In this, the year of our Portugieser 2020, IWC also just released some new Portugieser Yacht Club watches as part of Watches & Wonders 2020. The Yacht Club has always been an interesting sub-category of the Portugieser, intended to be a sportier breed with features like rubber strap and lume. So far, IWC has only produced the Yacht Club in a flyback chronograph, but this year they’ve added a new model that boasts a new complication for the brand, as well, in the form of a Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide model that has a moon phase and a new tide-tracking complication, which I believe is technically a Mareoscope.
The Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide is debuting in just one variant, but it’s close to universally attractive, coming in a red gold case with brilliant blue dial with matching gold-plated hands and indices. At 12 o’clock, you can see the double moon phase display that shows Spring tides (which happen during full and new moons) and neap tides. At 6 o’clock is the subdial showing the anticipated times for high or low tide. IWC paid attention to the details here, with guilloché work, gold accents, and an applied gold plate around the circumference of the 6 o’clock subdial. As far as legibility goes, there is double-sided AR coating on the convex sapphire crystal, something I always appreciate.
It takes 24 hours and 48 minutes for the earth and moon to be in the same position, meaning that the time between two high tides is always 12 hours and 24 minutes. To measure the tides, IWC added a 49-part module to its 82835 calibre movement. Installing a three-cogged reducing gear to the hour pinion slows down the rotation of the tidal discs, allowing the disc to rotate around its axis every 14.76 days. Note that the time of the next tide is always approximate due to the fact that the discs are continually moving. So, if you’re checking at 10 o’clock AM and the indicator points to 12 o’clock, the tide will actually be slightly after 12. This discrepancy comes out to 10 minutes over 100 years.
It’s an uncommon complication on a mechanical watch, and I can only think of the Corum Admiral with a tide complication, a vintage Eberhard chronograph, and the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia from 2017 that include it. I do know that Sinn, as well as some vintage Heuers, have a less robust version of a tide complication.
Visible through the caseback of the IWC Yacht Club Moon & Tide, the 82835 calibre operates at 28,800 vph and has a 60-hour power reserve.
The red gold case measures 44.6mm-wide and 14.4mm-thick, with a water resistance of 30M, so wear it at the Yacht and/or Club but leave it out of the pool. IWC has added a new filigree bezel matched with a flat casing ring which help make for a pretty attractive-looking case that avoids being generic. And at 14.4mm-thick, the bezel adds a nice framing that ameliorates potential chunkiness.
While IWC introduced a bracelet to the Yacht Club Chronograph, the Moon & Tide comes on a blue rubber and textile strap that the collection has become associated with. Of course, the buckle matches the red gold case here.
The IWC Portugieser Moon & Tide is a cool and idiosyncratic piece that is marketed to a very, very niche type of buyer. The tide indicator is a difficult complication to pull off in a mechanical watch, which is why you rarely see it. For that, you have to give IWC serious credit. A gold watch with excellent finishing and a new intricately elaborate complication, the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide is priced at $34,000 USD. You can learn more at iwc.com.