Two New Summery Portugieser Models From IWC Schaffhausen

IWC delivers sophisticated casual-luxe with its latest Portugieser models.

The sun is out, the skies are blue, and you’d want to dress down – but not too much because, well, you’ll never know who you are going to run into. If this is your conundrum, a solid and reputable wrist accompaniment goes a long way to subtly tip the sartorial balance from relaxed to refinement – a watch not unlike the new Portugieser from IWC Schaffhausen. Imbued with casual styles and horological gravitas in equal measure, these Portugieser models let you have the best of both worlds.

IWC Portugieser Automatic
IWC Portugieser Automatic

Known for its plus-sized presence and classic designs, the Portugieser is a go-to dress watch for IWC fans looking to give their Pilot’s Watches and Aquatimers a rest. Born in 1939 – from a request by two Portuguese businessmen for IWC to make a large stainless steel wristwatch that was as precise as a marine chronometer – the Portugieser watches of today comprise a varied assortment that runs the gamut from automatic time-only models to minute repeaters and tourbillons, all enveloped by a distinctive muscular but classically inspired and pared-down aesthetic. The two latest Portugiesers deliver on these winsome features, and then some, by adding a touch of summery, sea-faring spirit to the collection’s trademark elegance.

IWC Portugieser Automatic
IWC Portugieser Automatic

Whether the Portugieser Automatic or Portugieser Chronograph, the new models are enlivened with white-and-blue tones and ‘panda’-style dials featuring contrasting sub-dials. The Portugieser Chronograph comes in 41mm stainless steel with signature pump pushers, framing a white dial with vertically aligned blue 30-minute and 60-seconds sub-dials, accompanied by blue Arabic numerals and feuille hands. Inside, the watch runs on the automatic Calibre 69355 that was introduced in 2018, which eschews the hour totaliser and date window for a cleaner look. The movement is visible via an open sapphire caseback.

The Portugieser Automatic, on the other hand, is slightly larger at 42.3mm and similarly housed in stainless steel. The watch also features the same white-and-blue colours, as well as Arabic numerals and feuille hands. Here, the panda-style sub-dials are horizontally aligned, featuring a small seconds counter on the left, which is balanced by the power reserve display on the right. As opposed to the sporty-looking minute track on the chronograph model, a railway track design circles the dial to lend the Portugieser Automatic a classic disposition. The Portugieser Automatic is driven by the Calibre 52010, which belongs to IWC’s family of new-generation 7-day power reserve movements that feature an updated Pellaton winding system and two mainspring barrels.

IWC Portugieser Chronograph
IWC Portugieser Chronograph 

Given both watches’ similarly themed panda-dial design, there is actually little to set them apart – especially when the sub-dials on the automatic model render a somewhat chronograph-like look. The decision then boils down to price and functionality. The Portugieser Chronograph, despite the additional feature, is smaller and slimmer and – at S$12,800 – costs slightly less than the Portugieser Automatic, which costs S$18,800. We are tempted with the more-for-less proposition of the former, but the Portugieser Automatic is certainly a ‘purer’ expression of the Portugieser’s historic roots. It’s a tough choice to make, but either way, summer chic and horological heat are guaranteed.

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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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