Sometimes, I talk too fast and too much, especially when I’m holding an incredible timepiece in my hands. My problem is that when confronted with something stimulating, the words in my head effervesce and brim over like Champagne emanating from a bottle held aloft by a victorious motorsports champion. I struggle to contain my enthusiasm for horological matters.
When I am excited, the alacrity of my speech gains momentum, adopting a staccato style and becoming barely decipherable as it reaches a crescendo. The passion I have for fine watchmaking is manifest with energetic speech and animated non-verbal behavior. Indeed, I would make a hapless poker player, such is this open disclosure of my inner thoughts.
Part of my problem is that my brain tends to over-process thoughts, working faster than the mechanics of speech will allow. Ironically, this is the exact opposite to the norm, where people typically use “filler” words such as “um,” “so,” “like,” and “well” to fill the silence while the brain catches up to the mouth.
The ultimate objective when designing a complicated watch is to impart the numerous thoughts of the movement in a clear, simple-to-interpret form. The new IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary,” in my opinion, conveys an array of information succinctly with a welcome absence of ambiguity.
Revisiting the icon
This year, IWC has revisited its iconic Portugieser collection, boldly exploring design elements of various models which, on the face of it, already appeared perfect beforehand. Where Christian Knoop, IWC’s creative director, demonstrates his incredible talent is by taking already excellent watch designs, with seemingly refined elements, and somehow finding subtle improvements.
However, the IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary” and its sibling, the Portugieser Annual Calendar, are two completely new models for 2015.
I tried on the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary” when it was launched in January 2015 at SIHH and immediately fell under its spell. The watch garners attention with the unusual pairing of conventional hands with digital date and month displays. The resultant dial relates much information to the wearer with perfect diction. This is an intelligent design because, despite presenting several functions, the wearer is able to absorb each parcel of data with matchless lucidity.
While in London recently, I visited the recently opened IWC Boutique on New Bond Street, a retail avenue that plays host to the world’s finest luxury brands. Admiring several watches, including some rare “boutique limited editions,” I chanced upon a platinum-cased Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary.” I should explain at this juncture that the model is limited to 25 pieces worldwide in platinum (along with a further 75 pieces in each of the two 18k rose gold options), hence the probability of finding this timepiece again remains low.
The 45-mm case is generously proportioned but not cumbersome. It granted a pleasing wrist-feel and seemed at one with my arm, quietly entwined in a loving embrace.
Unlike on the IWC Portuguiser Chronograph Classic, which shares much design language in common with the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary,” the chronograph push-pieces are not capstan-like in profile but lozenge-shaped. They are different, but no less appealing.
While the upper surfaces of the lugs, the bezel and the caseback are highly polished, the caseband is satin-brushed, tempering the tone of the watch to perfection.
An exhibition caseback reveals the in-house Calibre 89801 movement, and IWC has equipped this watch with a splendid black alligator leather strap made by Santoni.
The IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary” is a handsome timepiece, which displays a great deal of information in a crisp, clean and succinct manner.
Despite this watch being a perpetual calendar and flyback chronograph, displaying many indications, it never speaks too quickly or says too much. Indeed, despite the movement consisting of 474 parts and numerous mechanical maneuvers seamlessly taking place within the case, this IWC communicates with consummate ease, adopting a “short and sweet” means of imparting the time.
Finally, I come to the issue of temptation. This watch offers a dapper platinum case, an in-house movement, several complications and remarkable value for the money, priced at a comparatively reasonable price of £46,900. There is no question that I find the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary” a very tempting proposition.
Model: IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary”
Movement: Caliber 89801, self-winding movement; frequency = 28,800 vph (4 Hz) 51 jewels, power reserve = 68 hours, number of components = 474, indications = hours, minutes, small hacking seconds, date, month, leap-year display, flyback chronograph
Case: Platinum, diameter = 45 mm, height = 16.5 mm, water resistance = 30 meters
Strap/bracelet: Black alligator leather strap with folding clasp
Price: £46,900 (recommended retail price as of April 24th, 2015)
Where I tried on the watch: IWC Boutique, 138 New Bond Street, London, United Kingdom, England, W1S 2TJ. T: +44 (0) 203 618 3900, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Limited Edition: 25 pieces total