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Retro time

Michelle Zhu
Michelle Zhu • 4 min read
Retro time
IWC Schaffhausen revisits the grandeur of its iconic 1980s timepieces with its 2017 Da Vinci Collection.
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IWC Schaffhausen revisits the grandeur of its iconic 1980s timepieces with its 2017 Da Vinci Collection.

This year, Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen unveils a modern reinterpretation of its 1980s Da Vinci Collection — bringing the round case that was made successful by the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar together with harmonious forms, rounded crowns, and diamonds on a new generation of single models.

The 2017 Da Vinci Collection combines the watch family’s heritage with today’s designs, incorporating the brand’s tradition of creating selected models from the line especially for women. All timepieces under the new range feature Santoni all-alligator straps and newly conceptualised movable horns, with curved lugs to ensure that straps and bracelets fit perfectly around the wrist for a more comfortable wear.

“We thought long and hard about the shape of the case for the new Da Vinci. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that a modern interpretation of the round shape established in the 1980s would be most in keeping with IWC’s overall portfolio,” explains Christian Knoop, creative director at IWC Schaffhausen.

“For example, we took our cue from the twinframe bezel with its peripheral groove, but made it slightly narrower and a little less pronounced. We also adopted the large Arabic numerals from the round Da Vinci together with the slim, lancet- shaped hands.”

Anchoring IWC as a brand in the minds of women is the new collection’s main focus of interest. One such instance can be found in the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36, where a model features 54 pure-white diamonds encircling a stainless-steel case to complement the silverplated dial. For all three models under this range, multiple shades of gold are used for the numerals as well as the hour and minute hands, which alternate with the blue of the seconds hand and are set against a goldand- blue moon phase display. Engraved on the case back is the Flower of Life, a geometrical figure with several overlapping circles and the object of intensive study by Leonardo da Vinci.

Harmonious Trio
The Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph is a combination of a classic flying tourbillon, a chronograph and a retrograde date display located on the left-hand side of the dial, which turns the passage of time into a much more vivid experience. The tourbillion also offers a technically complex hacking function that guarantees down-to-the-second accuracy when setting the watch. This 18-carat red-gold creation is powered by IWC’s new in-house 89900 calibre, which can be admired through a transparent sapphire glass-back.

Tribute to brilliance
The modern-day Da Vinci Auto matic pays homage to the Da Vinci SL Automatic from the late 1990s, a creation from the SL Collection which was launched in 1976. Watches from this collection were produced in only limited numbers to ensure they remained much sought-after collector’s pieces. Designed for both women and men, this classic timepiece is available either with a slate-coloured dial and stainless-steel bracelet, or with a silverplated dial and black alligator-leather strap.

All for a cause
IWC launches an exclusive special-edition model each year — part of the proceeds from its sales goes towards the funding of projects by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The Da Vinci Chronograph Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation”, the 11th in the series, has a drawing on its back. The picture by a 12-year-old Chinese boy won a global children’s drawing competition. The watch’s inhouse 89361 chronograph calibre has a 68-hour power reserve. The piece also has a flyback function which enables the chronograph to be restarted instantaneously by pressing its push-button stops.

This article appeared in Issue 771 (March 20) of The Edge Singapore.

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