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IWC Upgrades The Portugieser Chronograph With New In-House Automatic Chronograph Movement

IWC Upgrades The Portugieser Chronograph With New In-House Automatic Chronograph Movement Watch Releases

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.

IWC Upgrades The Portugieser Chronograph With New In-House Automatic Chronograph Movement Watch Releases

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.

IWC Upgrades The Portugieser Chronograph With New In-House Automatic Chronograph Movement Watch Releases

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.

IWC Upgrades The Portugieser Chronograph With New In-House Automatic Chronograph Movement Watch Releases

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.

IWC Upgrades The Portugieser Chronograph With New In-House Automatic Chronograph Movement Watch Releases

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.

IWC Upgrades The Portugieser Chronograph With New In-House Automatic Chronograph Movement Watch Releases

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.

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  • PR

    The silver dial Portuguese was my dream watch. But after I eventually managed to buy it, I didn’t have it for long. While the design and overall aesthetic works and the watch is slim for a chronograph, the large flat dish like look on the wrist kept bothering me. It was also surprisingly fussy about strap pairing and wasn’t versatile as I anticipated.

    I’m sure the updates will continue selling well for IWC but I must say I’m a bit disappointed that they did not refresh the look even a little bit. Watches need newer versions to keep buyers changing and adding to collections while also helping collectibility of previous versions.

    • Independent_George

      Rolex would like a word with you.

  • Pedro Lambareiro

    That in-house should read “in-house” and a wink-wink, nudge-nudge every time its pronounced.

  • Pete L

    Classy but I can’t stand those cut away 12 and 6 numerals. Partial cutaway can work (see the 8 and 10 on an AP Offshore) but so much is missing they may as well not have bothered. Had the opportunity to refresh these a little more than they did and missed a trick.

    • Independent_George

      Never really understand the relatively recent “obsession” some collectors have with cutaway numerals. Just go over to The ‘Dink read the comments. Then I was watching Seinfeld reruns and about how Jerry and George would break up with women over apparently the most trivial of reasons: they can’t get over a tiny, tiny mole, or a choice of shoes, or whatever. Then I thought about my cousin and his thing about dark-haired women with light eyes. He can’t get over it and he would have left 21-year-old Jennifer Connelly on the curb.

      Not criticizing you, Pete. It’s just that when it comes to aesthetics, some men do prefer the trees over the forest. And that’s fine.

      • Cuppa Joe

        Any man who would leave a 21-year-old Jennifer Connelly deserves to wear Daniel Wellington watches the rest of their sad, sad life.

        • Independent_George

          Wife #1: Light hair, light eyes. Wife #2: Light hair (from a bottle), dark eyes. Wife #3: Dark hair, dark eyes. Wife #4 (current): Dark hair, dark eyes.

          Told me he thought Jennifer Connelly looked an alien. Also thinks Siberian Husky’s are ugly, because of the dark fur and blue eyes.

          • babola

            I feel 5th coming around the corner. What is it George, you grow less fond of the look of the registers at 12 and 6 o’clock?

          • Independent_George

            He’s not going to have any money left if he tries to trade in #4. #2 and #3 didn’t go away on the cheap.

  • aWtchslvr

    One of my ever favourite watches that I do not buy because I think the price is not fair. I am not sure if this new caliber is enough improvement to reconsider it. I have not found information about reliabilty so I think I´ll keep on waiting.
    Congratulations to IWC for not changing the design.

  • Independent_George

    I go hot and cold on the Portugieser. I have been trying on the 3714 for years, literally. I mean, when I walk into my AD and when I start to mosey on over to the IWC display, the salespeople just walk over to the Portugieser case and start pulling a few out without saying a word. Then they leave me alone with my conflicting emotions.

    Sometimes I think it’s the perfect dressy chrono, sometimes I think it’s a stodgy old man’s watch. As noted, with the thin bezel and the information pushed out to the dial edges, along with the relatively flat lugs, it wears a lot larger than it’s 41mm diameter, at least it does on my wrist. But it’s also an extremely well-balanced dial, with just the right amount of information and flourishes while too many other chronograph designs are overstuffed and cluttered. The black and blue dialed watches are not easily legible in a lot of lighting situations and the classic 371417/371605 is neither dressy nor sporty, it’s a tweener. It’s not a versatile of a watch, also as noted. The 30 minute sub-register makes it more or less impractical as a timer, you can’t even time dinner reservation waits. But since I’m not really a chrono guy and would only wear it occasionally, I do like that it has no date, so I don’t have to fuss with it when I do decide to wear it. The steel case 371604 looks, to me, ideal in pictures, satisfying my itch for both a special occasion dress watch and a chronograph into one watch, but, in reality, it begs for a gold case. I have always liked the gold 371482 (now the 371610), but for 10 to 15 large they are many other dressy watches I would rather own (i.e. a GO PanoMaticLunar in Rose Opaline) plus I don’t want to tie up that kind of money in a watch I would wear perhaps five or six times a year at most. Yet over the long haul gold does tend to keep it’s value . . .

    The display caseback is a nice touch and adds some value, seems that IWC is finally admitting that the Portugieser a dress chronograph. There have been concerns expressed elsewhere about the new movement. IWC really tuned the 7750/SW300 into a durable and well regulated movement, and IWC doesn’t have the greatest history with their own movements.

    • SuperStrapper

      Great comment. I feel the same way about the watch for the most part, but ultimately as historic as it is for IWC, it’s just not the style of watch I’d buy from the brand.
      This latest iteration is all movement and the appearance is largely untouched, a double edged blade (did the previous ones have button pushers over pistons?). Of much annoyance to me is the forced spacing of A U T O M A T I C to match the chronograph word. Not nice.

      • Independent_George

        A U T O M A T I C. I never really noticed that, despite all my hours staring at this watch, but now that you mention it, I will never not notice it. Thanks!

        Anyway, and I know this is heresy to many, but I prefer the Portofino Chrono. It fully commits be being a dressy chrono, and it’s two grand cheaper. I even like the cut-away Romans. Thing is it would not be a daily wear watch, and having to set the day/date when I do decide to wear it would make me not wear it as often, so the law of diminishing returns applies.

    • Berndt Norten

      You heat up
      You can’t cool down
      Your watch is spinnin’ ’round and ’round
      ‘Round and ’round and ’round it goes
      Where it stops nobody knows

  • Ugo

    i will never understand how IWC manages to sell watches at higher prices than Mido, Rado or, at best, Montblanc, while i see them more on the Hamilton area…

    • George Yang

      How is your perception that much skewed of IWC’s marketing and market placing within the Swiss watch industry?

    • Independent_George

      This is a little unfair. Even before Richemont bought them and changed their image to be a little less tool watch, IWC was making complicated watches and employed some of the most famous watchmakers in Switzerland, like Richard Habring, among others.

      I will not argue against the idea that for what is offered, IWC is somewhat overpriced, and you pay a small premium for brand heritage and Georges Kern’s marketing genius. But IWC makes much higher end watches than Mido, Rado, Hamilton and non-Minerva Montblanc in fit and finishing alone, let alone in materials and complications.

      • Ugo

        for you and @george_yang:disqus :

        this would be a dinner long discussion and i totally understand that watches are in a completely unreasonably driven market, but we have to put a limit somewhere.
        the only thing i agree about IWC is the part about the marketing genius, because you actually have to be one to sell a steel watch with textile strap, printed dial, and ETA (let’s say “eta-derived” for sake of kindness…) movement at a price which is in the same area of a datejust.
        ok, the heritage, ok the material pioneering, but come on.
        they themselves clearly understood as well that they were stretching it too far, and in the last pair of years we’ve seen a try to put a little more value on the balance with in-house movements.
        that’great, but nonetheless there are other watches with similar “heritage” and more distinctive, Breitling being the first coming to my mind.
        so my perception may truly be skewed, but with IWC i still see ok-ish watches, with fair specs and totally decent quality, a little dull and uninspired on the design side, sold at outrageous prices.
        and i’m obviously here hoping they’ll change my mind.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I’m in the hate partial numbers camp.

    • bc_from_aus


  • NaJo

    The only IWC i prefer is portofino. Rest of the line is either too generic in dial+case designs or employs Eta at exorbitant prices.

  • Cuppa Joe

    Love this watch. Elegant… dressy… and one of the best dials in the business. The partial numbers always looked great to me. Now that it’s in-house, maybe they can have a model w/ a 60-minute register?

    • Independent_George

      They do. It probably will be the refreshed Portofino.

  • SMB

    I like the look of the IWC Portugieser line. They always look nicely finished when I’ve seen them in person, but they are outside my budget. Fortunately for me, the Orient Star Heritage Gothic has a similar look with an in-house movement for a lot less money.

  • Pete Yo

    the black and gold watch is beautiful. Not 18k beautiful, but indeed beautiful.

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