The Portuguese Family

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Portuguese On Precision Course To Success

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the pioneers of Portuguese seafaring Vasco da Gama, Bartolomeu Dias and Fernando Magellan undertook their daring voyages of discovery to West Africa, India and finally across all the world’s oceans.

Above all, it was their outstanding sailing skills, their precise nautical charts and the use of instruments such as the astrolabe and Jacob’s staff to determine their latitude on the high seas that enabled them to conquer new horizons. The Portuguese watches from IWC are a distant echo from that glorious past. They combine the tradition of nautical instruments with contemporary design and forward-looking mechanics.

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—The Portuguese Automatic has become one of the most successful Portuguese models ever to leave Schaffhausen

At the end of the 1930s, two Portuguese businessmen active in the watch industry were searching for technical precision of the highest order and paid a visit to the factory in Schaffhausen. They ordered wristwatches with steel cases and the accuracy of a marine chronometer. At the time, the only way of meeting their request was with a pocket watch calibre, so IWC decided to take a hunter movement (which also has the crown on the right-hand side) and house it in a wristwatch case. The first Portuguese of 1939 established an IWC watch family whose precision, sheer size and complex mechanics have been a source of pleasure to watch enthusiasts the world over for more than 70 years.

Patrice Quesnal
—Patrice Quesnel still uses classical navigation to sail the luxury yacht, Moonbird

— Portuguese Hand-Wound

The Portuguese Hand-Wound Bridges the gap between the original Portuguese and the Present
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Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph

—Reference 3902

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At the Swiss Watch Show in Basel in 1967, IWC presented the Yacht Club Automatic, a superbly crafted men’s wristwatch that was perfectly suited to the hardships of life on stormy seas. Small wonder that the Yacht Club soon established itself as one of the best-selling IWC models ever. In 1993, 50 years after delivering the first Portuguese model, IWC reincarnated the tradition of the striking watch family with the anniversary Portuguese watch. In 2000, after 5 years of development, IWC unveiled the Portuguese Automatic with the IWC-manufactured 5000 calibre, an inspired combination of traditional and new IWC technology. Among other things, the imposing IWC pocket-watch-sized movement incorporates bidirectional Pellaton winding and a balance with a Breguet spring for maximum precision. The newly designed 7-day movement with its power reserve display represented a gigantic technological leap in the history of the automatic movement. In subsequent years, other watchmaking complications such as the perpetual calendar, minute repeater and tourbillon would find their way into the watch family. In 2010, IWC celebrated another “Portuguese” year with a wealth of fascinating new products. Leading the way was the flagship of the collection, the Grande Complication in a Portuguese case. The Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde combines the magic of a floating tourbillon with the logic of a date hand that reverts to its starting position. Featuring echoes of earlier styles, the Portuguese Hand-Wound bridges the gap between the original Portuguese and the present, while the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph brings a sporting note to the family.



Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde

Since 2013, the Portuguese Chronograph Classic with its balanced, classically inspired design and IWC-manufactured movement has perfectly complemented the watch line. In autumn of last year, the new Portuguese Hand-Wound Eight Days enhanced the collection. Its classic, discreet exterior conceals a powerful IWC-manufactured calibre designed to run for a full 8 days.

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Further Exploration

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