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SIHH 2015: IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph

by Chester Lau on January 21, 2015

The brand that listens to its customers. The Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph is the sportiest timepiece in a watch family steeped in tradition.  At the request of many watch lovers – and to mark the 75th anniversary – the model is  now slightly smaller with ergonomically designed strap horns and a new strap. Thanks to several restrained­­ design­ modifications, ­the­ chronograph­ is ­now­ more­ luxurious­ and­ more ­balanced.

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The new Portugieser  Yacht Club Chronograph (Ref. 3905) is immediately obvious: the case diameter has been reduced from 45.4 to 43.5 millimetres.

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Ref. IW390501: case in 18-carat red gold, silver-plated dial, black rubber strap, pin buckle in 18-carat red gold

IWC Schaffhausen has listened to many potential buyers who have expressed the wish for a slightly  smaller version of the sportiest model in the Portugieser watch line, one more suitable for a slim wrist. Pleasant to wear and exceptionally rugged, the rubber strap perfectly complements the watch’s character: it is slim and sporty. The model in the 18-carat red gold case (Ref. IW390501) is now available with a silver-plated dial. The stainless-steel chronograph (Ref. IW390502) also with a silver-p lated dial looks no different than its predecessor. In the stainlesssteel version (Ref. IW390503) the slate-coloured dial has been decorated with a sun-pattern finish and, thanks to the black flange – a slightly higher rim – has a colour that sets it apart. Modest modifications to the design  have given the chronograph a more luxurious and harmonious appearance.

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The 8541 calibre was spring-suspended inside the case and bearing-mounted on rubber buffers. This shock-absorption system effectively neutralized the effect of impacts. It predestined the Yacht Club for use on the high seas, as did a new automatic pressure-limiting system for the crown, which ensured that the case seals became tighter with increasing water pressure.

“We make only a few watches for a few individuals. But they are of the highest possible quality.” So ran IWC’s advertising  for its “Club” watches in the 1970s. Back then, the legendary 1967 Yacht Club and its successor, the 1977 Yacht Club II, were the bestselling watches from Schaffhausen. There were many reasons for the Yacht Club’s resounding success. Its design is timelessly elegant, and the versions in yellow and white gold even exude a luxuriousness without concealing the watch’s fundamental character,  which is sporty and extremely robust: an irresistible combination for sailing enthusiasts. The unassuming case concealed an automatic movement that was the most advanced of its kind at the time, with unsurpassed protection against shocks.

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Ref. IW390503: case in stainless steel, slate-coloured dial, black rubber strap, folding clasp in stainless steel

 

FEATURES
Mechanical chronograph movement – Date display – Stopwatch function with hours, minutes and seconds – Hour and minute counters combined in a totalizer at 12 o’clock – Flyback function – Small hacking seconds – See-through sapphire-glass back
MOVEMENT
IWC-manufactured calibre 89361 Frequency 28,800 A/h / 4 Hz Jewels 38 Power reserve 68 h Winding automatic
Ref. IW390501: case in 18-carat red gold, silver-plated dial, black rubber strap, pin buckle in 18-carat red gold

Ref. IW390502: case in stainless steel, silver-plated dial, black rubber strap, folding clasp in stainless steel

Ref. IW390503: case in stainless steel, slate-coloured dial, black rubber strap, folding clasp in stainless steel

Glass sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides

Crown screw-in Water-resistant 6 bar

Diameter 43.5 mm Case height 14.5 mm

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