IWC Watches are a firm favourite within the Luxurious Magazine offices due to their classic styling and superb engineering. It’s always an event within the horological world when IWC launch new time pieces and they have certainly not disappointed with their latest two offerings, the Portuguese Chronograph Classic and Hand Wound Eight Days.
IWC has been a firm favourite of watch fans for over seven decades, they have become landmarks in the history of mechanical timekeeping. Since its inception, the purist Portuguese line has combined an elegant and timeless language of form with uncompromising horological quality. One of the main factors contributing to the success of the watches is that these chronometers concede nothing to the whims of fashion providing time pieces both stylish and classic. The tradition behind the IWC Portuguese family stretches back to the precision nautical instruments once used by navigators to discover the world. Over half a millennium later, in the late 1930s, two Portuguese businessmen working in the watch sector visited the Schaffhausen factory and commissioned wrist watches to match the accuracy of a marine chronometer. The first Portuguese, in 1939, came fitted with a pocket watch movement. The IWC watch line has endured over 70 years since then and is a firm favourite amongst the world’s watch lovers, who appreciateits sheer size, precision and complex mechanics.
First, lets cover the new Portuguese Chronograph Classic (Ref. 3904) bringing exceptional elegance and classically inspired design to this popular collection, though the redesigned watch has a surprisingly independent look. This second chronograph member of the Portuguese dynasty preserves the identity and cultural heritage of the legendary originals of the 1930s. The timepiece comes complete with appliquéd Arabic numerals, a railway-track-style chapter ring and slender feuille hands. An arched-edge front glass makes this slim beauty’s 42-millimetre diameter seem smaller than it is. The traditional type of glass used admirably sets off the language of form, lending a well-balanced and classical impression. Powering the Portuguese Chronograph Classic is an IWC-manufactured 89361 calibre, developed specifically to record time spans of up to 12 hours on a subdial. The result is as bold and easy to read as a clock face. The sapphire-glass back reveals the 89361 calibre and the rotor, resplendent in Geneva stripes. The Portuguese Chronograph Classic is available in 18-carat rose gold or stainless steel, both with silver-plated or slate-coloured dial.
The latest addition to the family is the Portuguese Hand-Wound Eight Days (Ref. 5102). It owes its classic look to the new case design twinned with an arched-edge front glass. The Portuguese Hand-Wound Eight Days in red gold (Ref. IW510204) with its silver-plated dial, Arabic numerals and the characteristic feuille hands is the essence of simple aesthetics. The signal-red “60” in the seconds dial is a small, but attractive detail. The sister models in stainless steel feature a black (Ref. IW510202) or silver-plated dial (Ref. IW510203) with rhodium-plated numerals and hands.
Features common to both include the typical railway-trackstyle chapter ring and the IWC-manufactured 59215 calibre.This movement, a member of the 59000-calibre family, is a modern design featuring conspicuous plates and bridges and guarantees the high level of ruggedness and reliability required in a watch designed for everyday use. In addition to this, the watch has a very long power reserve, allowing it to run for exactly 192 hours – or eight days – without needing to be rewound. Precisely how much time remains before the owner needs to wind the crown can be read off the power reserve display visible through the sapphire-glass back on the reverse side of the watch. This sophisticated arrangement ensures that the dial retains its uncluttered, purist clarity.
Leather straps made by Italian luxury shoe manufacturer Santoni underscore the individual character of the new Portuguese Chronograph Classic and the Portuguese Hand-Wound Eight Days. The renowned Italian shoe brand, now run by the second generation of the family, Giuseppe Santoni, uses a complicated manufacturing process to give its leather the characteristic patina. The technique leaves the leather looking as if it had already enjoyed several years of use by a careful owner, despite the fact that it is brand new. The same idea applies to the straps Santoni produces exclusively for IWC. Apart from the subtle gradation of colours, characteristic of the brand, the exquisite straps are also recognisable from the orange-coloured leather lining. Santoni’s elegant leather products epitomize masterly craftsmanship and the highest quality.