The IWC Da Vinci is something of a sensation, even amongst the multitude of distinguished watches produced by IWC through the company’s long and storied history. Like the Rennaisance master whose name the watch bears, the IWC Da Vinci created a renaissance of its own when it debuted in 1985 – a time that fine mechanicals were nearly consigned to obsolescence in the face of electronic quartz technology. This remarkable watch helped spur the resurgence of interest that ultimately brought the mechanical watchmaking crafts back to their place of glory.
The IWC Da Vinci is a technical marvel which combines a perpetual calendar mechanism with 4-digit century indication and moon phases. Wedded to this high complication is a chronograph capable of measuring time intervals of up to 12-hours in duration. The Da Vinci’s automatic-winding caliber 79261 movement, boasting 39-jewels and power reserve of 44 hours features an innovative setting procedure whereby all calendar indications can be simultaneously advanced via the crown. This procedure is considerably more simple and intuitive than the traditional push-piece setting required by most perpetual calendar watches.
The Da Vinci is available in a choice of steel or 18K rose gold, with an elegant dial equally suited to either metal. The 41.5mm case is slightly larger than the original, but has lost none of its soft, characteristic lines; in addition, the hesalite crystal fitted to the original DaVinci has been replaced with a much harder and more scratch-resistant sapphire one. In the field of complicated watches, the IWC Da Vinci will always be remarkable, both for the unique technical facility it possesses, and its spiritual contribution to the continuance of fine watchmaking in the modern age.