This year IWC Schaffhausen is focusing its attention on one of its most iconic collections; the Portugieser. The first model to make its debut as part of this revamp was the IWC Portugieser Chronograph, unveiled earlier this year. A legendary watch celebrated for its minimalist, Bauhaus-inspired aesthetic, IWC’s watchmakers have somehow found a way to make this perennial favourite even better. You can read all about how they did it right here.
Now, it is our great pleasure to present to you several more pieces in the exciting new Portugieser line-up, all of which are available soon in-store and online. The exceptionally understated time-only Portugieser Automatic. The luxurious yet sporty Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph. And, of course, the superbly complex Portugieser Perpetual Calendar (or PPC as it is affectionately known). Truly an impressive range that offers something to suit all tastes. Read on to discover more about the latest instalments in the IWC Portugieser collection.
Today’s IWC Portugieser models carry with them an impressive legacy. The design of each draws inspiration directly from the original Portugieser wristwatch (reference 325), which made its successful debut all the way back in 1939. That first model displayed the time only and was praised for its accuracy thanks to the use of a precision pocket watch movement housed in a then over-sized 42 mm case.
It also introduced a distinct aesthetic, informed in part by the popular Bauhaus modern art movement of the early 20th-century. This school of design called for little ornamentation and a focus on balanced forms and abstract shapes. For IWC, this meant Arabic numerals for the hour markers, slim feuille hands and a “railroad track” chapter ring. Characteristics that are still found today on contemporary IWC Portugieser models. Over the years this dial layout, which promotes legibility without comprising on style, has been carefully evolved. Resulting in the modern Portugieser that is now known and loved the world over.
For the last few years, there has been something missing from the IWC Portugieser family. A time-only model. For purists this has been almost too much to bear, not to mention those of us who covet this popular model’s minimalist aesthetic. This year, that all changes, with the triumphant return of the IWC Portugieser Automatic to the collection. And as you will shortly discover, IWC has packed quite a lot into this compact new package.
At 40.4mm in diameter and standing 12.4mm high, the new IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 is an exercise in refinement. Smaller than its predecessors – on paper at least – this new model boasts just as much personality on the wrist and wears larger than its measurements might suggest. The case, available in your choice of stainless steel or 18k 5N gold, features polished top surfaces and brushed sides for the perfect level of contrast. Beautifully designed lugs curve nicely to ensure the watch hugs the contours of your wrist.
Nowhere is the classic Portugieser DNA more evident however, than on the dial. The distinctive Arabic numerals. The slim feuille hands. The “railroad track” chapter ring. And a separate sub-dial showing running seconds above six o’clock. An ageless aesthetic that bestows a sense of casual elegance on the Portugieser Automatic 40, making it an ideal companion for all occasions. Four dial variations are available; three silver-plated with blue or gold accents, and one blue dial with a striking sunray-brushed finish.
The new Portugieser Automatic 40 is powered by the IWC-manufactured 82200 calibre. This robust, high-quality automatic movement has a Pellaton winding system with components made of virtually non-wearing ceramic, which builds up a power reserve of 60 hours. It’s visible through a sapphire glass case back and has been expertly finished. These watches are worn on leather straps and feature IWC’s newly developed butterfly folding clasp, which further increases comfort on the wrist.
As a nautical sports watch, the Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph combines timeless elegance with ruggedness and a 60-metre water-resistance. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the new models introduce a larger case size at 44.6mm by 14.4mm high. That’s not all that’s changed though. One of the big talking points is the Yacht Club’s new steel bracelet, expertly crafted to maximise comfort and visual appeal on the wrist. Matte brushed outer links provide a nice contrast for the raised and polished central link, adding to the model’s refined yet sporty appeal. The lugs, the pushers and the crown guards are also polished, as is the filigree bezel.
The dial of this sea-faring chronograph impresses with typical Portugieser design features such as the characteristic minute scale and the applied Arabic numerals. The flange features a quarter-second scale for measurements of shorter intervals via the central chronograph hand, while the sub-dial at 12 o’clock hosts a totalizer combining chronograph hours and minutes. The date is shown via a window in the small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. Doing the heavy-lifting is the IWC-manufactured 89361 calibre with flyback function, complete with a power reserve of 68 hours.
Smaller and with a more refined layout than its larger siblings, the new IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 brings the traditional art of complicated watchmaking into the realm of the modern watch lover. Fitted with IWC’s ingenious perpetual calendar module, developed by Kurt Klaus in the 1980s, it automatically recognizes the different lengths of the months and the leap years and can easily be adjusted via a single crown. Presented in a 42mm round case in your choice of rose gold or steel, the minimalist dial displays the date, month and weekday on three subdials at “3 o’clock”, “6 o’clock” and “9 o’clock”. It also features indications for the moon phase and the leap year.
This represents the first time this complication has been integrated into a movement from IWC’s entry-level 82000-calibre family. Visible through the sapphire glass case back, the IWC-manufactured 82650 calibre’s Pellaton winding system builds up a power reserve of 60 hours. Both models are worn on leather straps made exclusively for IWC by Italian leather specialists Santoni.
We are very pleased to invite you back into our boutiques to view the new models in the IWC Portugieser collection. Contemporary, stylish and infused with the unmistakable Portugieser DNA that has made this collection legendary over the decades, there is something here to suit all tastes. Please contact your nearest Watches of Switzerland Boutique to inquire about availability.