To mark the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the legendary Portugieser watch family, Swiss luxury watch maker IWC Schaffhausen pays a fitting tribute to a little known yet wonderfully attractive version of the original Portugieser with the new Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary”. The design of this limited anniversary edition is almost identical to that of its predecessor, while the act of manually winding the movement once a week is a pleasing ritual.
Those familiar with the history of IWC are most likely to associate the original Portugieser (Ref. 325) from the 1930s with its legendary black and white dial. This classic, minimalist design was one of the main reasons that the Portugieser from IWC Schaffhausen went on to become a true icon in the world of watchmaking.
However, a number of different dial versions were also launched in the same year the watch family was founded. The new Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary” (Ref. IW510205 and IW510206) is a homage to a version of the original Portugieser that until now has been fairly unknown.
Fortunately, an original version of this model had remained in a private collection, and was a source of inspiration for IWC’s designers. This historic piece features all the attributes which have defined the appearance of the Portugieser to this day: Arabic numerals, slim feuille hands, railway-track-style chapter ring and small seconds at “6 o’clock”.
However, the inner chapter ring, hour indices and Arabic numerals are aesthetically very prominent in gold brown with black edging. The new Reference IW510206 in 18-carat red gold with silver-plated dial has inherited the colour scheme and company logo of its forebear almost without change.
Light green dial elements on the stainless steel version (Ref. IW510205) contrast well against the matte black dial. A new feature is the date display on the subdial at “6 o’clock”: in the 21st century, that level of convenience is de rigueur in a watch.
Out of respect for the watch’s iconic design, and in order to retain the characteristic symmetry and simplicity of the dial, the 8-day power reserve display was positioned on the side of the watch facing the movement. Just how long the watch will continue running until it needs to once more be wound by hand can be seen through the transparent sapphire-glass back.
IWC’s in-house 59215-calibre movement, which measures a stately 37.8 millimetres in diameter, reliably supplies the watch with energy for 8 days. Actually, it would be almost 9 days, were it not for an intelligent system that blocks the movement after the first 192 hours, or precisely 8 days.
Stopping the movement before all the tension in the spring has been exhausted eliminates the danger of diminishing torque in the mainspring. This ensures the same level of accuracy the whole time the watch is running. The Glucydur® beryllium alloy indexless balance oscillates at a frequency of 4 hertz, or 28,800 beats per hour.
Like the Breguet spring bent into shape using traditional watchmaking techniques, this also helps to make the watch extremely precise. The coved bezel, a typical design characteristic of the Portugieser line, and the arched-edge sapphire glass help to make the case appears less bulky despite its 12-millimetre height and 43-millimetre diameter.
The Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary” will be available in a limited edition of 175 watches in 18-carat red gold with a silver-plated dial (Ref. IW510206); the stainless-steel version with a black dial (Ref. IW510205) is limited to 750 watches.
All models are fitted with exclusive alligator leather straps produced by Italian shoe manufacturer Santoni.
Model: IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary”
Ref. IW510205 (Stainless Steel)∙ IW510206 (Red gold)
Red gold version limited to 175 watches
Stainless-steel version limited to 750 watches
Power reserve display on reverse side
Small hacking Seconds
IWC-manufactured calibre 59215 Mechanical movement
Frequency: 28,800 A/h / 4 Hz
Power reserve: 8 days (192 h)
Glucydur® beryllium alloy indexless balance with high-precision adjustment screws on balance rim Breguet spring
Case, dial and strap
- Ref. IW510205: case in stainless steel, black dial, black alligator leather strap by Santoni, pin buckle in stainless steel
- Ref. IW510206: case in 18-carat red gold, silver-plated dial, dark brown alligator leather strap by Santoni, pin buckle in 18-carat red gold
Glass: sapphire, arched edge, antireflective coating on both sides
See through sapphire glass back
Water-resistant: 3 bar
Diameter: 43 mm
Case height: 12 mm