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http://www.thewatchbox.com With the IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Digital Date-Month 3761-02, the watchmakers from Schaffhausen take a page from Back to the Future Part III and set the time machine to 1885. That’s the year IWC launched its revolutionary Pallwebber digital pocket watch, and like Marty McFly, the Rose Gold Da Vinci Perpetual Digital Date-Month 3761-02 proves that best of the (18)80’s never goes out of style. Although a perpetual calendar has been available in the IWC Da Vinci range since its 1985 (what is it about that year?) debut, and a perpetual has been part of the reborn tonneau-cased Da Vinci since is 2007 launch, the 2009 arrival of the Da Vinci Perpetual Digital Date-Month marked the model line’s true transition to high horology. While the previous Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph leaned on a Valjoux 7750 base movement for motive power, the Da Vinci 3761-02 is in-house IWC from its base plate to its four (!) date discs. A variant of the 80,000-series tractor movement, the IWC cal. 89800 combines IWC’s signature Albert Pellaton-designed pawl-winding automatic system with an elaborate jumping-digit calendar display. If the aesthetic of the Da Vinci Digital Day-Date resembles the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk, its Teutonic cousin from across the German-Swiss border, that’s no coincidence… but Glashutte owes Schaffhausen the debt of gratitude, not the other way around. Having built its digital “Pallwebber” pocket watches during the 1880s, IWC laid the foundation for the 21st century high horology’s departure from the classic clock face layout. But the IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Digital Date-Month is far more than a novel interface. Beneath its elaborately guilloche-embellished silver dial lies a mechanical monster with 474 individual parts pivoting on 52 rubies. Endowed with a flyback chronograph, perpetual calendar, and automatic winding of a robust 68-hour power reserve, the caliber 89800 rivals the sophistication of the finest grand complications of Geneva. And IWC’s monster machine boasts a pedigree to match its complexity. Based on the perpetual calendar innovations of IWC’s legendary watchmaker Kurt Klaus, the IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Digital Date-Month advances all of its calendar indications in coordinated sequence. Luxury watch enthusiasts understandably are loathe to adjust most perpetual calendars that lapse while sitting in the safe; no such reservations will vex the owner of this Da Vinci. The single-point adjustment of Klaus’ system – all adjustment are made by turning the sole crown – and the coordinated calendar ensure that restoring the correct date is as simple as adjusting the quickset date of a normal sports watch. Each generation of the IWC Da Vinci has been a stylistic standout within the sports watch-intensive IWC catalog, and the Da Vinci Perpetual Digital Date-Month is no exception. Its dramatic tonneau case cuts an imposing profile in warm red gold, and the distinctive silver guilloche provides a radiant canvas for the display windows of the masterpiece complication. Despite this Da Vinci’s staggering mechanical complexity, all elements from the leap year cycle at six o’clock to the civil time at center can be read at a glance, and rose gold applied indices add richness to composition. While the degree of detail is high and the features are legion, IWC balances the face of the Da Vinci franchise with a masterful combination of vertical and bilateral symmetry. On the wrist, the IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Digital Date-Month reads as a contemporary product. While its complication draws upon historic inspiration, the execution of the whole speaks to a 21st century sensibility. IWC’s vision of 2015 may lack flying cars and hoverboards, but if Marty McFly and Doc Brown could see this Da Vinci Perpetual Digital Date-Month, they’d agree; fact beats fiction. See this IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Digital Date-Month in high-resolution images on www.thewatchbox.com. Video and content by Tim Mosso