves it. It’s big, flat and reveals a beveled edge that plays with the light when is rotated. It sits slightly above the bezel, but the beveled edge makes sure it’s not just a block cylinder sticking up from the watch.
But that is just a small part of the reason why I am so satisfied with the crystal. The AR coating on this bad boy is very well done, which is very important when you have such a big and low contrast dial! Don’t get me wrong, I have seen many watches in this price rangewith the same quality of AR coating, but it isn’t always the case!
CODE41 kept many of the design elements from the 01 model for the Anomaly 02, although this dial is much more clean. The outer ring has the same lozenge shaped cut-outs and the hour and minute hands are also the same. Everything else is different from their model, but they still kept the design consistent and the same level of precision and quality brushed finish. Everything is perfectly centered and every element is aligned with the lume indices.
The middle of the dial has a cool engraved pattern, made with tiny lozenges, that creates a nice contrast by reflecting light. One downside to that is that when you look straight at the watch, in certain light condition, it reflects so much light that the hands becomes slightly harder to see. Luckily, the lume on the hands makes sure you can still tell the time and you will probably turn the watch anyway, to admire the dial and forget about the time completely.
As the CODE41 design book dictates, their can’t be complete circles in the dial, and this is also reflected with the lume indices and the outer ring of the dial. Only half the dial has the circle connecting the indices and the outer ring stops between 10 and 12 o’clock. This gives the watch even more of a unique sporty personality.
The date window is cut out from the dial with a nice beveled edge and the date is well centered with crisp printing. I like that they choose a white on black date wheel, which is something many dive watches with black dials gets wrong.
The hour and minute hands are lovely polished skeleton sword like hands, with a 3D effect that is simply adore! Ilove the way they start flat, then goes up at a 45 degree angle, and then bends to become flat again. Crisp lume and perfect finish, no complaints there.
The seconds hand is a very basic baton hand with a small “tail”, with black paint in the middle. It’s simplicity makes sure that the two other hands gets all the attention, while still showing you that this watch ticks away at 28.800 beats per hour!
The leather strap
I choose to go with the perforated black leather strap with the red stitches on the side. It gives the watch a slightly sportier feel, while still remaining dressy. A red dot on the tip of the seconds hand would have been a really nice touch to compliment this strap.
The strap feels great and is very supple from the get go, hugging your wrist immediately without any “pre-ending”. It’s nice and thick, smells great, and will keep looking great thanks to the signed butterfly clasp that it comes with. I really like these push button clasps on leather straps, because it gives the watch a more luxurious feel and helps keep the strap in better condition by avoiding excessive bending when putting it on.
The Anomaly 02 is powered by the famous ETA 2824-2 “workhorse” ticking away at 28.800 beats per hour meaning the second hand ticks 8 times a second. It’s a very smooth and hypnotizing sweep and it loses around 10 second a day on my wrist. The manual wind is slightly harder than the Miyota sitting in the Anomaly 01, but with a better “crunchy” feel and a crisper clicking noise (although it’s not recommended to manually wind these movements too often, I can’t help myself).
There is not much to say here since most of the internet is in agreement. It’s a robust, reliable and easy and cheap to service. Is it the best price/quality ratio? That’s hard to say, but it will last a lifetime if serviced with healthy intervals!
I think the price is fair
This watch, with the exact strap i have, goes for 1010 USD (913 Euros). This is still a considerable amount of money, but I have had a few microbrand watches in my collection at this price range, and the level of quality is the same as those.
I heard a few people saying these watches are overpriced (only people who doesn’t own one) and one has to consider the following: It’s a small brand and everything is unique and has to be designed and custom made for CODE41. They could have chosen a generic crown and generic hands, but then they wouldn’t be as fun to wear, right ?
Many microbrands choses one or two unique elements and buy generic stock pieces for the rest of the watch. Plus, it seems they have a strict quality control, because everything is well aligned and smoothly finished!
Like with the Anomaly 01, the Anomaly 02 is a striking watch, with great wrist presence and a very satisfying feel to it. Whether you like the design or not, it sure is unique and nothing like any other watch i have seen. And if you fall in love with the design and decide to buy it, you will fall in love again once you open it and feel the quality of the watch!
This watch is so fun to wear in any situation, even at fancier events that requires shirt and tie, and truly stand out in the vast sea of generic looking watches. It gets more attention than a Rolex Submariner, without being pretentious, and will leave people wondering if they can afford it or not. The answer is most often “yes”!
I highly advise you to go check out their website here! It has tons of information about the brand and the journey that took them to where they are, as well as other striking watches!