IWC chief designer Kurt Klaus brought the DaVinci to life in the 1980s with his incomparable and revolutionary invention of an autonomous perpetual calendar and heralded a new era with this delightful complication. Launched in 2007 in a limited edition of 600 examples, the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Special Edition Kurt Klaus is a fine tribute to Kurt Klaus.
Its mechanical internal workings are identical with those of the previous Da Vinci: perpetual calendar with a complete year display in four digits, perpetual moon phase display, chronograph and automatic movement. This proven mechanical combination of around 400 perfectly matched individual parts also finds room inside the tonneau case of the new generation. The small signature “K. Klaus” opposite the year display makes reference to the exceptional watchmaker to whom this honour is extended, and who has practised his skills for 50 years in the service of IWC and, hence, in the service of the mechanical watch. His portrait decorates the back of the watch as a relief engraving. The Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Special Edition Kurt Klaus was limited to 600 rare examples: 50 watches in platinum, 50 in white gold and 500 in a rose gold case.
Kurt Klaus, an unusually gifted watchmaker, had his hour of glory as a designer in 1985 with the autonomous perpetual calendar for the Da Vinci. He also takes the creative credit for the development of many other significant movements for IWC. Yet the greatest achievement, and one that remains inseparably linked with his name in the horological world, is the taming and simplification of this fascinating old complication. Without it, the Grande Complication in 1990, followed one year later by the Il Destriero Scafusia, would not even have been conceivable. The perpetual calendar by Kurt Klaus, which relieves the wearer of the need to make any calculations, adjustments or corrections and displays the year exclusively with four digits, was already so advanced 22 years ago that, to this day, it has not been surpassed by any comparable construction. It opened the door to haute horlogerie for IWC, which had been regarded until then as the specialist for the perfect, if simple, watch. The Schaffhausen manufactory has since taken it upon itself to produce every watch complication from the Minute Repeater to the Tourbillon, without exception and with increasing pleasure.
The “Kurt-Klaus-Kalendarium” has since found a place in numerous other watches and also adorns the Portuguese Perpetual Calendar. No other wristwatch calendar before or since has been equipped with a time reserve of more than 500 years. The interchangeable century slide, itself a clever idea of Kurt Klaus, which will need to be replaced at the end of 2100 by a new century slide with the numerals 22, 23, 24, symbolizes a length of time which actually lasts for only a small part of eternity in absolute terms, although from the point of view of individuals it extends into infinity.
These limited edition timepieces – 500 examples in rose gold, 50 in platinum and 50 in white gold – carry the small signature on the dial at the bottom right between “4” and “5” o’clock and a relief engraving of Kurt Klaus on the back of the watch, in addition to the familiar indications of the date, day, month, year and perpetual moon phase.
Model: Perpetual calendar Kurt Klaus Ref. IW3762
Perpetual calendar in a tonneau case with a mechanical chronograph movement, chronograph with perpetual moon phase display and four-digit year display, engraving Kurt Klaus on the back; limited editions: platinum 50 ex., white gold 50 ex., rose gold 500 ex.
Vibrations: 28,800/h / 4 Hz
Power reserve: 44 h
Case and dial
Material: platinum, 18ct. white gold, 18 ct. rose gold
Dial: silver-plated (platinum), slate-grey ardoise (white gold), silver-plated (rose gold)
Glass sapphire glass, convex, antireflective
Clasp match the case material
Water-resistant 3 bar (30 m)
Diameter 43 mm
Height 15.15 mm