IWC has created several new models to celebrate the classic Portugieser’s Jubilee anniversary
IWC is really kicking up its heels this year for the 75th birthday of its Portugieser model. To celebrate, the Swiss manufacturer has created fantastic new versions of the classic design. The Portugieser is one of the brand’s oldest and best-known watches and is often considered its most prestigious.
In the 1930s, the design was considered to be far ahead of its time and continues to incorporate a number of cutting-edge technological advances—such as a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar and a constantforce tourbillon.
The unusual name is said to have originated in the 1930s, when a pair of Portuguese businessmen were seeking a wristwatch as accurate as a marine chronometer. In response, IWC created a larger pocket watch movement and housed it in a wristwatch case. Sadly, the timepiece became unfashionable until it was resurrected in the 1990s.
The new Portugieser Hand Wound Eight
Days Edition “75th Anniversary” pays tribute to a version of the original Portugieser, which was less well known than subsequent models but had served as inspiration for IWC’S designers and remained in a private collection until recently. This historic timepiece incorporates all the features the sought-after range has become known for, including its Arabic numerals, slim feuille hands, railway-track-style chapter ring and small seconds located at 6 o’clock.
The new watch, in 18K red gold with a silverplated dial, has the same colours and logo of its predecessor, with the addition of light green dial elements on the stainless-steel version that reveal a vibrant contrast against the black dial, plus a new date display feature on the subdial at 6 o’clock.
IWC’S in-house 59215 calibre movement dependably supplies the watch with energy for eight days, so it needs to be wound once a week—a ritual traditionally enjoyed by loyal collectors of this series.
The Portugieser Hand-wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary” is available in a limited edition of 175 watches in 18K red gold with a silver-plated dial, while the stainless-steel version with a black dial is limited to 750 watches. All models are fitted with exclusive alligator leather straps produced by Italian shoemaker Santoni.
Also included in the new 2015 anniversary collection are two versions of the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar: one with a double moon and one with a single moon, both with nine functions powered by in-house movements from IWC’S 52000 calibre family. Thanks to a number of discreet design changes, the moon phase displays are not only the visual focus of the dials, but also the technical highlight of these distinguished timepieces.
In the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar with the double moon, the state of the moon in both the northern and southern hemispheres is shown. For the first time, the model no longer features the countdown display that shows the number of days remaining until the next full moon. Instead, IWC’S designers have transformed the subdial with the double moon display into a star-studded night sky that’s the same colour as the large dial, so that the moon and stars appear to hover in space. Another new feature of the design is the introduction of the railway-track-style chapter ring, which puts the model closer in appearance to the classic original. Both watches are fitted with ergonomically optimised strap horns and luxurious Santoni alligator leather straps.
Then there’s the new Portugieser Annual Calendar, which shows the month, date and day in three separate, semicircular windows at 12 o’clock. The newly developed 52850 calibre— which took engineers five years to develop—has twin barrels to supply the additional torque required to advance the three display discs.
Thanks to the new Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-month Edition “75th Anniversary”, the Portugieser range now includes a model featuring a significant digital display for the date and month. This exceptional timepiece brings together all IWC’S expertise in its in-house 89801 calibre, which has a perpetual calendar featuring a leap-year indicator and quickaction switch for the large displays as well as a chronograph with flyback function.
TIME TO CELEBRATE Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-month Edition “75th Anniversary” by IWC
SPOILT FOR CHOICE From top: Portugieser Annual Calendar; Portugieser Handwound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary”; Portugieser Perpetual Calendar with single moon; Portugieser Perpetual Calendar with double moon, all by IWC