IWC Portuguese: a navy-inspired timepiece
With its imposing dimensions-light years ahead of the fashion of the time-and its very high-precision movements inspired by naval chronometers, IWC's Portugaise is ahead of its time. The story begins when two Portuguese merchants placed an unprecedented order with IWC for a wristwatch as accurate as a marine chronometer. At the time, such a chronometer required a movement that was far too large to fit in a watch. The Swiss manufacturer then chose to integrate a gousset movement, namely the caliber 74, into a large 42 mm case. A first revolution for the time since the trend was for thin, rectangular watches inspired by the Art Deco movement.
IWC's Portuguese: a new watchmaking trend
IWC's Portugaise thus pushes the limits of precision thanks to its caliber possessing a much larger balance wheel. Its roundness and imposing dial also bring a stylistic breath of fresh air to the world of watchmaking. Despite this, it will pay for its eccentricity. Until the 1980s, only a hundred or so were produced, due to a design that was too atypical for the time. Finally, it was not until 1993 that the watch met its public and proudly took the name of IWC Portugieser. This model owes its renaissance to a limited eponymous collection (reference 5441) launched in 1993 on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of IWC. Its movement and design are out of the ordinary and inaugurate a new watchmaking trend. They are now the best-sellers of the Swiss manufacturer.