SIHH 2015: IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary”

IWC PortuguieserHand-Wound 75th Anniversary - goldTo mark the 75th anniversary of its Portugieser watch family, IWC has launched, at SIHH 2015, the vintage-inspired Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary,” as part of its newly revamped collection of Portugieser watches.

Longtime IWC fans and collectors will surely appreciate that the design of this limited-edition anniversary watch is almost identical to that of the largely forgotten original from the 1930s. The vintage IWC Portuguieser most well-known to watch aficionados is Ref. 325, with its iconic black and white dial. However, IWC also launched a number of different dial versions at the time the Portuguieser watch family was founded. The new Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary” (Ref. IW510205 and IW510206) is an homage to an original Portuguieser model unknown to many.

IWC found one of these watches, and its inspiration for this new timepiece, in a private collection. The vintage piece has all the attributes which we associate with the modern Portugieser — Arabic numerals, slim feuille hands, railway-track-style chapter ring, small seconds at 6 o’clock — but also an inner chapter ring, hour indices and Arabic numerals that are aesthetically very prominent, in gold brown with black edging. The 18k rose-gold version of the 75th anniversary model (IW510206), with a silver-plated dial, echoes the original’s color scheme and even includes IWC’s historic “International Watch Company” logo. The stainless steel version (Reference IW510205) has light green dial elements that contrast elegantly with the matte black dial. The only modern twist on the classic design is the date window added to the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock.

IWC Portuguieser Hand-Wound 75th Anniversary - gold

IWC Portuguieser Hand-Wound 75th Anniversary - black

To maintain the dial’s symmetry and simplicity, IWC placed the power-reserve display on the back of the movement, IWC’s in-house, manual-winding Caliber 59215, which can be viewed through a sapphire exhibition caseback. The movement is generously proportioned, at 37.8 millimeters in diameter, and supplies the watch with power for a full eight days. In fact, were it not for an intelligent system designed by IWC — which blocks the movement after the first 192 hours, stopping it before all the tension in the spring has been exhausted and thus eliminating the danger of reduced torque in the mainspring and the resulting loss of accuracy — the watch could run for nearly nine days without needing winding.  The Glucydur-beryllium alloy indexless balance oscillates at a frequency of 4 hertz, or 28,800 vph. The Breguet spring, bent into shape using traditional watchmaking techniques, also aids in timekeeping precision. The coved bezel, another typical design element of the Portugieser line, and the arched-edge sapphire crystal, help to make the case appear less bulky despite its 12-millimeter thickness and 43-millimeter diameter.

IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound 75th Anniversary - back

The rose gold version of the IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary” will be available in a limited edition of 175 pieces, priced at $22,000; the stainless-steel version is limited to 750 watches and priced at $11,000. Both models are fitted with alligator leather straps produced by Italian shoe manufacturer Santoni.


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  1. Debashish

    This IWC timepiece looks like a fabulous watch, though it is not cheap.

    Thanks for your nice report and pictures!

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