Thursday, October 29

New: IWC Portugieser Novelties for 2020 with Editorial commentary

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Only a few designs are absolutely timeless. With the Portugieser, IWC created an icon in the late 1930s. The basis for the Reference 325, which was delivered to two business men from Portugal – hence its name – was a hunter pocket watch calibre. Inspiration for the clean, open, highly functional dial came from the deck watches IWC was producing for the British Royal Navy at the time. From the outset, the Portugieser had the typical stylistic features of a pocket watch, coupled with the high precision and easy readability of a nautical instrument.

In-House Calibers for all Portugiesers

All the watches in the new collection are equipped with in-house calibres. Among others, they feature automatic movements from the 52000 and 82000 calibre families, which have Pellaton winding with ceramic components. In the chronographs, movements from the 89000 and 69000 calibre families ensure precise measurement of stop times.

The Portugieser Chronograph (Ref. 3716)

The Portugieser Chronograph (Ref. 3716), one of IWC’s most popular models, is newly equipped in the standard version with the IWC in-house 69355 calibre and a see-through sapphire-glass back. It is also now possible to register any watch within the standard two-year warranty period for the My IWC program, which extends the international guarantee to eight years.

Downsizing a major trend

The Portugieser Automatic 40 (Ref. 3583)

The Portugieser Automatic 40 (Ref. 3583) marks the return to the collection of the iconic design, with the small seconds at 6 o’clock, in a compact case with a 40-millimetre diameter. The new automatic model takes its power from the IWC-manufactured 82200 calibre with Pellaton winding.

Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 (Ref. 3442)

For the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 (Ref. 3442), the perpetual calendar has been integrated for the first time with an in-house movement from the 82000-calibre family.

With a reduced size and more subtle look versus the 44 mm. It measures 42.4 mm in diameter and 13.8 mm thick. The 44.2 mm Portugieser Perpetual Calendar is 14.9 mm thick. The former has 60 hours power reserve while the latter a full 7-days (168 hours).

The Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide (Ref. 344001)

As a nautical sports watch, the Portugieser Yacht Club combines timeless style with ruggedness and high water-resistance. The new models, with a 44-millimetre diameter, have a filigree bezel and flat casing ring that lend a particular elegance to the case proportions. The Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide (Ref. 344001) is the first watch from IWC to feature the newly developed tide indication, which indicates the arrival of the next high and low tide.

Boutique Editions and Complications

The Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph (Ref. 3940)

Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon (Ref. 5045)

Selected models will also be available with overarching design cues in the maritime-inspired colours blue and gold and are available exclusively in IWC boutiques and online on IWC.com. They feature blue dials, blue alligator leather straps and cases in 18-carat 5N gold or 18-carat Armor Gold®. Thanks to its improved microstructure, this innovative new material has considerably higher hardness values than traditional 5N gold alloys.

Thoughts on the new collection

We love that the popular chronograph gets an upgrade to an in-house chronograph caliber. This is very important for IWC to stay competitive especially with Georges Kern’s Breitling B01 chronograph caliber. At around the same price but with a stock movement, the older model Portugieser Chronograph would become a party joke without the much needed upgrade.

While the complications are cool, they don’t spark as much interest for us as the new traditional layout Perpetual Calendar 42 mm. While it is nowhere near traditional sizes, the more subdued look suggests that the brand is heeding the call to downsize some of its chunkier pieces, a frequent theme among collectors of IWC. That said, the Portuguese line used the pocket watch movement, so in a sense the 44 mm size is more ‘traditional’ especially on the seconds at 6 models.

Speaking of size, we like the 40 mm Portuguese Automatic as well. The movement with the skeletonized bridges is very attractive. The famous pellaton winding system with ceramic parts looks great as well. This is a step in the right direction for the brand, it shows that it has been listening to Facebook comments or forum complaints. The date is axed.

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