Today, we’ll take a look at the new Code41 Moon Inception. The latest model from the popular independent brand includes a moonphase display along with the option of a chronometer certification. As we’ll see, the watch offers a very different take on the complication, and I think it succeeds in its execution.

I’ll kick this article off with a bit of a confession: moonphase complications and I aren’t the closest of friends. Unlike many friends I know (and my wife, for that matter), the current status of the Moon is of no relevance to me. Then, when I think of how moonphase displays are integrated into most watch dials, I find them either fussy or old-fashioned. Why muck up a nice dial with celestial bodies? However, I am an open-minded person and willing to be swayed. The new Code41 Moon Inception has a moonphase display that just might rank as one of the first that I find compelling.

Code41 Moon Inception

The Code41 Moon Inception — the basics

Fans of prior Code41 releases will instantly recognize the brand’s signature case design. In this application, it’s made of 316L stainless steel and measures 41.5mm wide by 48.5mm long and a reasonable 11.2mm thick. Three colors are available, including blue, black, and the gray and blue combination that we had the chance to sample. All pieces are for sale on a wide variety of straps. A stainless steel bracelet is also an option. Naturally, these modern-looking watches come equipped with a sapphire crystal that includes an antireflective treatment.

Code41 Moon Inception case profile

The case design features brushed surfaces, including on the flat bezel. Small flourishes of polishing are limited to the crown and the hex-head bolt spacers for the spring bars. The dial is the star of the show, so it makes sense to mute the case to some degree. I also think that the case design and finishing help make the watch a more sporty and versatile affair.

The caliber inside

The Code 41 Moon Inception uses the C41-MP automatic movement. This caliber is based on the Sellita SW288 Elaboré but is unique to Code41. It runs at a 28,800vph frequency and offers a 41-hour power reserve. Each caliber is adjusted in three positions and has an accuracy of ±7 seconds per day in base form. However, there is an option to pay slightly more to receive a COSC chronometer certification and accuracy of +6/-4 seconds per day. In either guise, those numbers strike me as highly accurate. The C41-MP offers both a quick-set date and moonphase complication along with normal hours, minutes, and seconds on the dial.

Code41 Moon Inception moonphase display

A lovely way to show the phases of the Moon

Code41 tells us that the dial details on the Moon Inception gain their inspiration from the Moon itself. The gray dial background has a grained texture reminiscent of the lunar surface, while the circular date and moonphase displays evoke craters. A small rocket-shaped tip on the satin-finished seconds hand provides a whimsical touch that reminds us of 1950s pulp magazines. Then, around the dial’s perimeter, a brushed minute track helps bring the whole design together.

Within the “craters,” Code41 has chosen the night sky with various stars and constellations as the dominant background. Inside the stars, we have the moonphase disc, and I admire the clean, modern look. Here, an actual depiction of the Moon’s surface is juxtaposed against black to vividly show the current state of the lunar cycle. To the upper right of this, a round date aperture sits within the smaller crater at a 45-degree angle.

Code41 Moon Inception on wrist

The Moon Inception on the wrist

The Code41 Moon Inception is a handsome watch on the wrist. Its modern design is sporty yet classy and works well in a wide variety of situations. Plus, the 10 ATM water resistance makes it a no-excuses watch for all sorts of activities, including a dip in the pool at night! Moreover, the bold displays also make for a high level of legibility, which is not something that can be said for all moonphase watches. Often, the displays are small with little contrast between the phases. That’s certainly not an issue here.

Code41 Moon Inception

Pricing and availability

First, it’s important to note that the new Code41 Moon Inception is now available for pre-order. Today was chosen because it marks the first full moon of 2024. Fittingly, the pre-order will run through an entire lunar cycle and close on February 23rd, 2024. Yes, the watch is technically a limited edition, but the ordering window is very comfortable and allows for adequate consideration. Next, we come to pricing. For non-COSC models, pricing starts at CHF 3,295. Certification will cost an extra CHF 300. Lastly, Code41 will offer a package to 16 buyers that will allow each of them to build their very own Moon Inception watch under expert supervision. That sounds like a lot of fun!

Final remarks

Overall, I’m a fan of the new Code41 Moon Inception. It’s designed well, nicely sized, and contains a highly accurate movement even without the COSC certification. Most of all, this watch has achieved a task that I once thought of as nearly impossible. I actually like a moonphase watch now.

For more information on the new Moon Inception, visit the official Code41 website.

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Watch specifications

Moon Inception
Black, blue, or gray/blue
Case Material
316L stainless steel
Case Dimensions
41.5mm (diameter) × 48.5mm (lug-to-lug) 11.2mm (thickness)
Sapphire with antireflective treatment
Case Back
Stainless steel with display window
C41-MP (Sellita SW288 Elaboré base) — automatic and hand winding, 28,800vph frequency, 41-hour power reserve, 26 jewels, adjusted to 3 positions, COSC chronometer certification available
Water Resistance
10 ATM (100 meters)
Numerous options of rubber and leather straps or a stainless steel bracelet
Time (hours, minutes, seconds), date, moonphase display
Starting at CHF 3,295 / CHF 3,595 for COSC-certified verison
Two years