IWC Schaffhausen has dedicated 2020 to its Portugieser collection of watches. Created in the 1930s, the wristwatch was based on the style of deck watches IWC was producing for the British Royal Navy at the time.
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The first Portugieser timepieces, the Reference 325, were created to the specifications of two businessmen from Portugal, Rodrigues and Antonio Teixera. This resulted in the name of the collection. They wanted a precision marine-based watch for the wrist. To meet this need, IWC used a pocket watch caliber in a 41.5mm hunter pocket watch case and designed it for the wrist.
IWC estimates that sales of the original Portugieser 325 totaled only 690 pieces in three production runs between 1939 and 1981. The watch was revived in 1993 for IWC’s 125th year anniversary. The special edition of the Jubilee Portugieser, modeled after one variation of the Reference 325, sold out and rekindled interest in the original Reference 325 models.
All of the Portugieser watches for 2020 contain in-house calibers. They include automatic movements from the 52000 and 82000 caliber families, which have the IWC proprietary Pellaton winding with ceramic components, which reduces the wear of individual parts. The Portugieser chronographs are powered by 89000 and 69000 caliber families. The standard version of the Portugieser chronograph (Ref. 3716), one of IWC’s most popular models, is equipped with the IWC in-house 69355 caliber.
The watches are also defined by color with two versions sporting burgundy dials, one in a green dial and several others available in popular blue dials. Case sizes range from 40mm to 45mm and the cases are made with several materials, including proprietary metals. In addition, this year’s releases include a number of boutique editions. Functions range from classic watches inspired by the original style motifs of the Portugieser to chronographs and high complications. There’s even a watch with a new nautical complication.