IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Watch

IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Watch

IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

Finally a boat themed watch that people will be comfortable using on a boat. Since its inception long ago, the IWC Portuguese watch was meant as a nautical companion. As its popularity and luxury level grew, so did people's reluctance to subject their beautiful IWC Portuguese watches to the elements. For for 2010 IWC has released a more sporty, but no less luxurious form of the Portuguese watch known and the Yacht Club Chronograph. It is instantly recognizable as a Portuguese but clearly has a nice sporty elegance to it. Not aggressive in anyway, but tastefully functional - exactly the reason people prefer Portuguese watches. Differences between the standard Portuguese watches and the Yacht Club are subtle, but apparently. Notably are the colorations on the dial, the luminant on the hands, and of course the rubber straps. The case has also been beefed up a bit and there are now crown guards and redesigned chronograph pushers. Case size is 45.4mm wide (about 14.5mm thick) and it is water resistant to 60 meters.

Inside the watch is a really fantastic IWC in-house made movement. It is the caliber 89360 automatic (with a healthy 68 hours of power reserve) which is viewable through the caseback window. The automatic rotor is signature IWC in style and nicely engraved. Overall the movement finish and decoration is really nice for such a sporty watch - this aspect of the watch does not let down. The movement has a little aspect to it on the dial that is really easy to miss. Instead of the classic IWC Portuguese watches that have 30 minute chronographs, the Yacht Club has a 12 hour chronograph. The top subdial actually has two hands (one is hidden underneath the other while the chronograph is not in use). Thus, the same subdial has a ring for counting the minutes (60 total), and a smaller ring with a separate hand for the hours. See what I mean now when you look closely? This really ups the utility of the watch. The movement also has a date indicator that most Portuguese watches do not.

IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

Dial design is really superb. The Portuguese style isn't what one would call exciting, but is excels in function and grace. Applied Arabic hour numerals and each conceivable marker ring give you all the information you need, without anything you don't. For example on the chapter ring flange IWC could have placed a useless tachymeter, but did not. Instead is a useful counter for the seconds and minutes. Hands are classic in style and all the right length. The chronograph centrally mounted seconds hand is a sporty red and easy to see. Don't forget the useful addition of the lume on the hour and minutes hands as well as for the hour indexes behind the numbered hour indicators. Also note that IWC matched the color of the date disc to the dial color.

The Portuguese Yacht Club watch comes in two steel versions and one in rose gold. The steel versions have a white or slate colored dial, while the rose gold version comes in slate. The little details all over as well as the movement decoration engraving on the crown, and of course the sporty style are things that will appeal to most every fan of IWC Portuguese watch as well as newcomers to the collection. Really a hit for SIHH 2010, I see this as being a new long standing addition to the collection. Maybe they will have one with a metal bracelet in the future. That will be interesting. Price is $12,600 in steel and $23,100 in rose gold. Available now or really soon.

What do you think?
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  • R. Smith

    An absolutely beautiful specimen of a watch. It doesn’t get much nicer than this.

  • Erwin

    Weird how on the pictures of both variations of the watch the date window is half-way between 5 and 6.

    • It is because of the time. It is close to midnight on both watch near where the date would change. Look at one of the other images for a normal looking date window.

  • The Rake

    I like that this is an advancing of the line and still a bit of a departure for them. The strap adds a nice twist.

  • John

    I appreciate the variety of watches that you review. My knowledge about watches expands every day. I am curious why it is called the “portuguese”? Is that some kind of historical reference or just marketing or??

    • IWC originally made the watch for Portuguese merchant sailors I believe. I know at least it was for some Portuguese people.

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  • Stewart Pinkerton

    In 1938, following a request from two Portuguese businessmen, Rodriguez and Texeira, IWC produced a new highly accurate, oversized wristwatch, using a pocket watch movement which required the larger case.

    • Well there you go. Thanks Stewart.

    • wout vda

      Two portugese gentlemen (Rodriges and Teixeira) where searching for a wrist watch that had the accuracy of a nautical chronograaf (why exactly i dont know). For this they made a trip to Schaffausen and their search lead to the berth of an icon: the portugese.
      Thanx to its 74-kaliber (in dutch ‘gangwerk’) movements its was at that time one of the most accurate watches you could find, and i believe it still is.

      in 1868 an american watchmaker (florentino jones) established the International Watch company in switserland, wich has since then created many great series of watches, such as the portugese modelles, the Grand complication, the Da vinci serie,…

      • Thanks, that is interesting info.

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  • Shep

    Is the small two-hand dial at the top accurate enough to turn the watch into a GMT if you want to use it like that?

  • Tony lawrence

    What a watch, the best by far

  • Thank you for your well-written review of the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph. You review has some critical information that other reviews I’ve read have failed to mention, like the watch’s improved 12-hour chronograph vs. the extremely limited 30 min chronograph on the classics, or the fact that the top sub-dial has two hands. Your close-up photographs also do an excellent job of capturing the details of the watch. With this release, IWC has created a true adventure watch.

    • Glad to be of use John. Keep reading.

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  • yeowe

    Looks like people have been having problems with the movement! Unexpected for a watch supposedly of this caliber..