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Since time immemorial, our ancestors stared at the moon and stars, marking the waxing and waning of the moon and the changing constellations to track the passage of time. Perhaps, then, it is no surprised that the moonphase — a complication that displays the visible moon as it sits in the sky above throughout its 29.5 day lunar cycle — was one of the earliest watch complications, developed by German clockmaker Johann Friedrich Böttger in the late 1600s. It would take more than 200 years before Patek Philippe would miniaturize the complication for a wristwatch, but since then, it’s been one of the most charming and endearing complications in watchmaking. For its newest release, always modern and innovative CODE41 provides its own take on this classic in horology.

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For those familiar with Lausanne-based CODE 41, the brand’s signature aesthetic has been highly skeletonized dials that showcase the bespoke movements beating beneath. That skeletonized dial, when combined with ultra-modern and angular case designs, results in a distinctive aesthetic that is modern and aggressive. CODE41’s watches are not just forward-thinking in their aesthetic, the watches are also designed to be as functional and ergonomic as possible, with lightweight but super-strong case materials like titanium and Aero Carbon.

With the Moon INCEPTION, CODE41 takes a new approach, foregoing the skeletonized dial and ultra-modern case in favor of a stainless steel case and classic elements on the dial — but, let’s be clear, this is a CODE41 watch, and the brand does things its own way; by any measure, the Moon INCEPTION is far from ordinary. When CODE41 decided to do a moonphase, it stands to reason that the brand would put its own unique stamp on the genre.

The stainless steel case on the Moon INCEPTION measures 41.5mm in diameter, providing ample space to showcase the moonphase complication while remaining easily wearable for a wide range of wrist sizes. With a thickness of only 11.2mm, this is a watch that’s easy to wear, day in and day out. Though the case is simplified from some of the more complex shapes you’ll find on the chronographs and other models, it’s beautifully angular and superbly finished with a mix of brushed and polished finishes. The other hallmark of CODE41’s cases remains in place, with broad lugs that support a wide range of 24mm quick-change straps.

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CODE41, as always, prioritized functionality with the Moon INCEPTION, and the watch features 100m of water resistance, with each watch individually pressure-tested. The case is sandwiched with sapphire crystals, but CODE41 add its own spin with a convex sapphire atop the watch. It’s these little details that all add up to create a truly special watch.

As interesting as the case may be, the Moon INCEPTION is all about the dial. We’ve all seen moonphase watches, but CODE41’s vision is truly unique. Two celestial discs sit atop a granular, highly textured surface that evokes the regolith surface of the moon. The two asymmetrical discs provide a glimpse of the cosmos, the Milky Way, and constellations framing the moonphase complication and date window. These unique elements combine with a classically styled chapter ring and a timeless handset with a playful twist — a retro-futuristic rocket ship at the tip of the seconds hand.

If the moon itself seems shockingly realistic, that’s no accident. CODE41 commissioned the renowned Swiss watchmaking factory AJS to create a hyper-realistic moon disc, as well as the retro-futuristic oscillating weight on display beneath the sapphire caseback. Though the moonphase complication may date back to the late 17th century, creating a moon phase complication is no simple task. The movement powering the Moon INCEPTION runs on CODE41’s C41-MP caliber, a modified version of Sellita’s SW288 Elaboré movement with D4 finishing. The C41-MP features 41 hours of power reserve and CODE41 adjusts timekeeping in three positions; however, for those seeking guaranteed precision within -4/+6 seconds/day, COSC certification is available as an extra.

As always, CODE41 ensures plenty of options to personalize your watch to fit your style. Starting with the dial, the Moon INCEPTION is available in three colorways — black, blue, and tan and navy. CODE41 also offers a wide range of straps, as well as a stainless steel bracelet, all with a tool-free quick change system.

As with all CODE41 watches, creating the Moon INCEPTION was a community-led endeavor. The brand was built on the idea of involving customers in the creation process, creating a one-of-a-kind collective and participatory adventure. CODE41’s community had been clamoring for a moonphase and, hence, the Moon INCEPTION was born. The other pillar of CODE41’s approach to watchmaking is its commitment to Total Transparency of Origin. The country of origin for all components of the watch is clearly described — no misdirection, no obfuscation.

The Moon INCEPTION is a new approach for CODE41, eschewing skeletonization and ultra-modern case design in favor of one of the most endearing complications in watchmaking. When CODE41 decided to take on this classic complication, there was no question that it would go about it in its own way, with an entirely new take on this centuries-old complication. Prices for the CODE41 Moon INCEPTION start at $3,345 USD, with COSC certification available for an additional $315. To learn more about CODE41 and the Moon INCEPTION, please visit the brand’s website.

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