There are only a handful watch collections worldwide as iconic as the IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser. It is one of the Swiss watch brand’s oldest and most recognised designs and integrates many of their most legendary innovations of haute horlogerie including elegant solid gold cases, clearly organised dial designs, COSC certified mechanical movements and impressive moonphase, chronograph and perpetual calendar complications.
It is for this very reason that we wanted to explore the IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser collection in more detail, from the design’s remarkable history to the latest releases within the range. Whether you are in search of your next straightforward timekeeper or you’re looking for a rare piece to add to your established collection, we are certain an IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser will you be your next find.
The History of IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Watches
The IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Reference 325 is where it all began; a watch that remains a must-have for collectors and an icon in watchmaking history. The model was first conceived during the late 1930’s when IWC was approached by two Portuguese gentlemen, Rodrigues and Antonio Teixera, who asked the brand to create a wristwatch with the precision of a marine chronometer. Creating a wrist-based timepiece with such perfect precision was no easy feat, and the only way of meeting the request was with their Caliber 74 hunter pocket watch movement housed within a large 43mm case.
The watch at first had no name or reference number with records only revealing a denomination for the case model as “Mod.228”. This was until someone at the manufacture started using the term “Reference 325” when discussing the watch. Despite it never showing in any IWC catalogue, Reference 325 became known as the very first IWC Portugieser watch. Its thin bezel opened up a vast display and effortless legibility of the simple Arabic numerals and leaf-shaped hands while its slim railway-track style chapter ring beautifully highlighted the contours of the case. Looking at the original IWC Portugieser Reference 325 alongside their latest 2020 collection, it’s easy to see why the designers have refused to make any large changes to the collection’s overall design.
IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser 2020 Watch Collections
The IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser has been almost entirely singled out this year, becoming one of the brand’s main focuses for 2020. Still maintaining the same quiet sophistication as its historic predecessors, these new releases offer wearers a variety of complications and styles to choose from including new Portugieser Chronographs, Portugieser Perpetual Calendar watches, Portugieser Automatic 40 watches and our personal favourite the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club range.
Let’s start with the IWC Portugieser Chronograph, a classic if there ever was one. For 2020, this stunning range will boast a manufacture calibre movement for the first time, the Calibre 69355, constructed from 194 components and 27 jewels. The calibre also provides chronograph function with minutes and seconds and a 46 hour power reserve. You can choose between a classic 41mm stainless steel case or a luxurious 18 carat 5N rose gold case, both water resistant to 30 metres. The steel variations come on a range of dial colours including silver, blue, black, burgundy, slate grey or green while the elegant rose gold Portugieser Chronograph comes with a blue, silver or anthracite dial.
The IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 is another new series for the year with a new, smaller 40mm case engineered from stainless steel or 18 carat rose gold. Also powered by an in-house movement, these stunning releases are equipped with the Calibre 82200 with a 60 hour power reserve, frequency of 28,800vph, 31 jewels and stunning Côtes de Genève decoration which can be seen through the exhibition case back. The steel variations of this model are presented with a silver dial with gold appliques, silver dial with blue appliques or a blue dial with silver appliques. The star of the show for us is the 18 carat rose gold version accented by a stunning silver and gold dial and a dark brown alligator leather strap.
IWC’s perpetual calendar complication deserves an entire feature of its own, boasting a history and list of accomplishments worthy of only the highest praise. The IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar is so accurate, it will display the correct date, day, month and year – even leap years – for the next 577 years, and to top it off, all of the displays can be adjusted entirely by the crown. The new range is powered by the Calibre 82650 self-winding movement which provides a 60 hour power reserve and perpetual calendar with displays for the date, day, month, leap year and perpetual moon phase. Available in steel and rose gold, the cases measure to 42mm in diameter and come with a silver, anthracite or blue dial.
Last but not least is the new IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Yacht Club watch collection available with chronograph or Moon & Tide complications. The Yacht Club Chronograph comes in three 44.6mm variations. The first showcases a stunning two toned steel and 18 carat gold case with a silver and gold accented dial. The second in steel with a silver dial with blue appliques and the third similarly features a steel case but with a blue dial and silver appliques. Meanwhile, the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide is a dream for enthusiasts of nautical adventures with a novel tide indication at 6 o’clock which allows wearers to observe expected time for the next high and low tide. The dual moonphase feature at 12 o’clock also includes the ability to display spring and neap tides. This model is available with a 44.6mm 18 carat rose gold case, blue dial and nautical blue rubber strap with textile inlay.
An unrivalled icon of style, sophistication, and precision, the IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser remains one of our all-time favourite collections to review. Keep an eye out for more IWC watch reviews in the future on the Horologii website here or in the meantime why not shop the entire Portugieser watch collection on the Jura Watches website available with interest free finance and free next day delivery.