Many brands have a perpetual calendar in their collection, yet few come close to the legendary reputation of the IWC Da Vinci. The reason for this is that the Da Vinci never was just another perpetual calendar. It pushed the limits of this complication just a bit further in 1985, a time when the renaissance of the mechanical watch was just taking off. What makes this watch so special is not only the combination of the perpetual calendar with a chronograph, but more so that it features a four-digit year indication that is mechanically programmed to be accurate for the next 500 years.
A legend grows
This was only the beginning because to celebrate the models 10th anniversary in 1995 IWC launched the Da Vinci with a split-seconds chronograph adding even more to the complication of the piece. The mastermind behind these revolutionary watches is watchmaker Kurt Klaus, who got honored by IWC during the next big step in the evolution of the Da Vinci. In 2007 a tonneau shaped version of the Da Vinci was introduced, as well as a special Kurt Klaus version to honor the watchmaker’s golden jubilee with IWC.
This new model was not only available as the four-digit perpetual calendar with chronograph, but also in a new version to which Kurt Klaus contributed to the development. For this IWC developed a unique complication that displays the date and the month much in the same fashion as a mechanical big date watch. Large apertures on the dial display the date and the month in numbers, rather than in the traditional way with hands. Once again IWC was pushing the boundaries of the complication further.
For the SIHH in 2017 IWC recently announced a brand new version of the IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar. For this new version the brand reinterpreted the moon phase. Still placed at 12 o’clock, the moon-phase is now shown on a blue subdial. Little specks of gold give it the appearance of the night sky, on which the current moon phase is displayed with an incredible accuracy of being only off one day every 577.5 years. This subdial also houses the hour and minute counter for the chronograph, which also features a flyback function.
By integrating the chronograph features in a single subdial, they are not only easier to read but also give the day and date a subdial of their own. This brings more harmony to the overall design. Of course, the signature four-digit year indication is not forgotten, and also got a place on the dial.
With a diameter of 43mm, and a height of 15.5mm, is the new IWC Da Vinci a substantial watch. As a tribute to the 1985 original, did IWC also equip this watch with movable lugs. This ensures a much closer fit to the wrist and increases wearing comfort. Of course will also this model be fitted with an alligator strap made especially for IWC by Santoni, as ultimate finishing touch!