IWC Schaffhausen Impresses with Stunning Portugieser Models at Watches and Wonders 2024

Featuring highly intricate dials and high complications, the novelties embody IWC’s dedication to watchmaking excellence
IWC Schaffhausen Impresses with Stunning Portugieser Models at Watches and Wonders 2024
April 9, 2024
IWC Schaffhausen Impresses with Stunning Portugieser Models at Watches and Wonders 2024

This year’s Watches and Wonders novelties by IWC Schaffhausen hero the timeless elegance of one of the brand’s most-loved collections, the Portugieser. Each of the new launches highlights the brand’s unwavering commitment to showcasing watchmaking excellence paired with contemporary aesthetics. GMT India takes a closer look at the new timepieces.

Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon Day & Night

(Ref. IW545901)

The Armor Gold® case offers the perfect contrast to the Obsidian lacquered dial

Over the years, IWC has presented a plethora of Portugieser references with high complications and this new timepiece is the latest to be added to the long, impressive list. Housed in a polished and brushed 18ct Armor Gold® case—sized at 42.4mm—and sporting an Obsidian lacquered dial and gold-plated hands and gold appliques, the timepiece exudes a contemporary, regal air. The Armor Gold®, due to its improved microstructure, is significantly harder and more wear-resistant than conventional 5N gold, and the black of the dial adds a harmonious contrast. 

The Diamond Shell® technology in the mechanism contributes to the power reserve of 84 hours

IWC is no stranger to perfecting high complications; the flying minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock serves as a fitting reminder. Assembled and fine-tuned by the brand’s most accomplished watchmakers, the tourbillon places the balance wheel and pallet lever inside a small cage that rotates around its axis once every minute. Such a constant rotation diminishes gravity’s influence on the oscillating system, thus increasing the watch’s accuracy. The mechanism consists of 56 individual parts, yet still only weighing a mere 0.675 grams in total. The Diamond Shell® technology employed in the mechanism reduces friction and improves the flow of energy in the movement, contributing to the high power reserve of 84 hours.

The 24-hour indication—integrated into the newly developed 81925 calibre—appears in the shape of a small planet and is located at 9 o’clock. The globe has two sides, dark and bright, rotating around its axis once every 24 hours, putting up a captivating visual show for the wearer.

Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 44

(Ref. IW503703, IW503704, IW503702, IW503701)

The new Perpetual Calendar references sport intricately-crafted dials in various colourways

The Portugieser Perpetual Calendar has, over the last two decades, built for itself a formidable reputation, turning into a key pillar of the collection. Now, at Watches and Wonders 2024, IWC launches four new reworked and refined versions that while embracing a more modern-day appeal, still stay true to the storied heritage of the original.

The references are cased either in 18ct white gold or 18ct Armor Gold®

While two of the four references come in 18ct white gold with Horizon blue and Dune dials, the other two are cased in 18ct Armor Gold®, with either an Obsidian or a silver-plated dial. The cases have a more slender, refined silhouette and the dials—elaborately finished with 15 layers of transparent lacquer—flaunt a striking visual depth. The subdials, that display the calendar information, are milled into both the brass base and the lacquer layer. Incredibly complex and challenging, the production process of the dials comprises 60 individual steps that need to be mastered.

The 52616 calibre features a Pellaton winding system and an impressive 7-day power reserve

Powered by the IWC-manufactured 52616 calibre with a Pellaton winding system featuring components made of virtually wear-free zirconium oxide ceramic, the timepieces have a power reserve of 7 days. The boxglass sapphire crystal allows for a better-than-ever view of the iconic Portugieser design attributes, such as the characteristic minute scale. All four timepieces feature IWC’s signature Double Moon™ display. Inspired by nautical instruments, it displays the moon as it can be seen from the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Portugieser Chronograph

(Ref. IW371626, IW371625, IW371624)

The striking new dial colours are inspired by the cycle of day and night

The beloved chronograph, since its first launch in 1998, has added a distinctive sporty elegance to the Portugieser collection. Now, the brand reveals the latest versions of the popular chronograph at Watches and Wonders 2024 with three new dial colours inspired by the never-ending cycle of day and night: Horizon blue, Obsidian, and Dune.

The bases of the dials are first crafted from brass before being given a sunburst finish

Run by the IWC-manufactured 69355 calibre, a robust mechanical chronograph movement in classic column-wheel design, the 41mm references combine a decidedly modern spirit with the recognisable hallmarks of the Portugieser Chronograph. Typical for the brand, the vertical arrangement of the subdials showcases the stopped minutes directly at 12 o’clock and places the small seconds at 6 o’clock. This layout, which remains a distinguishing feature of the Portugieser Chronograph, amps up readability and adds to the overall aesthetic appeal.

The models are powered by the robust IWC-manufactured 69355 calibre

The intricately-crafted dials of the models instantly stand out. The bases, crafted from brass, are first given a sunburst finish before the colour application. Then, up to 15 layers of transparent lacquer are applied, and then polished to a high gloss. The printing, which is conducted via a special process, further enhances the three-dimensional effect. 

Portugieser Automatic 42 and Portugieser Automatic 40

Portugieser Automatic 42 (Ref. IW501708, IW501707, IW501705, IW501701, IW501702, IW501704); Portugieser Automatic 40 (Ref. IW358402, IW358401)

The Automatic 40 references present the classic Portugieser hallmarks in a more compact size

IWC’s Watches and Wonders 2024 novelties also include new additions to the brand’s Portugieser Automatic 42 and Automatic 40 lines. Featuring a reworked case construction that spotlights the slender side profile, the references embody a visual lightness that amps up their elegance. The double box-glass on the front and back allow the wearer to admire the new elaborately-crafted dials and the working of the movements. Like the other Portugieser models, these references also sport dials whose optical depth is ensured by the meticulous application of 15 layers of lacquer.

The novelties' slender profiles emphasise a charming visual lightness

While the new Portugieser Automatic 42 models are powered by IWC-manufactured 52011 calibre (with a 7-day power reserve) whose escapement has been improved to offer better protection against magnetic fields, the Portugieser Automatic 40 references are run by the IWC-manufactured 82200 calibre that guarantees a power reserve of 60 hours. While the Automatic 42 models fully retain the DNA of the original Portugieser Automatic (Ref. IW50001) from the year 2000, the Automatic 40 timepieces present the essence of the Portugieser design in a more compact size, standing in direct lineage to the very first Portugieser, Reference 325 from 1939.

Portugieser Eternal Calendar

(Ref. IW505701)

Cased in platinum, this is IWC's first ever secular perpetual calendar

Building on its rich perpetual calendar heritage, IWC reveals its first ever secular perpetual calendar. The 44.4mm platinum-cased Portugieser Eternal Calendar not only recognises the different lengths of the months and adds a leap day every four years, it also takes into account the Gregorian calendar’s complex leap-year exception rules.

Another notable feature is the extremely precise Double Moon™ phase display

Every four years at the end of February, a new module informs the calendar about whether the leap year takes place or not. This so-called 400-years gear completes only one revolution every four centuries. The mechanism makes use of three indentations, which allow the calendar to skip three leap years over that period. Another notable feature of this new model is the extremely precise moon phase display. By virtue of the newly-developed reduction gear, the Double Moon™ phase display will only deviate from the moon’s orbit by one day after 45 million years. 

The extensive use of glass—such as on the dial and double box-glass sapphire crystals—allows the wearer to admire the ingenious workings of the watch. The movement, IWC-manufactured 52640 calibre, builds up a power reserve of seven days (168 hours) in the two barrels.

Image credits: IWC