Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar

About 10 years ago I had the honor of meeting and sitting down with living legend, Kurt Klaus, former technical director of IWC and inventor of IWC’s Perpetual Calendar movement, caliber 79261. During an evening of lectures on Perpetual Calendars and watchmaking in general, Mr Klaus shared his knowledge, memories and drawings on designing and manufacturing the caliber for the watch seen here; the IW3750/03 IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph.

What does a Perpetual Calendar movement actually do, I hear you thinking. Well, this complication automatically compensates for the shifting rhythms of the 30/31-day cycle of the months throughout the year. But more importantly, it also automatically compensates for the 28 days of February and even knows when to add the extra day on the 29th of a leap year. What is also very interesting to note is that these Perpetual Calendar watches use several internal pushers to adjust and correct the calendar complications by hand, these pushers need to be operated with a stylus, and should you accidentally try to adjust the movement, during the date changeover period for instance, you can jam or damage the movement badly. Because of the latter, Mr. Klaus wanted to make his complication easier to use, and after endless hours of consults, calculations and perfecting the design, he created a perpetual calendar module that included not only the representation of the correct day, date, month and leap year, but also a four-digit year indication and a moon-phase display that was accurate to 1 day in 177 years! To top it all, this module was relatively simple to produce for IWC and a breeze to use for the wearer, as all the complications on the movement/watch are controlled by the same crown you also use to set the time – it was absolutely genius.

At the same time of Klaus’s technical design frenzy, IWC’s designer Hano Burtscher had dreamed of a watch case inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s recurring circles in his plans for a harbor fort in Piombino from 1499. Together, Klaus and Burtscher created the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph with reference 3750. When launched in the year 1985, the Da Vinci was a total revelation and an act of brilliance. It is the most user friendly Perpetual Calendar ever made, and today it is also the most avant gardist in design, plus the most accessibly priced Perpetual Calendar on the market. You see, this 18K yellow gold Perpetual Calendar presented here, costs less than a stainless steel Submariner for instance..

This IW3750 Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph was serviced by IWC a few years ago (service papers are also present) and the watch was fully checked by our watchmakers and she still performs beautifully.  The watch is accompanied by ALL the original boxes, booklets, warranty, the original (but worn) IWC strap, the sealed glass tube with the extra discs for when the year needs to changed somewhere in 2169, and of course all service papers and some parts which were replaced. This little time machine is ready to go and will be delivered with our 24 month warranty.

reference: IW3750/03
case number: 254XXXX
year of production: ca. 1988
case diameter: 39mm
movement: IWC QP caliber 79261
box and papers: yes, full set including box, paperwork, service-papers, receipts and spare parts.