IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 IW3583
The Portugieser now offers fully in-house made calibers
There are plenty of options among premium luxury watches, yet some belong to the history of watchmaking and have that little extra factor. The IWC Portugieser is one of them, no doubt. Many are the ingredients that make any recipe successful: heritage, engineering, and in-house complications or decorations. The cherry on the cake is somehow intangible and concerns the feel when you're wrapping that watch around your wrist. It all started in the late 1930s when two Portuguese importers ordered a series of large wristwatches equipped, back then, with pocket calibers capable of ensuring a marine-chronometer timekeeping accuracy, while being large-sized and easy to read.
Back then, IWC's watchmakers housed a "savonette" caliber 74 inside a wristwatch's case. It was the year 1939 when the first-ever IWC Portugieser, reference IW325, featuring a 41,5mm extra-large case, first appeared. The oversized, large case, sporting a small seconds counter at six, Arabic numerals, and "chemin de fer" minute ring, are synonymous to IWC Portugieser, ever since. The collection has then enlarged to house various mechanical complications and lots of limited edition models. I would here highlight the Portugieser Anniversary reference 5441, the Portugieser Minute Repeater reference 5240, the Portugieser F.A. Jones Limited Edition reference 5442, and the Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days reference 5102, or the Grande Complication to name a few.
Ninety-one years after the first-ever Portugieser, IWC finally unveils a timepiece that draws inspiration from the IW325, while making this collection the only one to adopt solely in-house calibers (same goes with the 2020 IWC Portugieser Chronograph 3716, for example). Smaller than the original, stopping at 40mm case, across, the Portugieser Automatic 40 (reference 3583) comes equipped with the 82200 manufacture caliber, which initially appeared in 2018 when IWC revealed the Da Vinci 150th Anniversary. The IWC caliber 82200 is a 4Hz automatic movement equipped with the patented, high-efficient Pellaton winding mechanism, equipped with wear-free ceramic parts, capable of guaranteeing a maximum reserve of 60 hours.
The see-through screwed-in case back allows you to admire the skeletonized bi-directional rotor, whose design is common to all Portugieser, along with "perlage" and Côtes de Genève decorations on the bridges. The "Probus Scafusia" medallion on the winding rotor is beautiful, and its size is more proportioned compared to other applications across the range. Simple, clean, elegant and more comfortable to wear in comparison to its bigger siblings, the Portugieser Automatic 40mm comes in four versions, three in stainless steel with light or dark dials (reference IW358303, IW358304, and IW358305) plus one in 5N 18k red gold (reference IW358306), all equipped with an alligator strap and folding buckle, with pin buckle available just on the gold variant. For more information, please visit www.iwc.com
(Photo credit: courtesy of IWC Watches, Horbiter®'s proprietary)
Francesco Falcone @Horbiter®