IWC Portugieser Chronograph Classic: Singapore Price & Review

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IWC scores with discreet athleticism.

How do people love the IWC Portugieser? Let us count the ways. Obviously, the collection’s vintage-inspired classicism has a lot to do with it – a fuss-free and versatile look that no doubt has an enduring quality. The size, too, is an obvious pull, with the ‘smallest’ (this watch in question, actually) measuring in at a not-too-tiny 42mm across.

And of course, there is variety. The Portugieser family is huge, spanning 1930s-inspired limited editions (Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days ‘75th Anniversary), to an exceedingly complex multi-complication featuring sidereal time, constant force tourbillon, perpetual calendar and customised celestial chart (Portugieser Sidérale Scafusia). Poised somewhere in between the top-dollar complications, and the more ‘basic’ three-hand options is the Portugieser Chronograph Classic, a handsome dress watch with a hint of sportive sass.

Distinguished by its vertically aligned sub-dials, the Portugieser Chronograph Classic boasts lineage to the collection’s similarly endowed complications like the Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante from 1995, and the Automatic Chronograph Ref. 3714, a bestseller in the brand’s catalogue. A more recent sibling is the Portugieser Chronograph Classic Ref. 3904 from 2013. The watch pays homage to the rattrapante model in terms of design, and runs on the in-house automatic Calibre 89361 movement with flyback chronograph function and 68-hour power reserve – the same one that powers this year’s version.

IWC Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante from 1995, Portugieser Automatic Chronograph Ref. 3714, Portugieser Chronograph Classic Ref. 3904 from 2013

From left: IWC Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante from 1995, Portugieser Automatic Chronograph Ref. 3714, Portugieser Chronograph Classic Ref. 3904 from 2013

The updated Portugieser Chronograph Classic sports some subtle tweaks to the dial that accords a greater sense of elegance. Most obvious is the minute track – the predecessor’s detailed seconds sub-division replaced with a railway-track-style chapter ring that looks less busy.

IWC Portugieser Chronograph Classic in 18K gold

Gone too, are 60-second and 12-hour markers in red, taking on a silver or gold tone to match the case colour – a slight change that makes the new version look decidedly more formal than the previous model. Within this neatly framed, boardroom-appropriate aesthetic, you get three options that span the spectrum of regality and, of course, price range: 18K red gold with silver dial (above) or stainless steel case with silver or blue dial (below).

IWC Portugieser Chronograph Classic in steel

 Case

42mm, stainless steel or 18K red gold

 Dial

Blue or silver-plated

 Movement

Automatic Calibre 89361

 Strap

Black or brown alligator leather

 Functions

Hours, minutes, date and flyback chronograph 

 Power  Reserve

68 hours

 Prices

 S$18,000 (steel), and S$30,500 (18k red gold)

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Alvin Wong

Editor-in-Chief

Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.  

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