IWC unveils the new Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 - Watches and Wonders 2020
No brand other than IWC is more entitled to be associated with a Perpetual Calendar complication. It is part of the brand's foothold. The first perpetual calendar developed by legendary master watchmaker Kurt Klaus came out in 1985. Back then, the brand introduced the "Da Vinci," IWC's first-ever perpetual calendar programmed for 500 years, showcasing a fully-digital year visualization, and the option of setting all the related functions via the winding crown. A superbly engineered machine, in a nutshell.
However, enthusiasts had to wait until 2003 before the Portugieser eventually housed such complications. The first-ever Portugieser Perpetual Calendar stood out for yet another IWC exclusive: the moon phase visualization, split between the two hemispheres (southern and northern), offering a gap between designed and actual duration of the lunar cycles, of just a day every 577,5 years. IWC offers today the most extensive collection of perpetual calendars on the market: the Da Vinci, the Pilot, the Ingenieur and, the Portugieser (last but not least, the Aquatimer). However, I believe the Portugieser is the collection that best exemplifies its craftsmanship, and it's the one to have housed the brand's legacy in pushing its boundaries further, like the Scafusia and the Grande Complication.
At Watches & Wonders 2020, IWC Schaffhausen broadens the product portfolio by adding two new products. The first is the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42mm, which welcomes a new 82000 based caliber, which includes the perpetual calendar complication. Crafted in either steel or gold, it is complemented by a boutique edition of the same watch showcasing a blue dial and strap. As said, with reference 3442, IWC has integrated this iconic complication within the 82000 caliber family, thus offering a smaller take on the signature Perpetual Calendar watch (42,4mm vs. 44,2 mm).
The dial keeps being quintessentially Portugieser, but a closer look confirms we're in front of more straightforward design, in comparison to the 52610 based calendar: we have here three registers instead of four, no year-visualization, and no power reserve too. However, the original 44,2mm variant offers seven days of autonomy when the watch is fully wound. The three counters placed at three, six, and nine, respectively, display the date, the month and the day of the week, while the moon phase display is integrated into the month's counter.
Again, all the functions are synchronized and can be adjusted via the crown. The calendar change takes place at midnight, with just one single click, with the programmed perpetual calendar recognizing different lengths of the months, accounting for that extra day at the end of February, during the four years cycle. By keeping the watch always wound, you won't make any adjustments until 2100.
Through the sapphire case back of the 18-carat rose gold case, you have plenty of view over the manufacture caliber 82650, equipped with a Pellaton automatic winding system, mated to a bidirectional winding mass, with zirconium oxide ceramic components, oscillating to ensure a maximum power reserve of 60 hours. The new IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 comes in three variants, two in pink gold with alternatively a silver (IW344202) or blue (IW344205) dial, and one in steel with a silver dial (IW344203) instead. The latter all pair with smooth and high-quality Santoni alligator leather straps. In summary, I love IWC's new perpetual calendar proposals, as I like seeing the brand focus more and more new in-house calibers that keep raising the brand on top of the watch industry. Could one day hope to see a new Destriero again?
For further information please visit iwc.com
Francesco Falcone @Horbiter®