IWC Da Vinci

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IWC Da Vinci

The Da Vinci name has been used on a number of specialty watches by IWC.

Da Vinci Quartz

The first IWC watch to bear the Da Vinci name was the first quartz watch from the company. Released in 1969, Da Vinci Ref. 9500 featured the innovative Beta 21 movement. Although other companies had access to this movement, the IWC Da Vinci 9500 is said to be the first Swiss quartz watch to be available to the public. The watch has a slim hexagonal case with an integrated bracelet and resembles many fashionable watches released in the 1970s.

Although innovative and important, this early Da Vinci is generally not remembered today. Certainly the Da Vinci name is more associated with the mechanical perpetual calendar watches that followed in the 1980's and 1990's.

Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar

Quartz watches dominated the market into the 1980s, but Kurt Klaus pitched a unique idea for the company to compete: Develop an innovative, complicated watch that offered functions that quartz watches could not match. Although watches with a perpetual calendar complication had long been produced, notably by Patek Philippe, this complication had never been combined with an automatic chronograph. Klaus also envisioned a mechanism to allow simple calendar adjustment with the crown rather than with the pushers typically found on perpetual calendar mechanisms.

Introduced at the Basel Fair in 1985, the IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Ref. 3750 caused a sensation and signaled the rejuvenation of mechanical watchmaking. Klaus' perpetual calendar module was programmed to be accurate for 500 years, apart from an adjustment on March 1, 2100 and the replacement of the century markets in 2200, 2300, and 2400.

IWC further pushed the boundaries with the Ref. 3755, introduced in 1986, one of the first watches to sport a ceramic case.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this Da Vinci, IWC released Ref. 3751 in 1995. This features a rattrapante mechanism, adding a tenth hand to the watch face.

With the new Ref. 3754, the case diameter, according to a general trend, increased from 39 mm to 41.5 mm. This in turn benefits the readability. Also the anachronism of an acrylic glass was sacrificed in favor of a non-reflective sapphire crystal. Moreover, she received a safety folding clasp in stainless steel or 18ct gold.

Reference:

IW3758-03 (stainless steel), -11 (rose gold), -19 (yellow gold)
IW3750-01 (yellow gold, crocodile leather strap with tang-type buckle), IW3750-28 (stainless steel with black crocodile leather strap), IW3750-32 (stainless steel with steel bracelet)

Movement:

Automatic chronograph, IWC Calibre 79261
39 jewels, 28,800 A/h
Power reserve 44 hours

Case:

Stainless steel, 18ct yellow/rose gold
ø 41.5 mm, height: 16.4 mm
Domed, anti-reflexive sapphire crystal
Screwed caseback and crown
Waterproof to 3 bar (30 m)

Functions:

Hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o'clock, hand date, power reserve
Perpetual calendar, perpetual moon phase indication, four-digit year indication
Quick setting of date by the crown
Chronograph, small second with stopping device

Dial:

Silver coloured with black Arabic numerals and luminous dots

Bracelet:

Crocodile leather strap with folding clasp in stainless steel/yellow/rose gold

Price:

21.200,- RRP (yellow gold) (2007)

Literature

  • IWC-Uhren. Die "Schaffhauser" and ihre Geschichte; Author: Reinhard Meis; ISBN 3853782531
  • IWC, International Watch Co. Schaffhausen, Engl. ed.; Authors: Hans-F. Tölke, Jürgen King; ISBN 3906500152
  • Die Grande Complication von IWC; Author:Manfred Fritz von Edition Stemmle, Kilchb.; ISBN 3908162076
  • Armbanduhren-Spezial: IWC - Geschichte, Design, Technik; Author: Jörg M. Mehltretter; ISBN 3898800458
  • IWC - Die Noblen aus der Schweiz. Handbuch für den Uhrensammler; Author: Jörg M. Mehltretter; ISBN 3898802272
  • IWC, International Watch Co. Schaffhausen, Luxusausg. Engl. Ed.; Authors: Hans-F. Tölke, Jürgen King ISBN 3906500160
  • Das ZEITGEFÜHL-Uhrenbuch; Author: Gerd-Lothar Reschke; ISBN 3-938607-61-0