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Patek Phillipe

3 May 2017

In Depth – IWC Da Vinci

By: Liz Allister

IWC Schaffhausen revisits the iconic design of the 1980s and presents the 2017 Da Vinci collection, once again with its classic round case. Here's an in depth look at the new timepieces in this impressive collection.

An Icon Reimagined

The Da Vinci Automatic 36 and the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 are tailored to women, while the Da Vinci Automatic is a unisex model. Two Da Vinci timepieces feature newly developed IWC-manufactured calibres that innovatively combine and integrate complications.

With the round cases, harmonious forms, rounded crowns and diamonds on single models in the new collection, IWC Schaffhausen establishes a link between the Da Vinci of the 1980s and today’s pure designs without denying the family’s heritage. The twin-frame bezel with the peripheral groove is a reminder of this period. Newly designed, movable horns with curved lugs ensure that straps and bracelets fit perfectly around the wrist and make the watches more comfortable to wear.

“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,”

Georges Kern – IWC CEO

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Watches for Ladies

The Da Vinci Automatic 36 and the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 are not only smaller and slimmer, but also have a more feminine design: with rounded crowns and a recessed inner circle on the dial, as previously found in the Portofino 37mm collection. Gold cases, diamond-set bezels and alligator leather straps by Santoni in the colours raspberry, bronze, dark brown and dark blue specially developed for IWC underscore the watch’s aesthetic appeal.

The moon phase display, which has been part of the Da Vinci family since 1985, is now the visual centre of the silver-plated dial in the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36. The gold- or silver- coloured moon moves clockwise against the dark blue night sky. The so-called “Flower of Life” is engraved on the case backs of all Da Vinci Automatic 36 and Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 models. This geometrical figure features several regularly overlapping circles and was the object of intensive study and numerous drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. It represents his unflagging search for mathematical rules for beauty and proportions, and thus symbolizes the new design approach of the watch collection.

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The Da Vinci Automatic with its 40-millimetre diameter was designed for both men and women as a classic watch with three hands and features a discreet, elegant design. This reference ideally reflects the watch family’s design signature – a round case with distinctive horns. Moreover, the minimalist dial with its large Arabic figures and lancet-shaped hands perfectly matches the purist design of the Da Vinci Automatic. One model comes with a silver-plated dial and a black Santoni leather strap, the other with a slate-coloured dial and stainless-steel bracelet.

Intricate Detail As Standard – The Perpetual Calendar Chronograph & Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph

The Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph is the first watch from IWC to combine the well-known mechanical chronograph with a perpetual moon phase 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 that powers the perpetual calendar’s other functions: the date, month, day and four-digit year display.

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The name of the Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chrono-graph in 18-carat red gold alone reflects its unique status: an unusual combination of a classic tourbillon with a retrograde date and a sporty chronograph on a single dial. The further-developed 89360 chronograph calibre, the new IWC-manufactured 89900 calibre, permits down-to-the-second setting of what is known as the “hacking tourbillon” via a newly designed system of levers.

The result is a technically sophisticated and optically balanced complication with a clear, uncluttered design. The wearer reads stopped hours and minutes off from a totalizer at the top of the dial, while a central seconds hand shows elapsed seconds. The flying tourbillon is positioned below at “6 o’clock” and, on the left-hand side, the gently curved arc of the retrograde date display almost visually connects one complication with the other. Apart from this, the pallet lever and escape wheel were manufactured with the use of diamond shell technology for the first time. This involves a diamond coating that reduces friction, thus generating a higher output of energy.

We’ll have updates on pricing an availability of the Da Vinci collection soon. Please contact us here if you are interested in any of the timepieces on show.

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