IWC celebrates the Year of the Dragon with a subtle yet handsome Portugieser Chronograph

IWC celebrates the Year of the Dragon with a subtle yet handsome Portugieser Chronograph

Jamie Weiss
  • True to form, IWC welcomes the Lunar New Year with a limited edition – this time, a Portugieser Chronograph.
  • Like previous Lunar New Year watches, it features a burgundy dial with red gold indices and hands.
  • 2024 is the Year of the Dragon, and fittingly, it features a unique dragon-shaped rotor.

Most of us are still yet to take down our Christmas decorations, but some watch brands have wasted no time unveiling special editions in time for the Lunar New Year, with brands as diverse as Casio, Chopard, Hublot and Swatch just some of those who’ve crafted pieces for the occasion. 2024 is the Year of the Dragon, and the dragon’s a particularly cool creature, so it’s the perfect invitation for brands to go crazy. IWC, however, has taken a more restrained route, crafting a Portugieser Chronograph in a subtle Lunar New Year colourway with a dragon-shaped surprise sitting under the wrist of the wearer which offers a less gaudy alternative to some of the other Lunar New Year watches that have been released for 2024.

IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon dial

Like many previous Lunar New Year models IWC has released (such as the Portugieser three-hander they released last year or the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph they released in 2021), the IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon (ref. IW371629) features a rich burgundy dial and red gold-plated hands and appliques. Red, of course, is a quintessential Lunar New Year shade: in Han Chinese culture, red is considered the colour of luck, with red paper envelopes filled with cash gifted to children and red outfits worn as part of Lunar New Year festivities.

IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon caseback

Flip the watch over and you’ll find that its in-house calibre 69355 features a unique gold-plated automatic rotor shaped like a coiled Chinese dragon – a fun touch that, as I mentioned earlier, maintains the purity of the Portugieser Chronograph’s dial. Dragons are cool but it’s easy to go overboard with Lunar New Year imagery on a watch’s dial. You’d be happy wearing this IWC every day, not just as the Lunar New Year rolls around.

IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon straps

The Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon comes with two straps: a black calfskin strap and a burgundy rubber strap, both of which feature butterfly clasps. While the calfskin option is nice and dressy, I quite like the sportiness of the rubber strap. Having that much red around your wrist is also a pretty unique look.

IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon pricing & availability

The IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon is limited to 1,000 pieces and is available now through IWC boutiques, authorised retail partners, or online. Price: A$14,600.

Brand IWC Schaffhausen
Model Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon
Reference Number IW371629
Case Dimensions 41mm (D) x 13.1mm (T) x 47mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 30 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and back
Dial Burgundy red dial, red gold-plated hands and appliques
Lug Width 20mm
Strap Black calfskin leather
Burgundy rubber
Movement IWC 69355, in-house, automatic
Power Reserve 46 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, small hacking seconds, chronograph
Availability Limited to 1,000 pieces
Price A$14,600