February 6, 2020
For over 20 years, the Portugieser Chronograph has been an elegantly sporty cornerstone to IWC’s product lineup. For the majority of that time, however, the average Portugieser Chronograph model has been powered by a modified version of a readily available caliber from Valjoux or Sellita. While in-house movements have been available in limited edition or high-end Portugieser models before, for 2020 the brand has added some serious value to the model line in the form of the Caliber 69355 automatic power-plant. In total, six versions of the new Reference 3716 Portugieser Chronograph, including four in stainless steel and two in 18k 5N gold, have been announced with the new movement, along with a handful of additional upgrades.
Visually, this new series of models is nearly unchanged from the classic Portugieser look with a 41mm case sporting simple lines and broad-shouldered lugs. Around back, the new models differentiate themselves with a sapphire display back, showcasing the new Caliber 69355 and its solid array of decorations.
The Portugieser formula also remains intact on the dial, where the leaf hands, airy spacious dial surface, and signature cut-off applied numerals at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock are available in white, sunburst blue, or charcoal gray. Standout variants include the iconic nautical-inspired white dial with blue hands and applied numerals, as well as the darkly handsome gray dial with gold hands and numerals.
The real centerpiece of these new designs, however, is the manufacture Caliber 69355 automatic chronograph movement. Based on the Caliber 69000 series architecture used in the Pilot and Ingenieur lines, this new 33-jewel, column-wheel, 28,800 bph movement offers an impressive array of finishes, ranging from radial Côtes de Genève to a flash of perlage on the bridges. The finishing touch is a custom-signed skeleton rotor. This new movement offers 46 hours of power reserve, as well.
All six of the new Reference 3716 Portugieser Chronograph models are fitted with luxe alligator leather straps, colored to accent the dial styles in shades of navy, black, and deep mahogany brown.
The IWC Reference 3716 Portugieser Chronograph series represents a major step forward for the product line. While the Portugieser Chronograph has consistently been one of the handsomest dress chronographs in its price range over the years, until now, the yachting-flavored line hasn’t been a value proposition when it comes to pure horology. (Previous in-house Portugieser Chronographs, including the current Caliber 89361 powered offerings, have always skewed far above the base model’s price point.) With the Reference 3716, the Portugieser Chronograph is finally as beautiful within as it is outside, an improvement that makes the $7,950 MSRP for steel models and $17,800 for 18k gold significantly more palatable. All six models are currently available through IWC-authorized dealers. To learn more visit the brand’s website.