IWC was inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s pioneering spirit and countless innovations in the fields of science and mechanics. This prompted them to create a collection that celebrates the legendary artist and inventor. The Da Vinci models honor his legacy embracing the motto, “always a little ahead of its time.” Since the collection debuted in the 1960’s, the models have featured some of IWC’s most groundbreaking innovations, including complex complications and cutting-edge movements.
Leonardo Da Vinci is celebrated as a scientist, artist, and builder for his accomplishments throughout his lifetime. One of his lifelong infatuations was the precise measurement of time. Innumerable sketches indicate his passion for the earliest clockworks of the Renaissance. Many of Da Vinci's revolutionary inventions, such as bevel gears, gear drives, and complex screw transmission systems can be found in numerous machines in modern day, including watches. Other innovations, particularly his work on new escapements and space-saving spring drives, were also crucial. It has only been in the 19th century that people have begun to slowly realize how far ahead of his time Da Vinci was. In the late 1960s, Leonardo da Vinci's groundbreaking way of thinking inspired IWC Schaffhausen to launch a collection in his honor.
The quality of the initial model introduced in the series astounded watch enthusiasts. From that day forward, the mantra of the collection has remained 'always a little ahead of its time.' Several of IWC's trailblazing modernizations have first been developed for the Da Vinci family, including the innovative Beta 21 series quartz movement for wristwatches that was revealed in 1969 as a dual effort by the Swiss watch making industry. This was considered to be a profound advancement in IWC's history of precision measurement.
In 1985 IWC presented the first chronograph in the Da Vinci line, which featured a perpetual calendar and a display that showed the year in four digits. This design was the first wristwatch to include a gear train that transformed the vast distance traveled by the escape wheel into a single movement of the century slide. Its complex mechanism encompasses only 83 components and is exceptionally straightforward to use. The displays for the day, month, year, decade, century, millennium, and phase of the moon can all be set synchronously at the crown.
In true Da Vinci fashion, IWC constantly strives to improve and innovate. In 2007, IWC opened a new chapter in the chronicle of the renowned Da Vinci collection by housing all Da Vinci models in a unique tonneau-shaped case. The IWC-developed 89360 calibre was made for the Da Vinci Chronograph from start to finish in the IWC factory. This technology incorporated the 'watch-in-watch' principle, creating a chronograph whose stopped minutes and hours appeared on a display like a traditional watch that could be read from directly, a first for IWC. The limited edition Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Kurt Klaus and the Da Vinci Automatic were also released in 2007.
The limited edition Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Kurt Klaus pays homage to the 50th full year of service for IWC by its spiritual father. In 2009 another model was added to the collection, the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month, which is the first flyback chronograph with a digital leap year display a digital display for the date with large numerals and a perpetual calendar. Then, in 2010, the Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic was introduced. This model contains a amazing pairing of titanium and ultra-hard ceramic, both of which are polished, satin-finished, and feature a 3D dial with a suspended chapter ring. During the duration of a Da Vinci exposition put on by IWC, a mechanism that was presumed to have been used a form of impulsion for aircrafts turned out to be a predecessor for a watch movement. This finding attracted worldwide attention.
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