Without a doubt one of IWC’s most successful collections, the Portugieser has been a benchmark in the world of luxury watches for over 90 years. The iconic timepiece owes its name and origin to two Portuguese watch dealers who asked the Schaffhausen manufacture to create “precise, generously proportioned men’s wristwatches in steel cases.”
The manufacture met this request with the launch of a watch that, at 42mm, was larger in diameter than standard timepieces of the time. It was driven by a highly precise Savonette caliber. Based on the design of a pocketwatch movement that ensured greater accuracy than a wristwatch, the impressively straightforward, very big, and highly accurate Portugieser made its debut with the beneficial attributes of a marine chronometer.
Now, the Swiss manufactory introduces two new versions of the Portugieser Automatic and the Portugieser Chronograph in a notably elegant colorway that is a nod to its nautical origins. Both watches are distinguished by contrasting white and blue dials. The white dials boast a polished lacquer finish, while the deep blue subdials are decorated with an “azurage” finish.
The Portugieser Automatic (Ref. IW500715) features a stainless steel case with a diameter of 42.3mm and is fitted with a blue alligator leather strap with a folding clasp. The balanced dial layout places the small seconds at 9 o’clock and the power reserve display at 3 o’clock. The timepiece is driven by the manufacture caliber 52010.
The mechanism features an automatic Pellaton winding system that has been reinforced with components made of virtually wear-free ceramic. It uses even the slightest movements of the rotor in both directions to build up a power reserve of seven days in two barrels. The movement can be admired through the sapphire glass case back.
The Portugieser Chronograph (Ref. IW371620) features a steel 41mm case that is attached to a blue rubber strap. The chronograph minutes counter is located at 12 o’clock and the small seconds subdial is located at 6 o’clock. Powering the hands is the manufacture caliber 69355 with automatic winding and a power reserve of 46 hours. This column-wheel design chronograph movement is also visible through a sapphire glass case back.
The new IWC Portugieser Automatic and Portugieser Chronograph retail for $13,100 and $8,400 respectively.
To learn more, visit IWC, here.