IWC Big News This week’s SIHH is a re-collection of Leonardo da Vinci, a series recently revisited in 2007, now redesigning the case of skin rounds – and branding – mainly targeted at women. We have shown you the DaVinci perpetual calendar watch and will explore other models in the coming weeks, but today, after SIHH opened in 2017, we focus on a watch to write the title, a definite male attraction: Retrograde Chronograph of Vinci Taubilen Rotating Mechanism.
Housed in a 44-mm, 18k rose-gold case and powered by an all-new in-house movement, Caliber 89900, the IWC Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph combines a trio of complications: a classical flying tourbillon, a chronograph, and a retrograde date indication. (While a tourbillon doesn’t meet the strictest definition of a complication — i.e., it doesn’t provide an additional function beyond timekeeping — it is a device that reflects the highest levels of watchmaking expertise.)
As with all tourbillons of the “flying” variety, this one’s cage is bearing-mounted on only one end, on the underside, rather than connected to an upper bridge, as in a traditional, “non-flying” tourbillon. Visible in a large aperture at 6 o’clock on the silver-plated dial, the tourbillon also has a technically complex hacking seconds function: when the crown is pulled out, two levers clamp onto the balance rim, halting the balance, wheel train, and hands, and thus ensuring accurate time setting down to the second.
The chronograph, which includes a flyback function and is operated by two golden pushers on either side of the crown, can record elapsed-time intervals up to 11 hours and 59 minutes. These intervals are displayed on a single subdial at 12 o’clock, with hands and indices for both hours and minutes to ensure an easy and intuitive reading of the elapsed time: If the hands are stopped at 9:45, for example, you’ve recorded 9 hours and 45 minutes. The central chronograph seconds hand can measure stopped times to 1/4-second accuracy.
The arc-shaped retrograde date display, located on the left side of the dial and numbered 1 through 31, has a small date-pointer hand (blued, like the chronograph hands) that moves in one-day increments and snaps back to 1 after reaching 31. In months with fewer than 31 days, simply use the crown to quickly and easily advance the date pointer back to the first day of the new month.
Automatic winding movement, caliber, 89900 has 68 hours power reserve and the balance of frequency 28800 vph (4 Hz). By showing a clear sapphire caseback window, its salient features include a solid rose gold rotor and a pallet and escapement wheel made of diamond-clad silicon, an extremely difficult and friction-resistant surface treatment that helps preserve the power reserve.
The watch is attached through the active lugs through the Santoni brown alligator strap and the wrist with a folding clasp of 18 k rose gold. Price: $ 103,000. Scroll down to see some life pictures of the watch.