The first ceramic watch case debuted in an IWC Da Vinci in 1986. In 2007, IWC presented its newly developed manufacture flyback chronograph movement in the redesigned Da Vinci family. For 2010, the circle is complete as the movement gets a new, elegant, high-tech home in the form of a ceramic and titanium case in – you guessed it – the Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic.
This IWC-manufactured chronograph movement incorporates several unique design features. Particularly noteworthy is the display of the recorded time, which leaves the traditional display in the past and adopts a user-friendly integrated display that shows the hours and minutes on a single counter in the 12 o’clock position via a shorter hour hand and a longer minute hand, like a second time display. The 89360 calibre also offers a new double-pawl winding system and a flyback function: actuating the lower button during a timing function causes the recorded time to return to zero and restart immediately, without stopping the stopwatch mechanism.
The central section of the new case consists of zirconium oxide, just as in that first Da Vinci back in 1986. That first model was produced in very small numbers because the material was difficult to machine. Over the years, the technicians and engineers have acquired a lot of experience in the manufacture and machining of this extremely scratch-resistant, non-magnetic and acid-proof ceramic. The case blanks can now be formed more efficiently and with greater accuracy than before. They are sintered at temperatures between 1500 and 2000 degrees Celsius, followed by cooling in a complicated process to enable the material to attain all of its outstanding properties. Diamond tools are required for the intricate finishing of the blanks.
The bezel, back, buttons and crown provide a color contrast in the form of ultra-hard titanium grade 5, which, unlike the titanium alloys formerly used by IWC, can be polished and satin-finished. The multi-level dial is the final course in this visual feast. The Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic is priced at $16,600 and it will be available at IWC boutiques in June, with broader distribution beginning in September. Additional information appears below the images, which may be enlarged with a click.
Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic
Chronograph in a tonneau-shaped case made of the high-tech ceramic, zirconium oxide, and titanium, flyback function,
IWC-manufactured automatic movement, stopwatch function with hours, minutes and seconds, hour and minute counters
combined in a single subdial at 12 o’clock, small hacking seconds, date display, luminescent hands and indices
Power reserve 68 h
Materials: zirconium oxide central section, titanium grade 5 bezel and back, black calfskin strap, folding clasp in stainless steel
Dial: black, with a réhaut volant
Glass: sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Back: see-through sapphire-glass back
Water-resistant: 3 bar
Case: dimensions 44 x 52.8mm