IWC Schaffhausen Da Vinci Tourbillon with Perpetual Calendar (1999)

This exceptional timepiece was unveiled in 1999 to celebrate the arrival of third millennium.

Back in 1985, IWC designer Hano Burtscher discovered sketches made by Leonardo in 1499 for the circular fortifications at the harbour of Piombino and found his inspiration for the first Da Vinci chronograph. The result was a watch that stands out on anyone’s wrist: reliable, built, it seems, to last for an eternity, but with a complex, almost filigree mechanical movement that continues to set standards.

At the heart of the Da Vinci Tourbillon special edition, is the intricate device from which the watch takes its name and it was the part of the watch developed to celebrate the company’s 125th anniversary, “Il Destriero Scafusia”.

The tourbillon was developed to counterbalance the one-sided effects of gravity on the precision of top quality mechanical watches, and remains one of the most exacting challenges to the watchmaker’s skills. The way in which IWC took on and surmounted this particular challenge continues to fascinate watch lovers all over the world. The minute tourbillon alone consists of almost 100 parts and yet weighs just 0.3 gm.

The perpetual calendar is programmed up to the year 2499. To provide the owner with an unimpeded view of this micromechanical masterpiece at work, the Da Vinci Tourbillon – unlike the standard Da Vinci and the Da Vinci split seconds chronograph – is fitted with a sapphire glass back. Other differences include the hand-wound IWC 76061 calibre movement and the tiny word “Tourbillon” in the date display circle.

This special edition Da Vinci Tourbillon was produced in yellow gold and platinum in limited editions of 200 and 50 pieces respectively.

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