CODE41 Anomaly Evolution – A worthy sequel

By Frederik Drost
CODE41 Anomaly  Evolution – A worthy sequel
The CODE41 Anomaly Evolution truly has a fitting name. Like a Pokemon evolving, this watch has become better than its predecessors, both in terms of its design, quality, and options.



CODE41 is back, and this time with something bigger than a small pre-order model. It’s the sequel to the Anomaly series! 

Now we all know that sequels are rarely better than the original movie, but in the watch world, it’s the opposite. CODE41 listens carefully to their community and lets them decide on a lot of things, resulting in a much better end product.

Coming in 2 sizes, the CODE41 Anomaly Evolution took the best from the 2 Anomaly watches and combined it in a tasteful way. That is why I will be talking a lot about the differences with the older models, as you would with any sequel.

I present to you, the CODE41 Anomaly Evolution.




Pros and cons

PROSCONS
Better movementFlat hands instead of
the 3-dimensional ones
on the 01
2 sizes
Better lume
Great metal finishing
Display case back



Packaging

CODE41 hasn’t changed their packaging for this model, and why would they? It’s perfect! The packaging is smart, protects the watch very well, and looks futuristic and industrial, just like their watches! They are not trying to make a packaging that looks like the watch is worth more, and i like that! 


Design

As usual, CODE41 has an admirable design consistency, which is the result of strong leadership and a true vision, and the sign of true love of watches and design. They are not trying to make everyone happy, just themselves in the hopes that people will like it.

The case is the same good old CODE41 case shape, with the almost cushion shape, the sharp downward angled lugs and the very cool spacer rings holding the bracelet. They now have more color options, and the blue one i got for the review is truly a stunner! 

The bezel is now a bit more aggressive, going straight up from the case instead of from an angle, but keeping the same width. This makes room for a bigger top surface, framing the watch a bit better and giving a more solid and sporty look. The previous models had a polished top surface that could reflect light into your eyes when viewing the time.

A big upgrade is the display case back, giving you the pleasure to see the Sellita SW200-1 Elaboré in action.

The dial is a tasteful mix of elements from the Anomaly 01, 02 and X41. 

The flat hands from the 02 model show you the time here, but i honestly do miss the angled hands from the 01.

The chapter ring is the same design as the X41, and it seems like CODE41 has adopted it because we also see it on the Day41 and the NB24, with different layouts of course. I like this design because it looks great with the cut-outs and lets them add lume to the markers.

The rest of the dial has that same layered layout you can see on the Anomaly 01, but without the open heart. Even though the open heart was very well-executed, showing a Miytoa escapement next to such a beautifully finished dial is just a shame. 

This dial is much better in my opinion, with an easy-to-read date instead of a useless 24 hours time wheel. The lack of drilled holes also leaves you with a cleaner and less busy dial.

Overall, CODE41 has managed to create a better design of the Anomaly, by taking all the good things from the previous models to create a more versatile design. Bravo!


Quality

The overall quality matches that of the Anomaly 01 and 02, without taking into account the upgraded movement whose quality doesn’t depend on CODE41. 

The case, crown and bezel

The case finishing is impeccable for this price range, with nice sating finishing with straight parallel lines. The corners and edges are soft to the touch, yet sharp, and the borders between the different finishes are crisp and sharp. 

You really get what you pay for, and the difference can be felt if not well expressed in pictures. It’s a solid case, molded from a single piece of metal, that doesn’t feel like it is going to break.

100 meters water resistance is good, especially with a see-through case back and a non-screw-down crown. I wouldn’t take this watch swimming, but the 10ATM does ensure good case integrity for a long time.

The dial

The dial is impeccable for this price range as well, just by considering the number of angles, shapes, and elements needed to make it! The angles are sharp and the brushed finish is soft and gives off an almost matt appearance, if not in direct sharp light. 

The Geneva stripes on the base layer are also well-executed, much better than on the DAY41, which had a bit of rough finishing on the dial. 

On top of all these great dial layers, a crisp and very detailed print is applied. The CODE41 and arrow pointer have a shiny and embossed finish, while the rest is matt, flat, and crisp as hell! 

The hour’s markers are filled with lume and have a slightly embossed shape, giving them a bit more personality than the flat ones on the DAY41.

The hands have a slightly rougher brushed finish than the dial, especially the second’s hand, presenting a few traces of machining to the bare eye, but only under sharp light. Perhaps this will be remedied in the final version, this being a prototype (a surprisingly flawless prototype).

The lume

It’s almost like CODE41 has been listening to my cries for a better lume, because this is truly the lume this watch deserves! 

I am almost certain it is BWG9, with that sharp blue glow that transitions much better than its green glowing counterpart. It’s less sharp than the green C3, but shows up even when walking under a bridge in daylight, which is proof that it is well applied as well! 

The straps

The straps haven’t changed at all (but they are releasing a rubber strap that simply looks cool as hell). 

Considering that most of your money is going into the watch, expecting the highest grade of leather straps would be unfair. They are still nicely upholstered and will do the job, but this watch really deserves that you go buy an expensive alligator strap to throw on it.

The buckle is quite well made as well, and one of the higher grades of mass-produced buckles. How do i know this? Less rattling and play between the joints, the release buttons have a firm spring action, and it clicks in safely and doesn’t open up by mistake.

The movement

The Sellita SW200-1 élaboré is a perfect choice for a quality swiss movement, especially since ETA is slowly stopping to sell their movements to smaller watch brands. 

It beats 28.800 times an hour (4hz or 8 ticks a second), has hacking, bidirectional winding (so no “wobble” when moving the wrist), and CODE41 promises +/- 7 seconds a day. 

This movement is considered a great alternative to the ETA 2824-2 and the elaboré version basically just promises better timekeeping. The movement is not a stunner, but it’s always fun to see that oscillator beat on the back of the watch.

On a side note: Some people have had issues with the teeth of the ratchet wheel breaking, so i would not recommend aggressively hand-winding this movement. Do it nice and smoothly, and only for a few turns when starting up the watch. Your wrist will do the rest of the work.


One the wrist

Being a prototype, the straps did not fit this watch, so i couldn’t wear it on my wrist. But being the same size as the Anomaly 01 with 2mm less height, i will refer you to my assessment of that watch: 

They fit really well and hugs the wrist perfectly thanks to the angled lugs. The protruding case back disappears under your skin, giving the impression of a slimmer watch and letting it fit under most dress cuffs and all jackets.

The metal bracelet is harder to size and is pretty heavy, so i would always have a leather strap as a backup for this watch. 


Conclusion

The CODE41 Anomaly Evolution truly has a fitting name. Like a Pokemon evolving, this watch has become better than its predecessors, both in terms of its design, quality, and options. CODE41 has listened to not only me, but the people online and their previous customers, which is not something all brands do.

This watch WILL be their new flagship model, hopefully earning the trust of many more new customers and propelling the brand into making more high-end models and side projects!

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