Icons of good style

Portuguese Automatic

Date — 18 January, 2010

—The incomparable beauty and technical perfection of the Portuguese Automatic (Reference 5001) from IWC Schaffhausen continue to guarantee it a major presence

The Portuguese Automatic, whose timeless elegance is matched by its technical perfection, makes its grand entrance as a classic horological beauty. With outstanding mechanical features, including the Pellaton winding system, seven-day power reserve and date display, it demonstrates that greatness is not only a question of diameter. Two new models, one in steel and one in red gold, enrich the elite society of these style icons.

The name of the Portuguese Automatic also comes to mind as a matter of course whenever the conversation turns to a globally accepted denomination of exquisite horological taste that is appreciated by connoisseurs. For this has not only been one of the most popular of all the Portuguese watches since 2004. It also conveys the story of the Portuguese, which, with its mythical roots, extends all the way back to the legendary Portuguese seafarers, authentically into the modern age.

The 50000-calibre family of large movements was developed specifically for the Portuguese Automatic to mark the change of the millennium – once again incorporating the Pellaton winding system after a long absence and a seven-day power reserve, originally intended for a limited collectors’ series which immediately gained a large following. The new large-calibre movement from IWC was subsequently enhanced with a date display in order to make the Portuguese Automatic – introduced for the first time in 2004 – even better equipped for everyday use. Its dial is protected by a convex sapphire glass with an antireflective coating on both sides. With its moderate case diameter, it very soon found a place as a highly popular timepiece on both male and female wrists.


The Portuguese Automatic is the embodiment of an enduring style icon that remains untouched by passing trends

In spite of this technical modernization, the Portuguese Automatic continued to be the distinctive and elegant classic watch from a period which did not gainsay the influence of the pocket watch age, but had nevertheless finally bid farewell to the practice of wearing the personal timepiece on a chain. This can be appreciated from its narrow feuille hands, the Arabic numeral appliqués, the chapter ring in the railway-track style and, not least, the small seconds at “9 o’clock”, opposite which the power reserve display at “3 o’clock” acts as a visual counterpart. The Portuguese Automatic represents equilibrium in its most attractive form and as such is the embodiment of an enduring style icon that remains untouched by passing trends. At the same time, as a reliable watch for everyday use, it is a symbol of the aspiration to technical perfection and the consistent implementation of horological advances over the last seventy years.

Any change or variation in this precious horological legacy will have been considered in the greatest detail. This also applies to the two newly launched model variants. The first novelty – already available since the autumn of 2009 – brings a trace of luxury to the previous steel models: the hands, numerals and hour indices above the silver-plated dial are plated with rose gold – as they once were in earlier steel variants such as the anniversary Portuguese of 1993. The previous steel models, including the variant with dark appliqués and blued hands, remain an integral part of the collection. As the second novelty, the Portuguese Automatic is being produced for the first time in 18 carat red gold, which exhibits a noticeably warmer hue than the previously used rose gold. The appliqués on the silver-plated dial are also in 18 carat red gold. The case diameter (42.3 millimetres) and height (14 millimetres) remain unchanged compared with the previous models.

—The new stainless steel variant with rose gold-plated hands, numerals and hour indices adds a trace of luxury

Portuguese Automatic
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