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Sometimes, it may feel as though the world has become increasingly divided, but in the end, there is so much more that unites us than divides us. To celebrate the ideals of tolerance, equity, and diversity, CODE41 is launching the new UNIFY collection — three permanent references available in both automatic and quartz and a series of limited-edition watches that will be released four times each year in collaboration with artists and difference-makers, with portions of the sales donated to the humanitarian project of the artist’s choosing. For the first launch in the UNIFY series, CODE41 has partnered with artist and activist Sharoz Makarechi to create a series of watches that embody her commitment to the defense of human rights and equality for all.

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CODE41 would be hard-pressed to find a better partner with whom to launch the UNIFY collection. Born in Iran, Sharoz fled the Islamic Revolution in 1979 for America and has fought tirelessly since for the ideals of equity and inclusion. To do so, Sharoz uses every medium at her disposal — from art to film-making to creating products whose proceeds support the fight for equality on all fronts (e.g., one of her latest projects donates proceeds to organizations that work to reduce recidivism and end mass incarceration through art and re-entry programs). Simply put, Sharoz is a force for good, fighting for equality on every front and using every outlet she can to spread a message of unity and inclusion. This is exactly the message that CODE41 is hoping to promote with the UNIFY project.

With an extensive background in art and design, Sharoz understands the power of symbolism to inspire. To launch the UNIFY collection, Sharoz brings two powerful graphical elements: the clenched fist — a symbol of unity and the defense of human rights, and the Equity Flag with its spectrum of skin colors — a symbol of equality of all people. There’s also a little easter egg hidden on the dial of all the UNIFY watches: a peace symbol that forms in the small seconds counter once a minute.

The limited collaborative edition places the clenched fist symbol front and center. Forever immortalized by Tomie Smith and John Carlos as they stood atop the podium during the 1968 Olympics with arms raised and fists clenched, the clenched fist has become synonymous with the quest for equality and human rights. Set against a sky-blue background, the image evokes a sense of hope and a reminder of the constant effort we all must make as we strive toward this future.

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In addition to the limited collaborative edition, the UNIFY collection will launch with three permanent references in midnight blue, satin-finish steel, and a white dial adorned with the Equity Flag on the subdial — another piece created in collaboration with Sharoz Makarechi. If you opt for this model, a portion of each sale will support Sharoz in her ongoing commitment to equity.

If you’re wondering why CODE41 decided to launch the UNIFY project, CODE41’s founder and creative director, Claudio D’Amore explains, “The number 41 is synonymous with independence, surpassing oneself, and authenticity. It also represents a commitment to sincere and meaningful values. This is what has guided us from the start, and the UNIFY project reinforces our belief that creativity can change the world.”

For those familiar with CODE41, all the elements you’ve come to expect from the brand are on full display: angular lines with sharp transitions, modern design, and superb fit and finish. Many watches within CODE41’s catalog tend toward the avante garde, with skeletonization, novel materials, and designs that push the boundaries of what a wristwatch — or a time-telling device of any kind — can be. While the UNIFY collection shares CODE41’s design aesthetic and philosophy, the watch itself is noticeably more subdued and accessible to a broader clientele. Each watch is mounted on a 22mm stainless steel bracelet with a double folding clasp and tool-free quick-release spring bars.

In the spirit of accessibility, the UNIFY’s case measures 38mm in diameter, 45mm lug-to-lug, and only 10.10mm thick. These modest dimensions result in a stainless-steel case that weighs in at just 85g (150g on bracelet), yet still retains 100m of water resistance. These dimensions were carefully considered to ensure they’ll wear well on wrists of all sizes, regardless of age, gender, or origin. The other unique trait UNIFY brings to the table is its availability in both automatic (Swiss Sellita SW290) and quartz (Swiss Ronda with a five-year battery life). Not only does quartz offer an option for those who are looking for a no-nonsense, set-it-and-forget-it watch, but it also allows for entry into the brand at a price point that’s well under $1,000.

The UNIFY collection is a natural extension of CODE41’s philosophy. For instance, CODE41 embraces transparency in watchmaking, clearly listing the origin of each component. In addition, each CODE41 release is created through consultation and collaboration with a passionate community of owners and enthusiasts. CODE41 treats its customers and the watch communities as equals, allowing us all to share in the passion of horology together.

The launch date for pre-orders of the UNIFY collection is more than apropos, as it will be launching on June 19. Also known as Juneteenth or Freedom Day, on this date in 1865, Union troops marched into Galveston, Texas, and ordered the final enforcement of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, marking the end of slavery in the United States. It’s hard to imagine a better day to launch a watch built entirely around the concepts of unity and equality. Pre-orders are open from June 19 until July 31, 2024, and can be paid in multiple installments at no extra charge. The UNIFY watches are priced at $1, 380 USD (1,390 CHF, 1,490 EUR) for the Sellita automatic version, $790 USD (790 CHF, 860 EUR) for the Ronda quartz version, and $1,515 USD (1,540 CHF, 1640 EUR) for the limited collaborative edition with the Sellita automatic movement. To learn more about CODE41 and the UNIFY collection, please visit the brand’s website.

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