Review: IWC Da Vinci Chronograph Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation”

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Laureus. A name associated with social change and development via sports-related projects. Laureus comprises the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Laureus World Sports Award and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1999 by Daimler and Richemont and funds and supports children’s community sports projects. The focus on children is to be applauded because a better future starts by giving opportunities to children to play and develop their knowledge and skills. IWC’s involvement with Laureus began in 2005. Currently Mercedes-Benz and IWC are the global partners of Laureus.


The 2017 Edition of the IWC collaboration with the Laureus Foundation is the Da Vinci Chronograph.

Laureus Editions

Every year since 2006 (except for 2010), IWC Schaffhausen has launched a special edition for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Part of the proceeds from the sale of these timepieces go directly to the Laureus Foundation and contributes to the funding of its projects. 2017 marks the launch of the 12th Laureus Special Edition. Like its predecessors, the IWC Da Vinci Chronograph Special Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation” aims to be a symbol of hope for children and young people who are socially disadvantaged because they have mental or physical handicaps or live in difficult family cir circumstances. Since 2006, IWC has launched special and limited editions of the following models:

2006: Portuguese Chronograph. Ref. IW371432. 2,000 pieces.
2007: Pilot Spitfire Double Chronograph. Ref. IW371712. 2,500 pieces.
2008: Da Vinci Chronograph. Ref. IW376404. 1,000 pieces.
2009: Portuguese Automatic 7-days. Ref. IW500112. 1,000 pieces
2010: No Laureus model issued.
2011: Ingenieur Automatic. Ref. IW323310. 1,000 pieces.
2012: Portofino Chronograph. Ref. IW391019. 2,500 pieces.
2013: Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph. Ref. IW390213. 1,000 pieces
2014: Portuguese Chronograph Classic. Ref. IW390406. 1,000 pieces
2015: Ingenieur Automatic. Ref. IW323909.1,500 pieces.
2016: Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37. Ref. IW459006. 1,500 pieces.
2017: Da Vinci Chronograph Ref. IW393402. 1,500 pieces.

Each Laureus Limited Edition can be recognised by its blue dial – the color of Laureus – and an engraved back, usually derived from a child’s drawing.

The association with a Da Vinci watch makes this year special. In the 1980s the Quartz revolution had almost destroyed the mechanical watch industry. IWC, at the time headed by Günther Blümlein, wanted to do something special to revive the then disadvantaged mechanical watch business of IWC. He was thinking of a perpetual (calendar) chronograph. It was Kurt Klaus who made it happen. Resources were limited so use had to be made of an existing movement. Kurt Klaus, who was always looking for simple, easy-to-use solutions, developed a Perpetual Calendar module consisting of just 80 components that could be operated with one button. Within a year IWC sold more perpetuals than all other vendors together! It opened the door to haute horlogerie for IWC Schaffhausen, which had been viewed as the specialist for simple, functional watches until then. Some argue that Klaus’ invention also marked the revival of the Swiss mechanical watch industry. Renaissance was brought back to the watch industry. Laureus aims to bring renaissance to children.


IWC Da Vinci Chronograph Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation”


The 42mm case is a nice fit, especially with the Da Vinci artuculating lugs which wraps the watch around the wrist.

Case, Dial and Hands

The Da Vinci Chronograph Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation” (Ref. IW393402) has a blue dial and a diameter of 42 millimetres. IWC decided to return to the classic round case and dial of the original Da Vinci while maintaining the design characteristics of other IWC watch families. The designer of the first IWC Da Vinci watch, Hano Burtscher, probably would have been proud of the design team. Like Mr. Burtscher, the designers must have immersed themselves in reference works of Leonardo Da Vinci as well as IWC’s history to bring the original design to the next level. I believe they succeeded. As Peter said “the aesthetics are magnificent” in his article about the Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. The Laureus Edition is no exception.

The newly developed moving horns with curved lugs that ensure a better fit of the Santoni leather strap on the wrist. The crown and pushers looks classical yet modern. Operating the pushers has dramatically improved compared to the original Da Vinci. The shape of the pushers invites to use the chronograph.

While the old case almost looked like 3 rounded layers – the domed glass being the third layer – with equal dimensions. the new case is less rounded and the middle layer is wider than the lower part. It looks more contemporary. It is a good thing that IWC decided to retain the pronounced domed shape of the sapphire crystal glass.


The Da Vinci case returns to the round shape after the 2007 tonneau shape. The Laureus is identified by the blue dial.


The dial looks balanced, clean and clear. The contrast between the blue dial and polished hour markers and hands contribute to this. The tip of central chronograph seconds hand, the 60 minute indicator in the hour/minute subdial, and “45” seconds marker in the main dial are coloured in red, which gives a nice touch. The embedded date (rectangular) window in the lower subdial looks good in size and is legible as long as the minute hand does not block the view. Placing the debossed subdials at the 12th and 6th hours is something we are already familiar with. The polished ‘walls’ of the subdial as well as the ‘inner circles’ bring something extra and unique that fully harmonises with the other shapes and proportions.

Speaking of proportions, the size of the subdials, size of fonts, shape of hands, spaces between subdials, and so on looks well balanced. Together with the contrasts in colours, this makes the watch clear and legible.

The stainless-steel chronograph shows elapsed minutes and hours in the 12 o’clock subdial and seconds in the 6 o’clock subdial. Stopped hours and minutes can be read off as if on an analogue watch. A central chronograph hand show seconds on a milliseconds scale. The chronograph can run continuously without any decrease in amplitude.

The IWC logo can be found at its usual position. And to be absolutely sure that no one takes this for something else, the type of watch – chronograph – is mentioned on the left. Frankly, we think this has been done to maintain the balance between the left and right sides of the dial.

On the back of the watch is a drawing by 12-year old boy Hou Ye from Shanghai who won the global drawing competition for children. Hou Ye is a passionate participant in the Special Olympics East Asia despite his mental handicap and limited motor abilities. The theme of this edition was “Time Well Spent”. His winning picture shows himself on skis, laughing as he sets his own personal best time.


The winning entry from Hou Ye from Shanghai selected from a worldwide competition is engraved on the case back.


Please do not dive with this watch as it is water resistant to 3 bar only.


The Movement

The watch houses the well-known and robust 89361 movement that is part of the high-end 89000 family. The first version of this movement – the calibre 89360 – was introduced in the 2007 Da Vinci. This iteration – already used in IWC’s other high-end chronographs — has less jewels (38 instead of 40) but features a spring bridge for enhanced shock absorption: impacts from all directions are absorbed by this solution. This system was adopted from earlier designs for the Ingenieur movements.


The C.89361 in the IWC Da Vinci Laureus.


The 89361 movements beats at 28,800bph and has a 68-hour power reserve. An improved and redesigned Pellaton winding system is used to retain energy levels. Two double winding pawls transmit the energy of the rotor to the pawl wheel through push and pull movements. The pawls are arranged in pairs opposite to each other on the pawl wheel. The pawls are embodied as springs eliminating the need for an extra spring. IWC claims that the efficiency of the winding is increased by 30% by the new positioning of the pawls. This allowed IWC to use a lighter rotor, which leads to reduced force on the central arbor. The system is controlled by a crankshaft instead of a cam disc on the rotor arbor. The double winding pawl system is an improvement of the famous Pellaton winding system

Furthermore, the movement features a flyback function; pressing the push-button stops, resets and restarts the chronograph instantly. The chronograph is actuated by a column wheel and records the aggregate time recording of hours and minutes in an analogue-like time display with two hands.

IWC claims that the index-free escapement system with a special Glucydur® beryllium alloy balance spring – produced exclusively for IWC – exhibits superior oscillation characteristics. Fine adjustment is done via precision adjustment screws on the balance rim.



Competitive landscape

Defining the competitive landscape for this special edition watch is a bit tricky. There are lots of mechanical automatic chronographs with flyback functions but no other chronographs with blue dials have been produced for Laureus other than IWC’s own chronographs.


Concluding thoughts

If you love mechanical chronographs and like to contribute to a better future for children who are disadvantaged, this is your chance! The watch looks beautiful with a clean and balanced dial and features a high-end mechanical chronograph movement.

Specifications of the IWC Da Vinci Chronograph Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation”

Reference: IW393402
Case: stainless steel – Diameter: 42 millimeters; height: 14.5 millimeters – water-resistance 3 bar; moving horns with curved lugs; chronograph pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock positions.
Glass: sapphire arched edge front glass with antireflective coating on both sides.
Dial: blue; hour-minute counter at 12 o’clock position; seconds counter at 6 o’clock position; sword-shaped hands; arabic numerals.
Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes; date display; stopwatch function with hours, minutes, and seconds; hours and minute counters combined in a totaliser at 12 o’clock; flyback function; Chronograph can run continuously without any decrease in amplitude.
Movement: Automatic mechanical chronograph movement, IWC Calibre 89361; 28,800 vibrations per hour; 68-hour power reserve; 38 jewels; small hacking seconds; Glucydur® beryllium alloy indexless balance with high-precision adjustment screws on balance rim; width 30mm diameter, height 7,5mm.
Strap and buckle: black alligator leather strap by Santoni, stainless-steel folding clasp
Availability: Limited Edition of 1,500 pieces.
Price: S$ 19,100 including GST or CHF 13,500 inclusive of Swiss taxes.

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