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 6, 27 JAN. 2021
Launch of pre-orders

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    • 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,

  1. 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!

  2. h.r.hopp@protonmail.ch says:

    Das wird bestimmt wieder eine Herausragende Uhr. Ich persönlich hoffe das ein Metallarmband dazu entworfen wird.
    Freue mich schon auf die weiteren Vorschläge. Und für Euch viele Ideen und Kaffee´s.

  3. Di Natale says:

    pourriez-vous me dire quel sera le diamètre du boitier, car j’ai un poignet large et je cherche un chrono avec grand diamètre.
    Sinon à part cela je viens de vous découvrir, un GRAND BRAVO à vous tous.

    • Maurizio
      Maurizio Motter says:

      Bonjour,

      Merci pour votre message. Ce projet en est encore à ses débuts, nous ne disposons donc pas de ces informations. En rejoignant le projet, vous pouvez recommander une taille et nous la prendrons en considération 🙂

      Je vous souhaite une bonne journée,

  4. MATHIEU Bruno says:

    Bonjour, pouvez-vous m’inscrire à la liste d’attente car je suis très intéressé par votre futur chrono
    Cordialement
    Bruno

    • Maurizio
      Maurizio Motter says:

      Bonjour Bruno,

      Merci pour votre message. Comme vous avez un compte sur notre site web, vous serez informé des nouvelles concernant ce projet 🙂

      Bien à vous,

    • Maurizio
      Maurizio Motter says:

      Bonjour M. Lambert,

      Merci pour votre message. Comme vous avez un compte sur notre site web, vous serez informé des nouvelles concernant ce projet 🙂

      Bien à vous,

    • Kasim
      Kasim says:

      Vielen Dank für Ihre Unterstützung! Bei unseren Vorbestellungen wird aber üblich im Voraus bezahlt, anschließend muss man auch eine bestimmte Zeit auf die Uhr warten.

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