If there is one complication that, especially in recent years, has become very popular, it is the annual calendar. This is also for good reasons, as it offers nearly all the benefits of a perpetual calendar, with the only exception that you have to adjust the date at the end of February manually. As a result, an annual calendar doesn’t have to know when it is a leap year, making it less complex to make, and therefore, it can also be offered at a lower price. While there are now many annual calendars on the market, one of the most beautiful is still the IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar.
The reason that this watch makes such an impression has a lot to do with its size. Initially, the Portugieser came to life in the late 1930s as a response to the request of two Portuguese gentlemen who wanted a wristwatch with the precision of a marine chronometer. IWC could oblige them, but the watch had to be larger than was then in fashion to house such a precise movement. Today this is not an issue anymore, although with a diameter of 44.2mm is the Portugieser Annual Calendar even by today’s fashion, not a small watch.
Yet its the size that makes this watch such a great annual calendar. As the bezel is very narrow, the watch is nearly all dial, and that enables IWC to space out all the functions and create a very balanced and symmetrical layout. They are able to line-up the month, date, and day indications of the annual calendar at the top of the dial. This makes them very easy to read.
Also the other side of the watch is pleasing to the eye. Here a glass caseback shows caliber 52850 in all its glory. As this caliber has a large diameter, it fills the case nicely. Thanks to two mainspring barrels is the power reserve of the Portugieser Annual Calendar seven days. The watch utilizes the Pellaton pawl-winding system to increase winding efficiency and is fitted with a beautiful rotor that proudly says that the watch is ‘Probus Scafusia,’ the company motto since 1903, meaning ‘good, solid craftsmanship from Schaffhausen’ which is most certainly the case with the Portugieser Annual Calendar.