Having just revamped the Portofino collection, IWC is now turning its attention to the Portuguese family, of which it will launch eight new models at SIHH 2015. But in a surprising move, considering the conservative nature of the Swiss watch industry, and one of its oldest pillars, IWC Schaffhausen is renaming the iconic collection to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
In fact, the Portugieser reclaims the name it was originally given back in 1940 when two Portuguese businessmen ordered wristwatches with the accuracy of a voluminous pocket watch caliber from International Watch Co (now IWC). The first of the new pocket-watch-style wristwatches (Ref. 325) left the factory in 1939, and one year later the Portugieser was born.
Among the members of the latest generation of Portugieser watches is the Portugieser Annual Calendar. Following five years of research and development, IWC Schaffhausen will present its first annual calendar in three iterations, available in 18-carat red gold (Ref. IW503504), with a silver-plated dial or in stainless steel with a silver-plated (Ref. IW503501) or midnight blue (Ref. IW503502) dial.
The Portugieser Annual Calendar (Ref. 5035) features three separate windows for the month, date and day at “12 o’clock.” Note the “American” order in which the date is shown, for technical reasons, but also as homage to IWC’s American founder, Florentine Ariosto Jones. The new watch is presented in a large 44.2-millimetre case with grooved bezel, classic railway-track-style chapter ring, slim feuille hands and Arabic numerals similar to the original Portugieser of 1939. The small seconds subdial, however, is not positioned at “6 o’clock” as in the original, but at “9 o’clock”.
The new watch is made possible by the development of the new IWC-manufactured 52850 caliber, which features two barrels that keep the new function supplied for approximately 168 hours, enough to ensure a 7-day power reserve.
“We’ve enhanced the design and finish of the plates and bridges considerably,” says Christian Knoop, Creative Director at IWC Schaffhausen, who confirmed the watch manufacturer’s decision to produce more in-house movements in the years ahead.
We look forward to updating this article with live photos and prices, as soon as we get our hands-on the Portugieser Annual Calendar ourselves. In the meantime, please visit the official IWC Schaffhausen website for more information.
Photo Credit: IWC Schaffhausen.