This year IWC celebrates its 75th Anniversary with the Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary”. With it, we are reminded of the controversy behind the shortened ‘IWC’ brand name from the original “International Watch Company” font written out in full and in a beautiful italics script. A small blemish that has had huge reverberations of complaints from IWC lovers.
We live in a world of acronyms. A symbol of efficiency, modern world productivity, and cold symptomatic nonchalance. Acronyms are given to the IMF, the UN, the POTUS. While not trying to insinuate that with acronyms come degeneration and impotence, we opportunely discuss a brand that has turned its three worded name into a three letter acronym. IWC.
Some say, that with its shortening, it had lost much of its vitality and vigour, while others embraced the era of pop-culture and masculine modernity. But before we proceed on a sardonic rant, it is heartening to know that IWC, has resurrected the italics full name font! With the Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary”, fans of the brand and collectors who go bonkers over nomenclature can finally be at peace.
So what’s the big hype about this piece? As an anniversary edition, the Portuguese is a homage timepiece based on an original vintage model ref 325 Portuguese made in the 1930s. With its introduction at SIHH 2015, this “75th Anniversary” Portuguese revives IWC’s rich history with the return of the Italics font and the railroad minute markers. It is nostalgic of IWC’s rich heritage, but with a touch of ingenuity. Rail road threads and vintage font, with seconds subdial at 6, with a strategically placed date window; we think this is really quite clever. Stylistically, the leaf hands and the vintage salmon ring marker set to an 8 days movement and a well constructed portuguese case with raised dome crystal give this watch not only a taste of the past but a sign of the brand’s ability to rethink and revamp itself.
The Portuguese uses IWC’s in-house 59215 calibre, which measures a 37.8 millimetres in diameter, and reliably supplies the watch with energy for 8 days. Technically, it would be almost 9 days, were it not for an intelligent system that blocks the movement after the first 192 hours, or precisely 8 days. The mechanical movement has a power reserve display on the movement side, a date display fitted at the second subdial and has small hacking seconds. The single barrel movement also uses a Breguet spring and its balance wheel is made with the Glucydur®* beryllium alloy, which aids in temperature correction and eliminates the need of screws on the wheel. This improves the aerodynamics of the balance. The red gold version is limited to 175 pieces while the stainless-steel version is limited to 750 pieces.
All in all, we find that this Anniversary edition is a step in the right direction for IWC. This piece reminds us that IWC has not lost touch with its history and is willing to bring back its old school DNA. The “75th Anniversary” Portuguese is definitely a strong contender for classic watches in its price range and is one of the best looking sub second at 6 time only watches we have seen at SIHH 2015.
The watch retails at SGD$ 15,800 for steel and $29,500 for rose gold. Click here for full technical specs.
Chester, if it were only true to tradition, they should have taken away the date. Then the watch would have been a winner for me – without a doubt. The small date window just does not make it for me.
And maybe they should have considered the Jones caliber instead of the 8 days. Overall still a nice piece but… could have been better.
Yes about the date. I did mention about it in my previous article, but I didn’t think its as bad as the date on the Longines monopusher. If we were to stick to tradition, then the date should not even be there, but if there must be a date, I thought having a date inside the subdial is quite clever. Definitely beats having it at 3 o’clock; like the other 8 days Portuguese variant, or the 8 days Portofino.
About the movement, the best looking movement is still in the ’93 Jubilee.