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IWC DaVinci Chronograph Ceramic 3766-01 Luxury Watch Review

http://www.thewatchbox.com/watches/iwc The IWC DaVinci Chronograph Ceramic is a watch for a true "Renaissance Man." Its semi-tonneau case and black-white color palette are sober enough for the opera house, but its scratch-resistant ceramic case and robust flyback chronograph movement are ready to rough it at the Animal House. And with a production run of only three model years (2010-12), this DaVinci Chronograph Ceramic is one exclusive machine. IWC's modern DaVinci launched in 2007, but the Chronograph Ceramic didn't arrive until 2010. It was worth the wait. While the DaVinci line has been something of an IWC connoisseur's piece since its launch in 1986 (with an early ceramic option, no less), the 2010 Chronograph Ceramic is a DaVinci with universal appeal. The key to the IWC 3765-03's aesthetic triumph is the tandem of white metal accents against a powerful black base. The case and bezel are a case-in-point that illustrate this effect; the polished titanium bezel seems to be floating in suspension above a dark void. IWC's two-tone treatment in high-tech materials transforms the previously patrician DaVinci case into something approaching horological “avant garde.” Think "Richard Mille RM011," and you begin to see the resemblance. The stark contrast of light and dark continues on this IWC DaVinci's exclusive dial. Unlike the other watches in the IWC DaVinci line, the Chronograph Ceramic 3766-01 features what IWC calls a "Rehaut en Volant" - a flying minute track. Aside from the ironic use of francophone nomenclature on a watch from Schaffhausen, the description is apt. IWC's flying chapter ring sits suspended above the vertical striations and sub-registers of the black guilloche dial. IWC cleverly integrates a triple-register (hours, minutes, seconds) chronograph display into only two sub-dials through the use of a “monocounter” at 12 o’clock. The chronograph hours and minutes are displayed by superimposed hands on a single compact display. Within the complex facets of this DaVinci Chronograph Ceramic case sits an IWC in-house caliber 89360 automatic movement. Launched in 2007, this family of calibers debuted with the current generation DaVinci Chronograph, so the movement is sized correctly for the case (a measure of true “manufacture” competence). When viewed through the sapphire display back, the movement fills every millimeter of the visible field. And that sprawling sapphire case back reveals a mass of innovations, refinements and reinforcements befitting a luxury chronograph. Bidirectional winding is provided via IWC’s signature Albert Pellaton pawl-based winding system; it energizes a 68-hour power reserve. The unique Pellaton mechanism is time-tested and celebrated by connoisseurs of mechanical efficiency, but this generation benefits from oil-free ceramic winding rotor bearings for even greater power transmission and reduced service requirements. A free-sprung balance wheel with a modern 4hz (28,800 VpH) beat rate is both shock resistant and precise. For good measure, IWC’s flyback chronograph caliber includes the smooth chronograph engagement action of a vertical clutch and the tactile refinement of a traditional column wheel function selector. See this visually scintillating, unique, and rare IWC DaVinci Flyback Chronograph 3766-01 in high-resolution images on www.thewatchbox.com. Video and content by Tim Mosso.