The Jakarta Post
Pick a color: Three types of women's luxury watches from the Da Vinci collection. (IWC Schaffhausen/File)
Not long ago, people would agree that high-end watches were made exclusively for men.
A wide range of Hollywood movies, from the James Bond series and Jeremy Renner’s The Bourne Legacy to the classic sci-fi Apollo 13, advertise men’s watches.
But now, things have started to change with various brands beginning to pay attention to the female segment.
Swiss luxury watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen recently held their first ever exhibition in Southeast Asia of their iconic Da Vinci line in Bangkok, Thailand, displaying their new collection that was inspired by Renaissance era mathematician and artist Leonardo Da Vinci. With most of the 14 watches aimed at women, it is an update of an existing collection that traces back to 1969.
It did not take long for international brand ambassador and former Victoria’s Secret supermodel Karolina Kurkova to fall in love with the new collection and its fashionable diamond straps and bracelets. She singled out the IWC’s Portofino as her longtime favorite.
“Working in the fashion industry, I like wearing watches that go with the look,” the IWC brand ambassador said.
“But most of the time I go for a bigger watch to get more of a day look and a smaller one for an evening look.”
During the recent showcase at Siam Paragon shopping mall, two women’s watches from the new Da Vinci collection were featured — the Da Vinci Automatic 36 and the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36, both of which are 36 mm in diameter.
The classic Da Vinci model, which was introduced in 1969, was hexagonal gold with a solid strap, while a later version, launched in 1985, had a perpetual calendar appear in its round, gold case.
Now, recognizing Leonardo Da Vinci’s contributions to arts and sciences, each of the new models is engraved with “flower of life” on the back of its case, reflecting the historical figure’s studies on mathematical properties and patterns.
At the event, there were also several historical pieces from IWC archives, including a Savonnette Lady’s pocket watch from 1914. Made just after the World War I, the pocket watch reflected both the simplicity and luxury of the era. Additionally, the event showcased the 1976 Lady’s wristwatch with its 36 diamonds and elegant white-gold case.
IWC brand ambassador Karolina Kurkova. (IWC Schaffhausen/File)
Another luxurious watch displayed at the event was the Da Vinci Lady Chronograph from 1995. With an iconic shape, it has remained in the catalogue for more than 20 years and has been continuously updated with new details.
Kurkova, who has been an ambassador for the brand for the last five years, said she stayed for a long time with IWC because both of them had the same passion for quality and storytelling. She further said that she was a passionate storyteller to her son and that the brand was telling a story through their watches.
“When you see the watches, there is always a story behind it. It’s almost like you are walking to a movie set,” she said.
With the blue Da Vinci Automatic 36 strapped on her left hand, Kurkova said that it was her recent favorite because she was “very much into the blues.”
“I put time and attention into which watch I pick. The color has to go with what I’m wearing. Men would say, ‘But any watch is going to be fine!’ But I’m a girl, so they have to come together,” she said.
Growing up struggling with her unconventional appearance, Karolina said an important thing that helped her career was her belief in inner beauty. She said that, as time went by, her look had given her a strong character and helped others in the industry to embrace their uniqueness.
“I have also been involved in charity programs and found that working with them had given me inspiration and perspective,” she said.