Luxury Watches


Luxury Watches

Innovation in the spirit of the master

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 May, 2007, 12:00am


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Inspired by the Renaissance genius, three new members of the Da Vinci family embody higher levels of technology and creativity

Upholding Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci's enduring innovative spirit, IWC Schaffhausen has created another new generation of surprising watches using advanced technologies.

The first observation of the three new members - Da Vinci Chronograph, Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Edition Kurt Klaus and Da Vinci Automatic - is that the time measurement is no longer round. The intricate design of the tonneau-shaped case opens up a new chapter in the history of the Da Vinci series.

This step into a new future is accompanied by a unique innovation entirely in the spirit of the great man.

With the Da Vinci Chronograph, the brand has developed its first propriety chronograph movement and has given it a modern interpretation with an incomparable analogue time display.

The model, containing the newly developed manufactory chronograph Calibre 89360, features several new designs that are unique in the world. It departs, for example, from the classic measurement of stop times and intermediate times, in the sense that stopped hours and minutes can now be read off like a second time display on the inner dial.

This user-friendly and clever creation increases the practical use of the chronograph. This is in line with Da Vinci's approach, who, as an engineer and inventor, came up with surprising solutions for details of construction.

The manufactory chronograph Calibre 89360 with its power reserve of 68 hours receives its driving force via the new automatic IWC double-pawl winding system, which now transmits energy with four pawls to the pawl wheel. This development increases the efficiency of the winding system by 30 per cent.

A further innovation is revealed in the arrangement of the chronograph mechanism. The chronograph movement with its flyback function actuated via a classic column wheel permits the indication of the aggregate time recording of hours and minutes in an analogue time display with two hands for the first time.

It not only measures stop times, but is also capable of running permanently with the movement without any reduction in amplitude.

The Da Vinci Chronograph is available in a platinum case limited to 500 pieces or in white gold, rose gold and stainless steel.

IWC chief constructing engineer Kurt Klaus brought the Da Vinci to life in the 1980s with his revolutionary invention of an autonomous perpetual calendar, and heralded a new era with this delightful complication.

The genius is now being rewarded with a tribute in the form of a limited edition of 600 examples of the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Edition Kurt Klaus: 50 watches in platinum, 50 in white gold and 500 in rose gold.

This model features a perpetual calendar with a complete year display in four digits, perpetual moon phase display, chronograph and automatic movement. On the dial, the small signature 'K. Klaus' opposite the year display makes reference to the exceptional watchmaker to whom this honour is extended.

For those who prefer smaller watches, the Da Vinci Automatic, with a case diameter of 35.6mm, provides an attractive alternative. This elegant three-hand watch is a jewel which, with its large date, places the most useful of all the supplementary displays at the centre of attention.

For IWC, the awareness of the highly advanced physics of wheels, levers and transmission has its roots in Leonardo da Vinci.

The gifted observer, painter, inventor and designer on the threshold between the Middle Ages and the Modern Age was totally obsessed with the early wheel clocks, or astrolabes, that were already in existence at the time.

As always, when he subjected an item of interest to serious examination, his ingenious mind was able to devise significant improvements.

Da Vinci was also an ambitious watchmaker. He produced countless sketches of increasingly accurate movements, which also incorporated complications such as striking mechanisms.