In 2009, IWC launched Da Vinci Watch with a perpetual calendar, a digital date display and, for the first time ever, the month in large digits. With Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month timepiece, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer reaches into its own past, having been one of the first to produce a digital watch, the Pallweber, a hundred and twenty-five years ago.
The latest timekeeper in the Da Vinci family is nevertheless, one of the most interesting watches revealed in the last couple of years. With a tonneau shaped case, IWC continues the proud tradition of the calendar chronograph with which the Swiss watchmaker played an essential role in heralding the renaissance of the mechanical watch in 1985.
The watch is powered by the IWC-made 89800 self-winding movement with a ratchet wheel chronograph and a double-pawl automatic winding system which guarantees the most effective automatic winding. The new caliber, built on 52 jewels, consists of 474 individual parts and builds up a power reserve of impressive 68 hours.
Perpetual Calendar, Digital Date Display
The watch features a highly sophisticated perpetual calendar that requires only few adjustments until the year 2499. This means that it has to be adjusted only once every 100 years, with the exception of years divisible by 400. Theoretically, the watch will need its first adjustment by one day on March 1, 2100 and again for another 100 years. One of the most interesting things about the calendar is that instead of the usual ‘JAN’, ‘JUN’ and ‘NOV’ abbreviations it will display ‘01’, ‘06’ and ‘11’. Also, in those months that have less than 31 days, the calendar changes automatically by one nonexistent day, or at the end of February in non leap years by three days to the first of the next month. Further, the two-digit month aperture (from 01 to 12) moves forwards at the same time.
The energy required to switch both the month and the date display discs is built up continuously throughout the month by a quick-action switch specially developed for this purpose. A spring-loaded lever on the switch is lifted a tad by a cam each day. At the end of the month, the tension in the spring reaches its maximum and the energy is released. This insures advancing of the display discs.
The chronograph can run constantly without having any effect on the timepiece’s rate. Also, it can be reset to zero without first having to be stopped, thanks to the flyback function.
The month window is situated between two and three o’clock positions, and it is perfectly symmetrical with the date window located on the left side of the dial, between nine and ten o’clock positions.
The silvered dial with a vertical tapestry pattern also comprises gold-plated hands and indices and two sub-dials. A 12-Hour and 60-minute counters are combined in a single totalizer located at the 12 o’clock position, whereas a leap year display is set on the opposite side, at the 6 o’clock position.
The 18-karat rose gold case of the latest model in the Da Vinci collection is a contemporary interpretation of a classic tonneau shaped design. The elegant case measures 44 mm x 52.8 mm, with the thickness of 16.3 mm.
IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Watch is domed on both sides by convex sapphire crystals with antireflective coatings and it has a see-through sapphire-glass back. The watch case is constructed to resist water pressure up to 30 meters (100 feet).
Two years ago, IWC offered two versions of this Da Vinci wristwatch. A platinum version was limited to 500 pieces, and it has been sold out by now. The gold rose model IW376107 is still available. It is attached to a dark brown alligator leather strap with a folding clasp and it can be purchased for about $40,000.