Hands-On The IWC Portugieser Automatic 40
on the one hand, I’ve long seen IWC IWC Replcia Watches as a maker of robust, purpose-built tool watches like the Ingenieur, the Pilots Watch, and the Aquatimer. But on the other, its a fact that half of the company’s core collections are ostensibly dress watches: They are Da Vinci, Portofino, and the watch that we are talking about today, the Portugieser – which, granted, also is known for its large size. (One could also throw in the dressy Tribute to Pallweber, which exists only as part of IWCs Jubilee collection, but there I digress.)
From a design standpoint, the watches below, with their clean dials and sub-seconds, are about as close to the vintage ref. 325 as any IWC I have seen recently. It’s clear that IWC is taking this collection, long defined by its oversized case, in a somewhat different direction. Nonetheless, it’s a move that I suspect HODINKEE readers are going to like a lot.
The Portugieser’s story stands out for having been pushed along at first by a special request. Two Portuguese gentlemen, the story goes, asked IWC to make for them a large wristwatch with the chronometric qualities of a pocket watch. This was in the late 1930s, when IWC’s reputation was mainly based on its status as a maker of accurate pocket watches – which, of course, used large and robust hand-wound calibers that could easily be regulated within the strict chronometric tolerances required to achieve consistent accuracy. IWCs solution was to case up one of its pocket watch movements within a large-for-its-time wristwatch case, and the watch that would go on to be known as the Portugieser was born.
What we’re looking at today is a 40mm automatic Portugieser that brings all of the design elements that I most associate with the line to the table: a round case shape, a dial with legible Arabic numerals, and a railroad chapter ring. But it does this in a size that aligns with what many watch enthusiasts seem to want from a dress watch today. Todays Portugieser also strikes me as wearable on smaller wrists, including women’s wrists, in a way that I don’t think other versions of the Portugieser have been. The model that we are looking at here is 40.4mm in diameter and 12.3mm thick, though IWC is also making two new 42mm references with seven days of power reserve.
I wouldnt necessarily say that the newest 40mm Portugieser is a small watch, though. Its relative thickness compared to its diameter makes it a watch that you feel on your wrist, even if its definitely dressy enough to cover you for business and formal occasions. The absence of a date, the quite beautifully applied numerals in gold, gold-plate, rhodium-plate, or blue (one of my favorite parts of the design and one that reminds of the gold numerals on my own old IWC Caliber 89), and the elegant feuille hands all add up to a wristwatch that feels timeless. But I also get the sense that the Portugieser Automatic 40mm could easily serve as an everyday watch – and I dare say as a one-watch collection – thanks to its aforementioned wrist presence.
The Portugieser Automatic 40mm is available in four different executions, three in stainless steel and one in 5N pink gold. The two that we photographed for this story are the gold version with gold-plated hands and 18-karat gold applied numerals and markers (ref. IW358306) and the stainless steel version with blued hands and appliques (IW358304). The other two options in stainless steel are ref. IW358303, which has a silver-plated dial and gold-plated hands and appliques, and the ref. IW358305, which has a blue dial and rhodium-plated hands and appliques.
The IWC cal. IWC Replica 82200 at the heart of these new references is a newish caliber that we first saw in 2018 when it debuted in the Da Vinci Automatic Edition 150 Years in a round case that also measured 40.4mm, though with very different contours and, of course, with the much more shapely lugs of the Da Vinci. This is a thoroughly modern automatic caliber that features IWCs highly efficient Pellaton winding system with parts made from durable ceramic, a small hacking seconds at 6 oclock, and 60 hours of power reserve while running at a conventional 28,800 vph.
There is very little not to like about the new Portugieser Automatic 40. It looks great, and its case feels as if its obviously been designed as much for wrist-hugging comfort as for simple good looks. You really do have to go searching for things to fault. I did find one, though. Turning the watch over and admiring the movement, something struck my eye, and it wasnt the quite beautiful movement itself. It has to do with the watchs water resistance of 3 Bar (30 meters).
Now, is one likely to go swimming with this watch? Probably not. I do feel that a new watch launched in 2020 should strive to offer more than this amount of water resistance, though, which feels like the bare minimum for a standard time-only watch. Its not as though this is a chronograph or a minute repeater. And with its slightly thick case, it feels like this should be possible. Its thanks to that same robust-feeling case that I could easily see myself switching a steel example of this watch from its alligator strap to a more casual one and making it my daily wear. And in that scenario, a minimum of 50 meters water resistance – and ideally 100m – would be most welcome.
But as I said, this is almost a cavil. The watch is solidly built, and its movement is not only in-house but distinctively IWC with its proprietary winding system. In all three stainless steel versions, in particular, the value proposition feels just right at $7,250.
The IWC Portugieser Automatic 40mm. 40.4 x 12.3mm case with 30 meters of water resistance and see-through caseback. In-house caliber 82200 automatic movement beating at 28,800 vph, 60 hours of power reserve, running in 31 jewels. Four versions available: ref. IW358303: stainless steel case, silver-plated dial, gold-plated hands and applied markers and numerals, black alligator leather strap; ref. IW358304: stainless steel case, silver-plated dial, blue hands and applied numerals and markers, blue alligator leather strap; ref. IW358305: stainless steel case, blue dial, rhodium-plated hands and applied numerals and markers, black alligator leather strap; ref. IW358306: 18-karat 5N gold case, silver-plated dial, gold-plated hands, 18-karat gold applied numerals and markers, brown alligator leather strap by Santoni. All steel versions, $7,250; 5N gold, $16,900.
For more, visit IWC by clicking here.
Photographs by Tiffany Wade
自訂分類：不分類上一則： A 1972 Rolex 'Red' Submariner, A 1973 Rolex Date With 'Bark' Bezel, And A 1996 Rolex Day-Date With Tapestry Dial