IWC watches from SIHH 2017: IWC Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph joins the Da Vinci collection
Besides featuring forefront technical features from the manufacture, this timepiece marks the Da Vinci collection’s return to a round case shape
IWC’s Da Vinci collection has undergone yet another major revamp, with a return this year to the round case shape that it sported in the 1980s. The updated collection is skewed heavily towards a female audience, with a design-centric approach that captures the spirit of the original round Da Vinci watches, while keeping them relevant in the 21st century.
The Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph is the flagship of the new collection and shares a set of refreshed design cues with its siblings. Note the round double stepped case that anchors the entire collection, which comes complete with articulating lugs like the original. In lieu of a single lug piece at each side of the case, however, the watch’s lugs are now two distinct pieces; ergonomics haven’t necessarily been improved, since the new lugs are connected by the spring bar and move in tandem, but the updated design looks far more contemporary. In the same vein of things, the old stick indexes have been replaced with Arabic numerals for a decidedly more contemporary dial.
On the technical front, the watch is equipped with Calibre 89900, the newest member of the 89000 chronograph movement family. This flyback chronograph combines its minute and hour totalisers into a single sub-dial at 12 o’clock, so elapsed time can be read like a normal clock. This also frees up space for a retrograde calendar at nine o’clock and a flying tourbillon at six o‘clock.
The flying tourbillon here is of particular interest, as several technical advancements have been implemented here. For a start, it contains two levers that grip the balance when the crown is pulled out — this stops the entire gear train, essentially allowing time to be set down to the second, just like a regular movement with hacking seconds. The escape wheel and pallet fork have also been manufactured using technology that is new to IWC; in lieu of steel, these components are now made in silicon with a coating of diamond (i.e. carbon) applied via chemical vapour deposition. The diamond coating imparts extra stiffness, so the components can be skeletonised to reduce their weight even further. According to Walter Volpers, associate director of product development at IWC, the switch to silicon and the new skeletonised structures account for an estimated 15 to 20 per cent improvement in the movement’s energy efficiency thanks to weight savings. The final result is a movement that retains a respectable 68-hour power reserve despite the addition of a retrograde date and a tourbillon to its base calibre.
Movement Self-winding IWC 89900 calibre
Power Reserve 68-hour
Case 44-millimetre red gold
Water Resistance Up to 30 metres
Strap Dark brown Santoni alligator leather with red gold deployant buckle
Price SGD 156,000
This article was originally published in WOW.