A peek at the IWC Portuguese

Hello again!

This week the watch I have most been hearing about is the Portugese by the International Watch Company. So I thought it may be a good place to start for this whole blogging business .

Sit tight as we step into the world of IWC…

I was once told a little story about when Florentine Ariosto Jones (the founder) arrived in Switzerland. Florentine had a vision to take the skill of a Swiss watchmaker out of what would have been a small workshop, often above their homes, and industrialise it.

I hear his arrival was much like that of a salad on the mcdonalds menu.

As a true entrepreneur Florentine didn’t let an icy welcome stop him from reaching his dream. So instead, he went to Schaffhausen and set up camp there.

Today the brand is known globally and sits along side the likes of Jaeger Le-Coultre and Cartier and forms part of the Richemont Group.

…Now lets take a closer look at the Portugese.

A piece seen by many as one of IWC’s iconic collections; it’s hard to believe that it almost didn’t take off. When the Portuguese was launched in 1939 at the request of two Portuguese travelers it was definitely ahead of its time (no pun intended).

The watch measured 43mm which today is fairly normal; especially when you compare it to the Rolex Yachtmaster II (44mm) or perhaps the Zenith Type 20 at a gigantic 48mm! In 1939 however the average size for a watch was 33mm, enough said.

The two Portuguese travelers clearly were ahead of their time and predicted people wanted oversized watches with legible dials and the precision matching that of a Marine Chronometer. A concept which only took off at the relaunch of the Portuguese 54 years later!

These original concepts are still evident in the range. Take the IW503504 for example:

FullSizeRender (9)
Credit: Watchgirl


Effortlessly clean. This is such a well porportioned dial, which even though it displays a lot of information remains simple and elegant. (If you can get over a rather obvious label reading “Annual Calendar” placed centre screen).

The watch honors the heritage of American founder Florentine with its date format. Making this the main feature of the watch truely emphasises the importance of functionality for IWC.

The thin bezel makes the watch appear larger than it is at 44.2mm. A size which today is extremely popular. Now we see more and more ladies are buying watches designed for men. However, trends always go in a circle and potentially this piece mat in the future be once again be too large?

One feature I particularly love is the open sapphire crystal case back. It modernises a watch and exhibits what you are really investing in! Now with this watch you get a peak at movement inspired by the pocket watch at the time essential to achieving precision. Perfect for accentuating this watch’s heritage.

The power reserve is also important to note lasting 7 days without needing to be wound or worn!

Perfect for this particular model in gold, as it is such a dressy watch, and may be worn only once a week in some cases.

Portuguese is for sure a piece that you should consider for your collection! It may in the end have to come down to whether or not you have the wrist size to pull it off!

Bye for now…




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