A grande complication combines a chronograph, a minute repeater, and a perpetual calendar in a single luxury watch. Traditionally, this was the pinnacle of pocket watch design, but rare wristwatch brands including IWC of Schaffhausen, Switzerland have dared to take the ultimate luxury watchmaking challenge.
Launched in 1990 following nearly seven years of development, the IWC 3770 Grande Complication was the most complex IWC brand watch of all time, and it fit in a 42mm platinum case. At only 48mm lug-to-lug, the mightiest IWC watch of 1990 can be worn on most wrists, and the reliable Valjoux 7750 movement base ensures everyday durability.
IWC included its mechanically programmed [watchmaker] Kurt Klaus perpetual calendar system first launched on the 1985 IWC DaVinci Perpetual. The system allows its user to adjust all indications of the perpetual calendar in synchronized and mechanically determined fashion; no charts or references are necessary. The system even keeps the moon phase display consistent with the date.
A chronograph with automatic winding and a 44 hour power reserve is based on the Valjoux 7750 self winding chronograph caliber first launched in 1974. This time tested Swiss movement is tough and reliable. It retains core features including a 28,800 vibration per hour beat rate, stop seconds (hacking), and quick-set date that has been geared to drive the perpetual calendar.
With minute repeater, perpetual calendar, and chronograph, the IWC caliber 79091 includes 75 jewels and 568 parts.
The IWC minute repeater module is the first of its kind on a wristwatch from Schaffhausen. Pre-Audemars Piguet Renaud et Papi were drafted to design the mechanism that chimes the hours, quarters, and minutes of the day on command.
The design of the first IWC Grande Complication wristwatch was delegated to then-IWC design chief Hanno Burtscher. He chose a simple round case with strong hand-welded lugs and an angular bezel with overlapping lip. The dial is white lacquer designed to evoke the porcelain and enamel dials of vintage IWC pocket watches. A moon phase disc of real aventurine sits at twelve o'clock, and yellow gold hour indices and hands enliven the dial.
IWC typically constructed the Grande Complication in flights of 50 units per metal, per year. This example of one of fifty reference 3770-01 Grande Complications produced for the year 2000. It is Y2K compliant in every respect ;-)
The IWC Grande Complication Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar Chronograph refernce 3770 Limited Edition features a 42.2mm platinum case surrounding a white dial on a black Santoni alligator strap with a platinum folding deployant buckle. Functions include hours, minutes, seconds, day, date, month, year, moon phase, perpetual calendar and minute repeater. The watch also measures 16.4mm in thickness and 48.5mm from lug-to-lug.
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