The IWC Portugieser is one of the watch industries most iconic collections. The technically impressive, and aesthetically handsome timepieces made a big impact when they launched and the inspiring line is still a favourite amongst watch enthusiasts today. Here we take a closer look at the highly-coveted collection.
The International Watch Company, better known as IWC Schaffhausen, have been producing high-quality, sophisticated timepieces since 1868 and are an incredibly desirable Swiss watchmaking brand. IWC watches are known for fusing the finest technology with unparalleled elegance and perhaps their most celebrated design is the Portuguieser.
The Portugieser was seen to perfect this mix of form and function, combining precision engineering with a timeless design. It’s one of the oldest and best-known watches from IWC and no other family incorporates so many of the technical tours de force of haute horlogerie. Balancing practicality with true refinement it’s a must for watch lovers.
The introduction of the Portugieser to the watchmaking world was a ground-breaking one, and it was well ahead of its time in the 1930s.
Its story begins in 1939 when two Portuguese businessmen commissioned an order with IWC for a series of larger watches that could run as precisely as marine chronometers for the Captains and Officers of Portugal’s merchant navy. This meant that the timepiece was a clear move away from the era’s penchant for dainty, art-deco styles that were popular. They had to be clear, easily legible and incredibly precise.
This influenced the design of the wristwatch. They had big, clean round faces, Arabic numerals and feuille hands, showing the importance of legibility. The railway-track style chapter ring, which was popular on pocket watches in the 1930s, features on their simple dials. The scale, divided into one-minute sections is easy to read and blends seamlessly into the dial. Today the original, clearly organised dial with its simple design remains an unrivalled style icon that has been reworked into IWC Portugieser chronographs and beautiful automatic timepieces.
The IWC PORTUGIESER AUTOMATIC IW358303 40MM GENTS WATCH is a classic example of the Portugieser range. Crafted from stainless steel it features a silver-plated dial with refined gold accents. Powering the watch is the IWC-manufactured 82200 calibre, a robust and high-quality movement that has a Pellaton winding system and is crafted using components made from virtually non-wearing ceramic. Presented on a black alligator strap it’s a timeless wristwatch that pays homage to its history.
A stunning addition to the Portugieser family is the IWC PORTUGIESER IW503302 PERPETUAL CALENDAR. The beautiful timepiece is a tribute to the artistry of fine watchmaking and the elegant timepiece leaves virtually no wish unfulfilled. It is equipped with an IWC-manufactured 52610 calibre movement and perpetual calendar that takes into account the different length of the months, and even leap years. It’s so accurate that the moon phase display diverges by just one day in 577.5 years from the actual phase of the moon. The outside is every bit as impressive as the inside, with an 18ct red gold case and brown Santoni alligator strap.
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