Swiss watchmaker IWC recently unveiled two new models in its historic Portuguese Collection. Joining one of the brand's most esteemed families of timepieces are the Portuguese Chronograph Classic and the Tourbillon Hand-Wound.
More than 70 years on and the Portuguese remains a long-standing favourite with watch connoisseurs thanks to its purist design and precision engineering. Its original incarnation dates back to the 1930s, when two Portuguese businessmen commissioned IWC to create wristwatches that could match the accuracy of a marine chronometer. This first Portuguese came fitted with a pocket watch movement, and each new chronometer since has become a benchmark in the world of complex mechanical watches.
The new Portuguese Chronograph Classic (Ref. 3904) is a significant evolution from its older sibling, with a bolder case, pronounced subdials, a new date aperture at 3 o'clock and more than a hint of sporty style. Available in red gold and stainless steel with either a silver-plated or slate-coloured dial, the watch is powered by an IWCmanufactured 89361 calibre, developed specifically to record time spans of up to 12 hours on the subdial.
Not the only tourbillon in IWC's Portuguese collection but undoubtedly the most elegant, the new Tourbillon Hand-Wound is one serious watch lovers. A lesson in discretion, the minimalist watch face, free of any superfluous design flourishes, features an off-centre 60-second flying tourbillon at 9 o'clock, with a small seconds subdial at 6 o'clock.
Inside the clean-cut case, the IWC-manufactured 98900-calibre tourbillon movement, with its intricately decorated nickelsilver threequarter bridge, is visible through the transparent sapphire-glass back. Available in a white gold or red gold 43mm case, with a slate-coloured or silver-plated dial, the front glass has been crafted with an arched edge, which gives it the appearance of sitting more closely to the wrist.
IWC's new Portuguese Chronograph Classic in 18ct red gold with a black face (£18,250).
The reverse of IWC's new Portuguese Chronograph Classic in 18ct red gold.
IWC's new Portuguese Tourbillon Hand-Wound in 18ct red gold (£44,000).
IWC's new Portuguese Tourbillon Hand-Wound in 18ct white gold (£47,000).
The reverse of IWC's new Portuguese Tourbillon Hand-Wound in 18ct red gold (£44,000).
IWC's new Portuguese Chronograph Classic in 18ct red gold (£18,250).