In 1939 when two Portuguese merchants approached IWC about making a wristwatch with the same levels of accuracy usually seen in marine chronometer pocket watches, they had no idea it would be the beginning of a legend and the birth of one of IWC’s most popular collections. With a new slightly revised design, IWC have launched an updated version of their Portugieser Chronograph Classic – which we first saw back in 2013 (Ref. IW3904). The updates are few and subtle but they have culminated in a watch that accentuates the classic styling fans of the Portugieser love.
Comparing new with old, the removal of the 1/5th of a second markings from the railway-track style chapter ring and the omission of the red accents from the chronograph markings have made for a cleaner looking dial that bolsters the family connection. Coupled with the now slightly slimmer feuille (leaf) hands and applied Arabic numerals, there is no doubting to which collection the Chronograph Classic belongs – especially when it sits beside its aperture-heavy brother, the Portugieser Annual Calendar.
The 42mm case with a thickness of 14.5mm is largely unchanged, and is available in either stainless steel or 18k red gold. The stainless steel has two choices of dial: silver dial with blued hands and numerals, and a midnight blue with rhodium-plated hands and numerals. While the 18k red gold is now only available with a silver dial paired with case-matching gold hands and numerals. Inside, things are unchanged, the movement remains the venerable self-winding in-house calibre 89361 with date display, flyback function, and a 68-hour power reserve. This also leaves the vertical bi-compax dial layout untouched – with small seconds at 6 o’clock and an elapsed minutes and hours counter combined at 12 o’clock.
Sizeable yet elegant, the Portugieser chronographs are always a popular option here in Australia. With its revised styling the Portugieser Chronograph Classic is likely to live up to its name, becoming just that – a classic.