IWC Portugieser Automatic 40

You probably know IWC for their authentic aviation history and iconic pilots’ watches, yet despite this the Portuguiser remains their top selling watch.  Introduced in 1939 it’s etymology is tied to its first customers, two prominent Portuguese businessmen after a wrist worthy marine chronometer to wear while travelling. For 2020 IWC return to the 30’s roots of this watch and unveil four subtle 40mm variants alongside two strapping 42mm boutique versions.

Portugieser Automatic 40 Ref. IW358306

The four new 40mm versions homage the original reference 325 of the 30’s, a clean dial , small hacking seconds subdial at 6 o’clock and no date window make sure it’s a faithful recreation. Modern touches are present on the dial however with applied numerals and appliques rather than painted, for sharper legibility and flat sapphire crystal as opposed to domed. Size wise, they measure a touch over 40mm in diameter, smaller than the original launched in 1939, and just 12.4mm tall. This size shift for the collection it up to smaller wristed gents and ladies that may have been previously put off.

Mechanically the watch is efficient as you would expect from the German watchmakers, housing the manufacture 82200 calibre which employs cutting edge ceramic components and a Pellaton bidirectional winding system meaning it boasts a plentiful reserve of 60 hours. The beautifully finished movement is also visible though the sapphire caseback which is a lovely flourish to an otherwise subtle watch.

Portugieser Automatic 40 Ref. IW358303

Available in two case materials there are three steel cased versions, two with silver-plated dials and the other, featuring a blue sunray-brushed dial with rhodium appliques and numerals. The gold cased version will sport a silver dial and all will have and varying gold plated and rhodium plated hands, appliques and numerals. All four will come on suitiably dressy Santoni leather alligator straps.

IWC Portuigueser Automatic 42mm

IWC Portuigueser Automatic 42mm Boutique Edition
IWC Portuigueser Automatic 42mm Boutique Edition (Ref: IW500713)

The two 42mm editions are larger in size thanks to their double-barrelled in-house 52610 calibre. This additional dial space means that IWC have change the format slightly, with the small seconds at 9 o’clock, date at 6 o’clock and the epic 7-day power reserve at 3 o’clock. It’s certainly busier than the standard version. Flip the 42mm case over and it reveals a wall-to-wall sapphire caseback showing off the impressive movement complete with the signature Pellaton winding mechanism.

IWC Portugieser Automatic 42

The steel cased version will be available with a brushed burgundy sunray dial while the boutique 5N gold variation will utilise a sunray brushed blue. Personally, I prefer the more paired back non-boutique iteration, though none of the watches will be limited in production so it is really a question personal preference and budget.

Price & Specs:

Brand: IWC
Model:
Portugieser Automatic 40
Ref: IW358303 (stainless steel/silver-plated dial, gold-plated hands
and appliques), IW358304 (stainless steel case, silver-plated dial, blue hands and
appliques), IW358305 (stainless steel case, blue dial, rhodium-plated hands
and appliques), IW358306 (18-carat 5N gold case, silver-plated dial, gold-plated hands, 18-carat gold appliques)
Case/Dial: 40.4mm diameter x 12.4mm height, stainless steel or 18k gold (ref. IW358306)
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: IWC calibre 82200, automatic
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60h
Strap: Alligator leather
Price/availability: CHF 7,500/EUR 7,150 in steel and CHF 17,200/EUR 16,900 in gold

Brand: IWC
Model:
Portugieser Automatic 42
Ref: IW500713 (18-carat gold case, blue dial, gold-plated hands, 18-carat gold appliques, boutique edition), IW500714 (stainless steel case, burgundy dial, rhodium-plated
hands and appliques)
Case/Dial: 42.3mm diameter x 14.2mm height, 18k gold (ref. IW500713) or stainless steel (ref. IW500714)
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: IWC calibre 52010, automatic
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60h
Strap: Alligator leather
Price/availability: TBC, blue and gold version is a IWC boutique exclusive

More details at IWC’s website.