Ten Essential Luxury Watches – Watch Number 8
IWC Da Vinci Automatic
IWC, another of the most illustrious Swiss watch brands, turned to possibly the greatest inventor of all time, Leonardo da Vinci, for inspiration for this collection, and it is one of the most elegant in the IWC arsenal.
Leonardo da Vinci conceived more inventions and machines, and discovered and documented more of the laws of nature than hundreds of his contemporaries as well as those who succeeded him. Among many of his passions was the measurement of time. Da Vinci invented helical gears, bevel gears and complicated screw transmissions, which can still be found in many machines today, including watches. His work on space-saving spring drives and new escapements, in particular, was extremely important.
In recent years watches have been all about impressive proportions, 45mm +, but for those with smaller wrists a large watch can look overbearing. The Da Vinci Automatic is an attractive alternative for those watch lovers who prefer a smaller version of the Da Vinci collection.
The tonneau-shaped case measures 35.6 × 42.5 millimetres, which makes the attractive large date display all the more clear and legible. The silver-plated dial, combined with the 18-carat rose gold case and brown alligator leather strap, is the epitome of elegance. The tobacco-coloured dial, framed by the stainless-steel case, is likewise balanced to perfection by the dark brown strap.
Powered by the 30130-calibre automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve, the Da Vinci Automatic may at first seem like an unusual choice for an essential luxury watch collection, but it is certainly one of the most elegant editions in the entire IWC family. Also, it’s important to balance overtly sporty watches, such as the Breitling Chronomat 44 and the OMEGA Seamaster with something that is both different in shape and quite different in genre. This dress watch is much more about elegance and sophistication. With its refined proportions it’s ideal for slipping under the double cuff of a shirt for a night at the opera or an exclusive dinner party.
Alternatively, the watch could look just the part on a wannabe US President dining in his favourite ribs restaurant. We know this because Kevin Spacey, who plays ultra-ambitious and conniving politician Frank Underwood in the Netflix origjnal series House of Cards, is actually seen wearing one. In some episodes he is also seen wearing an IWC Portuguese Automatic, so if IWC is good enough for a scheming, smart-as-a-whip politican like Frank Underwood, we can conclude that this is indeed a canny choice of watch. In some respects it’s as if the brand is coming home, because IWC Schaffhausen was originally founded in the 1860s by one Florentine Ariosto Jones, an American engineer and a skilled watchmaker.
An IWC Da Vinci is also a choice perhaps less obvious than some of the more usual luxury watch selections such as a Rolex or an OMEGA, and every collection should have its surprises. The Da Vinci Automatic was first introduced in 2007 and has since proved extremely popular with IWC followers because it is one of the most uncomplicated, clean and uncluttered watches in the Da Vinci family. And so by now you will be wondering about the price. Well, the Da Vinci Automatic in 18ct gold can be acquired for around $15,000.
Ten Essential Luxury Watches – Synopsis:
1. The Rolex Day-Date President
2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore “Bumblebee”
3. TAG Heuer Monaco
4. Omega Seamaster 300 M Co-Axial 41MM
5. Cartier Tank
6. Breitling Chronomat 44 Flying Fish
7. Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days – 47mm PAM 00514
8. IWC Da Vinci Automatic
9. Patek Philippe Calatrava
10. Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711