CIRCA: 1990
DIAMETER: 42 mm.
STRAP: Black CROCODILE leather strap
DIAL: White
MOVEMENT: Cal. 79091, automatic
FUNCTIONS: Time, Perpetual Calendar, Chronograph, Moonphase
CLASP: Pin buckle

Ψ This endangered species strap is shown for display purposes only and is not for sale.

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Lot Essay

In 1985, during the midst of the quartz crisis, IWC set out to create what would be its first grande complication wristwatch - and one of the world’s most complicated timepieces: a wristwatch featuring a perpetual calendar, a chronograph, and the king of complications, a minute repeater. A team of watchmakers and engineers was commissioned, and along with two young wunderkinds of complicated horology, Dominic Renaud and Giulio Papi (who are today behind some of Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille’s most complicated movements) were tasked to create IWC’s grande complication. After five years of painstaking development work and 12 patents, this horological masterpiece was officially presented at the Basel fair in 1990.

The project was officially documented in the book “The Grande Complication from IWC” by Manfred Fritz published in 1991. The 42 mm platinum case of the present lot houses an automatic caliber with no less than 568 components that give life to 18 functions: hour, minute and seconds displays, moon phase, month, day and date displays, perpetual calendar, indication of year, decade, century and millennium, chronograph seconds counter, chronograph minutes counter, chronograph hours counter, minute repeater, quarter repeater and hour repeater.

The IWC Grande Complication proudly stood against the tide of quartz watches that were flooding the market, and is a timepiece that certainly helped bring back interest in fine, mechanical complicated movements. It set the benchmark for the multi-complicated watch trend that was to follow into the new millennium.

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