Gerald Tan heads to Hong Kong to discover the wonders that lie in the new editions of IWC Schaff hausen’s Da Vinci watch
As far as historical figures go, Leonardo Da Vinci remains one of the few whose legacy continues to impact the realms of fashion, art and horology. Is it any wonder then, that when IWC Schaffhausen decided to develop a watch that embodied the spirit of innovation and the quest for artistic perfection, they looked to the Italian polymath for inspiration?
First launched in 1969, the Da Vinci timepiece is a natural choice for the horology institution as it makes its move to evolve and expand its ladies’ offerings. After all, the debut of the Da Vinci Lady Chronograph in 1988 holds extra significance for being one of IWC’s most successful ladies’ timepieces. Thanks to its petite size, the chronograph struck a chord among discerning women who wanted to indulge in a design that was big on sophistication and elegance.
Of course, the masterpiece’s fair share of breakthroughs gave it technological clout, too. One of them, the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar, presented during 1985’s Basel Watch Fair, boasted a game-changing mechanism developed by former master watchmaker Kurt Klaus that allowed the timepiece to display dates up to the year 2499 with pin-sharp accuracy. Another, the Da Vinci Chronograph, emerged from IWC’s workshops in 2007 bearing an exciting calibre engineered and manufactured in Schaffhausen.
Now, close to 30 years later, IWC’s revisit of the Da Vinci couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time, further signifying the brand’s readiness to make the next strategic step to focus on its female fans after years of developing the men’s lines.
Naturally, the release is outlined by a strategy that not only strengthens the strong foundations on which the Da Vinci’s heritage lie, but also highlights IWC’s commitment to devising a handsome watch—backed by decades of innovations—for women who wish to dabble in the horological big leagues.
Under the sharp eye of Christian Knoop, IWC’s Creative Director, 2017’s references will hit showcases with some new aesthetic and mechanical updates. “We thought long and hard about the shape of the case for the new Da Vinci,” adds Knoop. “Eventually, we came to the conclusion that a modern interpretation of the round shape established in the ’80s would be most in keeping with IWC’s overall portfolio.” Coupled with the iconic Flower of Life engraving on the timepiece’s case back, the round case also harks back to the balance and precision with which the original Renaissance inventor defined his works. Elsewhere, refined details such as sleek gold cases, diamond-set bezels and luxurious alligator leather straps help power the watch onwards to a new future.