January 19, 2015
by James Stacey
For SIHH 2015, IWC has drawn upon its rich history to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Portugieser with a new limited edition model – the IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition 75th Anniversary. This stunningly beautiful and vintage-inspired Portugieser offers not only IWC’s requisite 8-day power reserve but also your choice of rose gold or steel.
That’s right, you’re looking at a classic and well-balanced dressy IWC with an in-house hand-wound movement that is available in steel. With more and more brands offering their most interesting movements and designs exclusively in precious metals, you have to love that IWC has honored the legacy of the Portugieser with a more everyday version.
With styling inspired by a rare version of the 1930s reference 325 Portugieser, this new edition is 43 mm wide and 12 mm thick, making it on the larger size, given its rather dressy and reserved vibe. The steel version (ref IW510205) sports a black dial with pale green accents on the arabic numerals and the surrounding minute scale and it manages to be distinctive but not at all flashy.
The rose gold (ref IW510206) opts for an off-white dial with metallic brown accents and a matching rose gold feuille hand set. On both versions, note the use of a long minute hand that reaches all the way to the outer minute track, a small detail, but one that makes all the difference. Both versions of the IWC Portugieser 75th Anniversary come fitted to matching alligator leather straps from Santoni.
The Portugieser 75th Anniversary uses IWC’s in-house 59215 hand-wound movement. Running at 4Hz, with a breguet spring and a Glucydur beryllium alloy indexless balance, the 59215 offers sub seconds with date and a power reserve indicator on the movement side, which can be seen through the sapphire display case back.
While the 59215 offers as much as nine days of power reserve, IWC has fitted a system to limit the output to eight days and ensure the accuracy of the movement doesn’t suffer the dwindling torque curve of a tired mainspring.
There is so much to like about this thoughtful design from IWC, from the date display tucked away at six within the sub seconds dial, to the well proportioned handset and the decision to hide the power reserve on the movement side to protect the symmetry of the dial. With sapphire crystals front and back, along with a beautifully finished movement, the IWC Portugieser 75th Anniversary doesn’t have a bad angle.
Announced just this week at SIHH 2015, the IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition 75th Anniversary is limited to 175 units in rose gold and 750 units in steel, with prices of 24,100 CHF and 11,500 CHF, respectively. While the 43 mm sizing is a bit on the large size, I would assume that it aligns nicely with IWC’s market. Regardless of the size, the IWC Portugieser 75th Anniversary is a beautiful and charming nod to the history of one of IWC’s most notable watch lines. iwc.com