Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.
If you followed our coverage of last year’s SIHH (now called “Watches & Wonders Geneva”), you may recall that IWC’s offerings were largely focussed on their pilot’s watches. This year, however, it’s the Portugieser that’s getting all the attention.
The Portugieser, which, to quote ourselves, was “designed at the behest of two Portuguese merchants in the 1930s and originally housed in an oversized case with a pocket watch movement,” is a significant historical holdover from early-20th century watchmaking, and am important part of IWC’s catalog. Each of the new Portugieser watches features an in-house movement, and there’s even a completely new tide indicator complication available.
The Automatic and Perpetual Calendar
Recalling the original Portugieser models from the 1930s, the new Automatic 40 (ref. 3583) features a 40mm case, a small-seconds display at 6 o’clock on the dial and the IWC manufacture calibre 82200 with 60 hours of power reserve. Simple and elegant, it’s available in four versions in either 18-carat 5N gold ($16,900) or stainless steel ($7,250). For those who love a simple, time-only look but perhaps don’t want the pilot watch aesthetic, this return to clean, 1930s design should offer a welcome alternative.
Two new versions of the Automatic in 42mm are also available, featuring IWC’s classic modern configuration of small seconds and power reserve displays opposite one another on the dial: one model features an 18-carat 5N gold case and blue dial ($23,900), while the second is housed in a steel case and has a burgundy dial ($12,700). Both are powered by the IWC manufacture-calibre 52010 with seven days of power reserve.
For those looking for a more complicated take on the Portugiser family, there are several new perpetual calendar versions available. The Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 (ref. 3442) features an in-house IWC movement (cal. 82650) for the first time, as well as a more compact 42mm case available in three versions: two in 18-carat 5N gold ($32,900), and one in stainless steel ($22,900). Also new is a boutique edition of the classic Portugiser Perpetual Calendar (ref. 5033), this time in a 44mm case with an 18-carat Armor Gold® case, a blue dial and a blue alligator leather strap ($37,900).
The Yacht Club and Yacht Club Moon & Tide
In time for its 10-year anniversary, the Portugieser Yacht Club line is expanding with a slew of new models, including the fascinating Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide (ref. 344001 at $33,100). If you’re familiar with the Heuer-made Abercrombie & Fitch Seafarer, then you may have seen a mechanical tide indicator before, but it’s unlikely that you can think up another.
Housed in a 44mm, 18-carat 5N gold case, the refined Moon & Tide’s IWC-manufactured cal. 82835 movement features a subdial a 6 o’clock that indicates times for high and low tide, as well as a double-moon phase display at 12 o’clock that shows “spring and neap tides and thus provides information about the strength of the current tides.” The fact that this information is delivered mechanically in the palm of your hand is something that never ceases to amaze, regardless of how many will actually utilize the information.
Elsewhere in the collection resides the third-generation Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph (ref. 3907) in either stainless steel ($13,100) or 18-carat 5N gold ($19,900). Housed in a 44mm case, it’s available in three models with stainless steel or two-tone bracelets and features the IWC manufacture calibre 89361 with flyback functionality and 68 hours of power reserve.
Even More Complicated
If perpetual calendars and tide indicators are insufficiently complicated for your taste, you might try the Portugieser Tourbillon Retrograde Chronograph (ref. 3940) with tourbillon and retrograde date display and chronograph (~$108,014-~$126,531), or the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon (ref. 5045) with a tourbillon and perpetual calendar (~$118,301-$136,818)
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