IWC Portugal series (Portugieser) came out in 1939, originally created for two Portuguese wholesalers. For decades, this series has won iconic status with timeless design and rich functions. In this article, we go back and forth to the story of this classic series.
Portuguese Reference IW325 watch, 1954
However, as a modern icon, before the generation of classics, the Portuguese series was known for its avant-garde design. In that era and aesthetic standards, its huge case and precise movement are refreshing, and the Portuguese series is also one of the earliest IWC watches. Today, the Portuguese series has become a major pillar of IWC. From simple automatic to the highest peak of complex watchmaking, this series has evolved thousands of thousands, which can be described as an assortment.
Portuguese Automatic Watch
In 1939, two wholesalers from Lisbon, Portugal, Messrs Rodrigues and Antonio Teixera approached the headquarters of Schaffhausen and made a request. They wanted a watch with an accuracy comparable to that of a marine astronomical clock. . They plan to sell this watch to Portuguese merchant ship captains and naval officers, and insist that the watch should be able to be worn on the hand, and the larger the better. This is a daunting challenge because it is very difficult to meet all the conditions until someone comes up with a bold idea-putting the Calibre74 ‘hunting watch’ movement in the watch case. The small second hand of Calibre74 is shown at right angles to the crown and winding stem at 3 o’clock, making it ideal for wearing on the hand. In terms of style, the new watch uses an elegant narrow bezel, orbital minute ring, Arabic numerals, and slender leaf-shaped hands. Despite its simple and classic appearance, the sheer size of ReferenceIW325 is surprising: most watches at that time were only 35mm in diameter, while ReferenceIW325 reached a staggering 41.5mm in diameter.
Portuguese Perpetual Calendar Watch
IWC produced about 300 watches equipped with Calibre74 movements, which were discontinued in 1951. In addition, between 1944 and 1970, the brand produced more than 300 watches equipped with Calibre98 pocket watch movements. In the 1980s, the Portuguese series almost disappeared, and production also stalled. Until 1993, under the guidance of watchmaker KurtKlaus, IWC launched a limited edition of Jubilee to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the brand, and the Portuguese series returned to the public eye. Except for the 42 mm case diameter, everything from the simple dial to the narrow bezel to the leaf-shaped hands remains intact. At the same time, the Portuguese series also adopted a translucent design for the first time. Through the sapphire crystal case back, you can appreciate the Calibre9828 modern movement improved from Calibre98. This commemorative watch has been warmly welcomed by collectors and connoisseurs, marking the beginning of the integration of Portugal into long-term planning and the development of a complete series of finished products.
Portuguese Series Constant Power Tourbillon Watch ‘150th Anniversary’ Special Edition
Since 1995, IWC has taken advantage of the large size of the case, integrated different complex functions, and launched a series of new models. In 1995, the Ref. 5240 minute repeater watch and Ref. 3712 chronograph chronograph took the lead. In 2000, an automatic watch with a power reserve of up to seven days brought the Portuguese series into the 21st century. Three years later, KurtKlaus took 18 years of development results, and the famous perpetual calendar came out. In 2004, IWC launched the Ref.5042 Tourbillon Mystère Tourbillon watch. In 2011, after 10 years of close research and development, Sidérale Scafusia finally unveiled the mystery, which is also the most complicated watch manufactured by IWC.
Portuguese Series Tourbillon Watch ‘150th Anniversary’ Special Edition
Portuguese Series Chronograph ‘150th Anniversary’ Special Edition
In 2018, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the brand, IWC added five special commemorative watches to the Portuguese series. The special edition of the 150th anniversary of the constant-power tourbillon watch is the most technically demanding watch in this series. For the first time equipped with a constant-power tourbillon with a simple moon phase profit and loss display, the special edition of the ‘150th Anniversary’ of the perpetual calendar tourbillon watch brings the perpetual calendar with the tourbillon into the dial for the first time. In addition to these limited editions for collectors, the collection is further enriched with a variety of metal, color and feature combinations, and is available in 42mm and 46mm models. The only breakthrough that violates the history is the special edition of the chronograph ‘150th Anniversary’. This watch is 40.9 mm in diameter, which is only 1 mm smaller than the original ReferenceIW325 watch. Regardless of size or function, IWC has proven itself to be a giant and a true classic in watches through its long history of baptism and market test since its inception. (Photo / text watch home compiled by Xu Chaoyang)