We’re moving up a gear!

Many of you have been asking us for it for over 2 years now. Well, good news for those people: It’s coming! Who? What? The chronograph! Finally!!

In spite of these (very) strange times, we’re delighted to launch the new chrono project, because creating a chronograph is anything but a walk in the park… It’s one of the most intricate movements in existence. Like tourbillons and other minute repeaters, it is the epitome of specialist complications. But before we get to the heart of the matter, let’s take a look at what exactly a chronograph movement is, and how it came to be.

What is a chronograph?

Don’t confuse Chronometers and Chronographs.
A Chronometer is a precise timekeeping device capable of showing the time reliably. Depending on defined criteria, it may be certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) in Switzerland.

The chronograph is a timekeeping device that can be started and stopped in order to measure a time interval, and then reset to zero.

A bit of history 

At the end of the 17th century, the Genevese watchmaker Jean Moïse invented the first watches capable of indicating the duration of an observation. Then, throughout the 18th century, French and Swiss watchmakers competed technically and creatively in the race for the chronograph (counter indicating/60th of a second, ink blot system on the dial, double second-hand, and the invention of the cam for resetting to zero, not forgetting the push-button). 1860s: production of the chronograph spread through Switzerland (in Geneva and the Vallée de Joux).

1913: the Swiss designed the first wristwatches; then, at the end of 1960 came the race for the first automatic chronograph movement. Thus, the famous Calibre 11 (also known as the Chronomatic) came to be. Chronograph movements continued to break new ground in both technical and esthetic terms, even though few manufacturers produced their movements themselves. Use in motor sports and athletics led this very intricate movement to iconic status.

A high-end timekeeping complication

As enthusiasts will know well, the chronograph is one of the most complex watch movements. It is categorized as a “grande complication”, which puts it on the same technical level as the tourbillon and the perpetual calendar. It’s much more difficult to create than it might seem, not to mention the fact that there are various different chronograph complications:

  1. Flyback” chronograph: capable of beginning a new time interval while the first is still active.
  2. Rattrapante” chronograph: a second hand measures split times, then instantly “catches” the chronograph’s main hand.
  3. Concentric” chronograph: provides a more “intuitive” display of the measured interval, on just one dial.

Cam or column wheel?

  • With a column wheel: the wheel is the mechanism’s command center for the activation, deactivation and resetting of the measurement function.
  • Cam and lever (or shuttle cam): the ensemble of balances, hammers and other levers is driven by a cam. This component doesn’t turn, but instead moves the mechanism backwards and forwards, like a shuttle.

On a purely technical level, both approaches can hold their own.

Which mechanical movement suits our chronograph?

Now more than ever, times are hard in Swiss watchmaking, for multiple reasons:

  • The erosion of entry-level and mid-range watch sales, benefiting Fine Watchmaking and luxury brands
  • The wave of smart watches
  • Difficulties in appealing to new generations
  • The consequences of COVID-19

Age-old expertise is in great need of support. That’s why we want to take action and actively support it by integrating a Swiss movement into our chronograph case.

Your votes are final: the movement will be personalized ! We’ll be getting back to work right away !  

Mass-produced Swiss mechanical movement

Advantage: attractive price, around 300 CHF / 280 EUR per movement, and the whole watch would come to around 1,700 CHF / 1,615 EUR

Disadvantage: mass-produced – they can be found in various different brand’s watches

1216 votes 1216

Personalized CODE41 Swiss mechanical movement (our prefered route)

Advantages: manufacture movement exclusive to CODE41; the chance to go behind the scenes of the development of the movement with a Swiss manufacturer; the opportunity to add special features like a peripheral weight

Disadvantage: high price, around 550 CHF / 520 EUR per movement – the whole watch would retail at around 2,600 CHF / 2,470 EUR

4324 votes 4324

Any other suggestions?

Share your ideas with us in the comments, whether they’re technical, esthetic or ergonomic. We read everything!

Project schedule:

STEP 3, 16 SEP.
Evolution of the design and color research
STEP 4, 21 OCT.
Last details and final collection
STEP 5, 25 NOV.
Receipt of prototypes
STEP 7, 27 JAN.
Launch of pre-orders

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  1. Saikaly Michel says:

    Bonjour,
    J’aimerais savoir pourquoi la X41 vaut dans les 5000€ alors que le Chrono ne vaudrait “que” 2500€. Qu’est-ce qui fait cette différence? Pourquoi le Chrono ne vaudrait-il pas la même chose que la X41 ? Je pensais que le Chrono allait coûter plus que la X41(désolé, je ne connais pas grand chose dans la technique des montres, mais j’adore leur estétique et le “fait main”). Bravo pour ce que vous faites.
    Merci

    • Maurizio
      Maurizio says:

      Bonjour Michel,

      Merci pour votre message. Nos prix sont toujours fonction du mouvement et de toutes les pièces de chaque montre.
      Pour la X41, nous sommes sur un mouvement fait et assemblé main en suisse designé pour notre communauté dans un petit atelier du Jura Suisse

      Pour le Chrono, nous allons créer un chapitre pour expliquer les pièces et les prix dans le futur 🙂

      Je vous souhaite une bonne journée. Bien à vous,

  2. Angelo Maugeri says:

    Hallo,. Ich bin für ein personalisiertes Werk. Ich finde ein Massenwerk wäre eine Verschwendung des Potenzials dieser Marke mit seiner Community. Freue mich schon auf den Chronograph.

  3. traquemort63@gmail.com says:

    Bonjour,
    J’attends avec impatience le 10 juillet. Un modèle avec un boîtier anthracite, fond bleu, aiguilles blanches, superluminova…je prends !
    Ah ! N’oubliez pas les vieux et faites un cadran lisible, le problème d’un chronographe, c’est le trop-plein d’infos à faire tenir sur un même plan. Inscrivez moi pour ce projet.
    Pascal

    • Maurizio
      Maurizio Motter says:

      Hello Philippe,

      Thank you for your recommendation. We will be sure to add more images as the project evolves 🙂

      I wish you a nice day. Kind regards,

  4. Sébastien says:

    Bonjour à toute l’équipe,
    Je découvre vos projets à l’instant et je tenais à vous féliciter.
    Pour le chrono, la masse périphérique me parait s’imposer.
    Chrono = sport > compétition ?
    Le modèle pourrait être composé avec différents tons de bleu et un bracelet métalique lui aussi bleu.

    Voilà quelques idées

    Bien à vous

    Sebastien

    • Maurizio
      Maurizio Motter says:

      Bonjour Sébastien,

      Merci pour votre message. Je pense que ce sont de bonnes idées ! Je les transmettrai à mon équipe 🙂

      Passez une bonne journée,

    • Maurizio
      Maurizio Motter says:

      Hi Joel,

      Thank you for your message. At the moment, all of our watches are more on the ‘bigger’ side as requested by the community.
      However, we are always happy to take in all recommendations 🙂

      I wish you a nice day!