The Da Vinci from IWC, which revolutionized the perpetual calendar in 1985, made horological history. Introduced in 2007, the Da Vinci Chronograph (Ref. IW3764) opened a new chapter which retains its close links with the universal genius of the Italian Renaissance.
The chronograph is justifiably the most popular and the most widely distributed horological complication. For Schaffhausen kept faith with the mechanical watch with a stopwatch function at the end of the seventies, during the quartz revolution, at a time when scarcely anyone wished to know anything about it. The chronograph is the epitome of the modern age, which offers so many tempting options and because of that obliges strict timing. Ever since its invention between the start and the middle of the nineteenth century, however, the mechanical “time writer” – the first examples of which left a small dot of ink on the dial at the push of a button – has suffered from a single serious shortcoming, namely the reduced legibility of longer measured times. The system of the two totalizers mainly for 30 minutes and – separately – for up to 12 hours, has basically not been examined again technically since it was originally developed. This situation occasionally also nurtures the prejudice that the function itself is irrelevant, and that the complication simply meets decorative needs.
The case contains as its mechanical heart the manufactory chronograph calibre 89360, developed by IWC. The round automatic movement with a power reserve of 68 hours, a newly developed double pawl winding system and the predominantly decentral chronograph mechanism with column wheel actuation, is an entirely new design based on the highest industrial design standard, Design for Six Sigma DFSS, which has been used consistently by IWC for some time. A so called “robust design” was achieved in this way, in which every function and component in a closely networked process between design and subsequent production is inspected, tested, optimized repeatedly and checked thoroughly to exclude possible faults.
The automatic spring bridge already improved for the Cal. 80111 of the Ingenieur has been adopted from the ingenious winding mechanism design of Albert Pellaton. This is a central component, which carries the rotor and absorbs impacts from all directions. The pawl winding mechanism itself has nevertheless undergone a complete change. Two double winding pawls, making four in total instead of the previous two, transmit the energy of the rotor movement to the pawl wheel through push-and-pull movements. A dead angle is eliminated during winding, and the efficiency of the winding is increased by 30 per cent by the new positioning of the pawls, which now no longer lie one after the other, but are arranged in pairs opposite one another on the pawl wheel. They are not controlled by the cam disc (heart) as previously, but by a crankshaft similar to that found in an automobile engine. The index-free escapement system with a special, Nivarox balance spring produced exclusively for IWC exhibits clearly superior oscillation characteristics in return for a lower energy requirement and achieves a “quality factor” – as the relevant measurable variable is referred to – of more than 400, which lies significantly above that of most other high quality and highest-quality movements. Fine adjustment is effected via precision adjustment screws on the balance wheel ring.
For the first time, 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 the familiar form of an analogue time display with two hands. It can also run continuously with the movement without any decrease in amplitude. This feat of strength demonstrated by proprietary chronograph design also meets the high demands of a watch which does not bear the great name Da Vinci simply in order to embellish itself, but rather in order to live up to all that the name implies.
The Da Vinci Chronograph Ref. IW3764 is available in white gold, rose gold and stainless steel, with a limited edition of 500 watches in platinum.
Model: Da Vinci Chronograph Ref. IW3764
Chronograph in a tonneau case with manufactory automatic movement and analogue display of aggregate stop times synchronized with the actual time, with date display and seconds stop function, hands and indices luminous, platinum variant limited to 500 watches
Vibrations: 28,800/h / 4 Hz
Power reserve: 68 h
Case, dial and strap
Three-part tonneau case in platinum, 18 ct. white gold, 18 ct. rose gold, stainless steel
Dial silver-plated (platinum), slate-grey ardoise (white gold), silver-plated (rose gold), black (stainless steel)
Glass sapphire glass, convex, anti reflective, see-through back sapphire
Clasp match the case material
Water-resistant 3 bar (30 m)
Diameter 43 mm
Height 14.35 mm