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Experiences

Small World

Date — 13 September, 2013

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Time moves the world. The IWC Portuguese Grande Complication is an understated, beautifully designed way of summarizing time as the motor of all change: a time machine that shows a tilted globe on the dial. The depiction also references the historic background of the Portuguese, a nation of fearless seafarers who gave their name to the watch family.

1

The Arabic numeral appliqués and the railway-track-style chapter ring are signature elements of the Portuguese watch family. The dial features elegant, feuille-style hands that show the hours and minutes, together with a slim chronograph hand that shows stop times in seconds.

3

In this tiny window, two discs and a century slide show the correct year in four digits without any help from the user until 2299 – even until 2499 after exchanging the century slide. The day of the week and the seconds are displayed in a subdial at 9 o’clock.

2

Small, but no less important: the blued hand at 3 o’clock shows the date correctly even in months with fewer than 31 days and in leap years – until the year 2100. The months and stop times in hours recorded by the chronograph are shown in a combined totalizer at 6 o’clock.

4

When it comes to the moon, the Grande Complication is no less accurate: the display deviates from the actual progress of the moon by just one day in over 500 years. The disc completes one rotation in two full lunar periods. The same display shows stop times up to 30 minutes.

a time machine that shows a tilted globe on the dial

Portuguese Grande Complication, Ref. 3774, in a platinum or red-gold case, limited to 100 watches per year. Self-winding, perpetual calendar showing the date, day, month, and the four-digit year. Perpetual moon phase display. Stopwatch function with aggregate timing up to 12 hours. Minute repeater for the time in hours, quarters and minutes. It only takes a 45 mm diameter and a 16.5 mm height to house such a complicated world.

Portuguese Grande Complication

—Ref. 3774

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Explore More Articles
A matter of adjustment

For an IWC watch to run accurately, the oscillations of the balance require careful adjustment.

Unruhreif_Spirale.jpg
Balance of power

A mechanical watch continues to show the correct time even as the tension in the mainspring diminishes. Making this possible is a mechanism that has been gradually improved for over 300 years: the escapement.

IWC 52000 Calibre Movement
IWC’s New
Proprietary 52000-Calibre
Family

The newly developed 52000-calibre family, developed and produced in-house will feature numerous technical improvements.

IWC_customer_service_972x516
Craftsmanship that keeps watches running for generations

Given regular servicing, a quality timepiece will go on working reliably and precisely for many, many years.

IWC_Perfectionists
Perfectionists in their element

Every new in-house movement created by IWC in Schaffhausen involves around 20 specialists from various departments, sometimes working together intensively for years. With the help of state-of-the-art computer technology, the design engineers generate solutions whose elegance can be quite simply breathtaking.

Haute_Horlogerie_quer
All wound up

Before a mechanical watch movement can start moving, it needs an energy source to drive it. That energy source is the mainspring. And while there are some who enjoy engaging with the machine, lovingly winding it by hand, others take pleasure in the automatic mechanism, which will keep the watch running indefinitely, simply from the movements of the wearer's arm.

IWC Oils
Time That Runs Like Clockwork

Depending on the stresses and strains to which they are exposed, around 50 points in the movement are treated with oils and greases developed especially for use in wristwatches.

Test Lab

At IWC Schaffhausen, new watch models are put through a gruelling test program involving up to 50 separate stages that include long-term immersion in warm salt water and being locked away in an environmental chamber. All this guarantees that they will be equipped for everyday use – and much more – when they finally reach their future owners.