5 things you didn’t know about the IWC Schaffhausen Da Vinci collection
Creating pure beauty
Generating a buzz replete with a replica of an extravagant Roman hall during SIHH 2017 was a surefire way to garner the public's attention, pushing the re-launch of the iconic Da Vinci series at the forefront of the IWC Schaffhausen family with much fanfare and celebrity cameos (think Rosamund Pike and James Marsden). So what about this collection should be given its due, aside from its legendary namesake and cutting-edge IWC make? Having viewed the timepieces in person, the graceful sinuosity and brilliance of each watch was evident, yet for those who are hankering for more than just aesthetics, here are five facts about the new Da Vinci collection that will dazzle you beyond its intrinsic beauty:
1. THE ORIGIN STORY
First unveiled in 1969, the IWC Da Vinci was the first watch to boast a quartz movement exclusively manufactured in Switzerland and housed within a hexagonal gold case that would cement it as an icon. Fitted with a solid gold strap and long indices, this was technical elegance that would pioneer a long-standing succession of timepieces that combined the maison's inventiveness with extraordinary aesthetics, chiefly inspired by the scientist and artist Leonardo Da Vinci. In pursuing the symbiosis between technology and beauty, the Da Vinci collection today is a reflection of this state-of-the-art enterprise.
2. AN EMBLEMATIC CASEBACK ENGRAVING
The 36mm-sized models have been embossed with a symbolic reference found in several cultures that span across thousands of years in the history of humanity. Better known as the Flower of Life — a decorative element formed of overlapping circles to create a geometric pattern — it is a mark that depicts various mathematical and universal rules, on top of being a striking visual. Fittingly, it decorates select pieces of the Da Vinci collection as a stylistic metaphor that embodies the unification of creativity, technology and beauty.
3. MILESTONES AND MOMENTS
1985 marked a pivotal year in this esteemed collection with the debut of the Da Vinci Perpetual Calender during Baselworld, wowing the crowds with a complication that utilised only the crown for adjustments, which needn't be fussed over till the year 2499. Following this, a scratchproof and wear-resistance edition made of black zirconium oxide ceramic launched in 1986, propelling the Da Vinci straight to the top of haute horlogerie. A tonneau case crafted for the 2007 re-make also provided a twist to the collection, while 2009 saw the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month making waves. Now turning 50 years old, 2017's novelties take their cue from its storied archives, delving into inventive genius and artistic aesthetics for automatic, calendar chronograph and retrograde chronograph timepieces equipped with new IWC-manufactured calibres.
4. AN ALL-NEW CALIBRE
The first watch in IWC history that sports a tourbillon, chronograph and retrograde date complications was made possible with the new 89900 movement that integrates these functions into one calibre. Improved upon based on the 89360 calibre, the hour and minute counter is displayed in an upper subdial, counterbalancing the small seconds in a lower subdial. The maison's watch designers have also positioned the tourbillon at 6 o'clock while the chronograph indictor retains its original spot at noon — a combination that was last seen in the 1993 Il Destriero Scafusia watch over 20 years ago.
5. ROOTING FOR FEMININITY
One of a handful of watchmakers whose designs have been specifically tailored for women even back in the day, IWC Schaffhausen has long since championed the feminine half with timepieces created for the ladies since the late 1870s'. Garnering a rich portfolio in the early 20th century, several renowned watches has added on to the Da Vinci name, such as the Lady Chronograph from 1988 to a yellow-gold, diamond-set variant in 1995. Perpetuating continuity and building upon the increasing savvy of contemporary women, it's no wonder the Da Vinci in 2017 is the perennial collection you can never overlook.