IWC’s first mention of ladies’ watches dates back to 1875—a surprising fact considering the Swiss watchmaker’s modern reputation for being laser-focused on timepieces for men. In an attempt to tap in to that history, this year’s SIHH watch fair brought with it the long-awaited relaunch of Da Vinci, a collection introduced in the ’80s, known for its women’s pieces. As the company shakes off a guys-only rap, it now offers a diverse range of timepieces sized and styled for the wrists of women, spanning a sporty 36 mm Pilot’s watch and a refined Portofino to the stately Da Vinci Moon Phase.
According to the newly installed CEO, Chris Grainger-Herr, the Da Vinci is the dressiest IWC option for women, but it still adheres to the design codes of the house. The refreshed collection marks the return of a round case from the previous tonneau shape. It incorporates bold, articulated lugs in stainless steel that appear to float apart from the diamond-set bezel and stainless-steel case in a manner that recalls pocket watches. Gold-colored Roman numerals, markers, and hands provide estimable legibility, while a moon-phase indicator geared with 59 teeth provides an accurate representation of waxing and waning. The hand-stitched alligator strap, produced by Italian shoemaker Santoni, punctuates the piece with one more touch of craftsmanship.