Portuguese Family

Portuguese Grande Complication

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reference 3774

The Portuguese Grande Complication features a host of the greatest achievements in watchmaking, including a perpetual calendar mechanically programmed until 2499, the perpetual moon phase display and a chronograph. When activated by the slide, the minute repeater chimes out the precise time in harmonious tones.

Highlights

  • Limited edition of 100 watches per year
  • Chronograph
  • Minute Repeater
  • Perpetual Calendar
  • Diameter 45 mm

Price: $233,000 — $260,000

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ONE OF THE MOST SOPHISTICATED WATCHES IN THE WORLD

Vasco da Gama’s flagship was a caravel dubbed the São Gabriel; the flagship of the most celebrated watch family from IWC is the Portuguese Grande Complication. Only the best-qualified helmsmen and navigators of their day were good enough to accompany da Gama’s fleet; in much the same way, the Portuguese Grande Complication, which is water-resistant to 3 bar, unites a wealth of watchmaking’s most outstanding achievements. These include a perpetual calendar that is mechanically programmed until 2499 (it requires just three adjustments in the non-leap years 2100, 2200 and 2300) as well as a perpetual moon phase display and a chronograph. When activated by the repeating slide, the minute repeater chimes out the precise time in harmonious tones. A globe of the world discreetly engraved with lines of latitude and longitude provides a background to the silver-plated dial. On the back cover, an intricate engraving of a sextant, which together with the watch has been an indispensable aid to marine navigation, is an unequivocal sign that the watch is part of the Portuguese watch family. The model in red gold, with solid red gold appliqués and a strap stitched with 18-carat red gold thread, appeared for the first time in 2010. The Portuguese Grande Complication is also available in a platinum case; the strap of this exclusive version is stitched with platinum thread.

Variations

Details

  • Reference IW377401
  • Case Material platinum
  • Bracelet/Strap black alligator leather strap
  • Dial Colour silver-plated
  • Jewels 75
  • Calibre 79091
  • Price $260,000
  • Limited edition of 100 watches per year
  • Mechanical chronograph movement
  • Self-winding
  • 44-hour power reserve when fully wound
  • Perpetual calendar with displays for the date, day, month, year in four digits and perpetual moon phase
  • Stopwatch function with hours, minutes and seconds
  • Minute repeater for hours, quarters and minutes
  • Small hacking seconds
  • Sapphire glass, arched edge, antireflective coating on both sides
  • Special back engraving
  • Water-resistant 3 bar
  • Case height 16.5 mm
  • Diameter 45 mm
  • Reference IW377402
  • Case Material 18-carat red gold
  • Bracelet/Strap dark brown alligator leather strap
  • Dial Colour silver-plated
  • Jewels 75
  • Calibre 79091
  • Price $233,000
  • Limited edition of 100 watches per year
  • Mechanical chronograph movement
  • Self-winding
  • 44-hour power reserve when fully wound
  • Perpetual calendar with displays for the date, day, month, year in four digits and perpetual moon phase
  • Stopwatch function with hours, minutes and seconds
  • Minute repeater for hours, quarters and minutes
  • Small hacking seconds
  • Sapphire glass, arched edge, antireflective coating on both sides
  • Special back engraving
  • Water-resistant 3 bar
  • Case height 16.5 mm
  • Diameter 45 mm

Watch Viewer

  • IW377401 Watch Front
  • IW377401 Watch Back
  • IW377402 Watch Front
  • IW377402 Watch Back

Enlarge

Perpetual Calendar

The design of the perpetual calendar was a feat of watchmaking genius that finally paved the way for IWC’s entry into the world of Haute Horlogerie. A mechanical masterpiece, it takes into account all the complexities of the leap years; in other words, it recognises all the years that can be divided, without remainder, by four (e. g. 2012), as well as the centuries that can be divided, likewise without remainder, by 400 (e. g. 2400). These leap years all have a 29th day in February. Years at the turn of the century that leave a remainder when divided by 400 – the next ones are 2100, 2200 and 2300 – are not leap years. In cases like these, calendars with an analogue display will need to be advanced by 1 day on 1 March by a watchmaker. Calendars with a digital display can be adjusted by the owner. The perpetual calendar’s century slide with an analogue display turns each new century into a major event. The current century slide bears the numbers 20, 21 and 22 and will thus come to the end of its service life on 31 December 2299; but even now, IWC supplies the century slide bearing the figures 22, 23 and 24 for the years 2200 to 2499.

Minute Repeater

It took 50,000 hours to develop the highly complex minute repeater strike train for the Grande Complication and the Portuguese Minute Repeater. It is operated by an eye-catching repeating slide on the left-hand side of the case and chimes out the time in crystal-clear tones: the hours on the lower-pitched of the two gongs, followed by a double strike on both gongs for the quarters and finally a single strike on the higher-pitched gong for the minutes. Every gong is individually handmade and carefully tuned for pitch and tonal purity. The all-or-nothing piece, as it is known, ensures that the mechanism will never chime out an incomplete – and thus incorrect – series of acoustic tones even if the repeating slide is released too early.

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