IWC Schaffhausen refreshes the iconic family of watches by reviving design codes from the 1980s
W hen IWC decided to refresh its Da Vinci family of watches a decade ago, it introduced a unique tonneau-shaped case that harked back to the hexagonal case that defined Da Vinci watches in the 1970s. It garnered a cult following for its distinctive silhouette and the innovations IWC would introduce in the family.
This year, the Da Vinci family is back in the spotlight once more, having gone through a rebirth with the return of the round, tiered case with articulated barrel shaped lugs from the legendary 1985 Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar timepiece.
The 2017 Da Vinci collection encompasses daily wear models as well as high complication ones. A number of the references from the new collection are available at the IWC Schaffhausen boutique at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur — the boutique is part of the Swiss Watch Gallery family — beginning with the unisex Automatic timepiece with a 40mm stainless steel case and a minimalist, elegant design. One model comes with a silver-plated dial and black Santoni leather strap, the other with a slate-coloured dial and stainless steel bracelet.
Two references — the Automatic 36 and the Automatic Moon Phase 36 — are tailored specifically for women. Said Kern,
“With the Da Vinci Automatic 36 and the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36, we are also re-establishing an old tradition of creating selected models from the Da Vinci line specially for women and adding diamonds or fashionable straps and bracelets as features.”
“With the new Da Vinci collection, IWC Schaffhausen has returned to the round case that was so successfully established by the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar in 1985. It means we are bidding farewell to the tonneau case and reaffirming our commitment to the classic proportions the brand stands for,”
– explained Georges Kern, who was until recently, CEO of IWC — Kern is now Richemont’s head of watchmaking, marketing and digital, while the new CEO is Chris Grainger.
A special piece is the limited edition Da Vinci Chronograph Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation”, where part of the proceeds will be used to help disadvantaged children and young people. A handsome blue dial anchors this 42mm stainless-steel chronograph timepiece, which shows elapsed minutes and hours on a subdial, so that the stopped times can be read off as if on an analogue watch. As usual, the timepiece has a central chronograph hand to show seconds. Powering the watch is the in-house 89361 chronograph calibre with 68-hour power reserve. On the back of the watch is a drawing by a 12-year-old Hou Ye from Shanghai, a special Olympics athlete who won the global children’s drawing competition organised by IWC for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
A major highlight is the 43mm Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, the first watch from IWC to combine the well-known mechanical chronograph with a perpetual moonphase display on a subdial in a new complication module. The moon phase is displayed by a disc, partly silver- or gold-plated, partly dark blue, which rotates to show the shadow of the earth and the waxing or waning moon below an aperture in the dial. In order to achieve this, IWC’s watchmakers had to design the in-house 89630 calibre with 68-hour power reserve that drives the perpetual calendar’s other functions: the date, month, day and four-digit year display. The perpetual calendar works with the utmost precision: in 577.5 years, the display will diverge by just one day from the moon’s actual course.
Two variants of the watch are available: 18K red gold case with silver-plated dial and stainless-steel case with slate-coloured dial.
With these new references, IWC writes a new chapter in the Da Vinci family story.