The Portugieser Automatic is itself an iconic timepiece in the prestigious Portugieser line that is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2015. This model is well known for its iconic design and exceptional power reserve of up to 7 days. Unveiled at SIHH 2015, the latest Portugieser Automatic model houses the newly developed IWC-manufactured 52010 calibre and optimized strap horns. The dial, which is famous for its balanced design, remains unchanged.
The Portugieser Automatic (Ref. 5007) is a modern icon of haute horlogerie. The classic design retains the appeal of the legendary original Portugieser of the 1930s. The simple, exquisitely executed railway track-style chapter ring, the appliquéd Arabic numerals, the slender feuille hands: for three-quarters of a century, these have been the design cues that have made the Portugieser unmistakable. The guilloché subdials for the small seconds on the left and the power reserve display on the right are the same colour as the dial and as unobtrusive as the date display at “6 o’clock”. They blend harmoniously, without detracting from the clarity and symmetry of the dial.
Since its debut in 2000, the Portugieser Automatic has been equipped with one of the largest and most efficient automatic winding systems offered by any mechanical wristwatch in the premium class today. Nevertheless, the design engineers in Schaffhausen have succeeded in further improving the 50000-calibre family and produced a worthy successor in the form of the in-house 52000-calibre family. The main difference: thanks to its ceramic components, the self-winding mechanism is practically wear-free.
With two barrels instead of just one, the IWC-manufactured 52010 movement now has a 7-day power reserve. There is certainly plenty of room for it in the 42.3-millimetre case. The legendary bidirectional Pellaton winding system has been further improved: the pawls, automatic wheel and rotor bearing are now made of ceramic, giving the mechanism a special status in modern watchmaking technology.
The white- or black-coloured zirconium oxide reduces abrasion to virtually zero. The indexless balance has an increased frequency of 4 hertz (28,800 beats per hour). Combined with the Breguet spring, bent into shape using traditional techniques, this guarantees even greater precision.
The sapphire glass, which extends over nearly the entire back of the watch, provides a generous view of the 52010 calibre. In the course of overhauling the movement, IWC’s design engineers slimmed down the skeletonized rotor and modified the proportions of the golden “ProbusScafusia” medallion. As a result, it is easier to view the watch’s internal workings (the screw balance, new barrels and ceramic components), the bridges decorated with Geneva stripes and circular graining and the polished screws.
From the rear of the watch, the lightly curved lugs and the strap horns shaped to fit the case are clearly recognizable. These make the watch more comfortable to wear, even on a slimmer wrist. As you would expect, the workmanship on the case is superb. The polished lugs, the bezel and the case back encircling the transparent back cover all gleam sumptuously while the sides of the case are satin finished.
The Portugieser Automatic is water-resistant to 3 bar and available in two 18-carat red gold and three stainless-steel versions. The models with the 42.3-millimetre red gold cases are perfectly complemented by either a silver-plated or slate-coloured dial as well as solid gold appliqués.
In stainless steel, customers have the choice of one model with a black dial and silver-plated hands and appliqués or two models with silver-plated dials and either gold-plated or blue hands and appliqués. The hands contrast starkly with the chosen dial and are therefore highly legible. The Portugieser is supplied with a dark brown or black alligator leather strap which complements the dials. The large, ruggedly finished folding clasps are made of the same material as the case.
Model: Portugieser Automatic
REF. IW500701 ∙ IW500702 ∙ IW500703 ∙ IW500704 ∙ IW500705
IWC-manufactured calibre 52010
Mechanical movement with Pellaton automatic winding
Frequency: 28,800 A/h / 4 Hz
Power reserve: 7 days (168 h)
Glucydur® beryllium alloy indexless balance with high-precision adjustment screws on balance rim
Rotor with 18-carat gold medallion
Power reserve display
Small hacking seconds at 9 o’clock
Case, dial and strap
– Ref. IW500701: case in 18-carat red gold, silver-plated dial, dark brown alligator leather strap, folding clasp in 18-carat red gold
– Ref. IW500702: case in 18-carat red gold, slate-coloured dial, dark brown alligator leather strap, folding clasp in 18-carat red gold
– Ref. IW500703: case in stainless steel, black dial, black alligator leather strap, folding clasp in stainless steel
– Ref. IW500704: case in stainless steel, silver-plated dial, black alligator leather strap, folding clasp in stainless steel
– Ref. IW500705: case in stainless steel, silver-plated dial, black alligator leather strap, folding clasp in stainless steel
Glass: sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant: 3 bar
Diameter: 42.3 mm
Case height: 14.5 mm
See through sapphire glass back