Mysterious diva

Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde

Date — 18 January, 2010

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The Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère has for many years been one of the most beautiful watches with a rotating carriage escapement. The designers at IWC Schaffhausen have now refined this coveted and exclusive timepiece, with its seven-day power reserve, to include an extraordinary date display.

This is the diva of the Portuguese family – provocative, beautiful and mysterious. Its admirers have continued to increase in number ever since it made its debut in 2004. This can be attributed to its generous proportions, its special class and the remarkable setting of its tourbillon escapement – as an “animated twelve” against a deep black background. The Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde owes its mysteriousness to the illusion that the fine cage containing the balance appears to rotate in a void. The designers at IWC have now refined this already mysterious watch to include a date display that flies back at the end of the month – as the Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde (Ref. 5044).

The graduated scale for the supplementary flyback date display, which is integrated into the IWC-manufactured 51900-calibre movement, extends over one quarter of the surface of the generously dimensioned dial. On reaching the end of any months with 31 days – January, March, May, July, August, October, December – the date indicator springs back automatically to “1”. In shorter months, or also if the watch has not been worn for some time, the date display can be advanced by the rapid adjustment function and flies back to the first day of the month. The time does not need to be adjusted in conjunction with this. This superior watch is now enhanced by an exceptional display.

The small seconds, which previously occupied this position, is replaced in a particularly appealing fashion by the minute tourbillon. Its steel cage with the three characteristic stays arranged in the shape of a star performs this function. On the right half of the dial, the display for the seven-day power reserve displays information about the remaining available power of the spring barrel, which is supplied to it in a highly efficient manner via the proven Pellaton winding system of this calibre family. The flying minute tourbillon, that is to say it is supported on only one side, consists of 81 parts and weighs 0.433 gram. It provides the focal point of this dial-cum-stage as an “animated twelve” and rotates against the deep black background of the black under part of its cage – a wheel which rotates together with the cage once every minute.

Whereas in the previous model the tourbillon was still embedded in a plate segment decorated with cylindrical grinding, in the Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde it is set in a ring that is mirror-finished on the inside, in which the parts of the escapement are reflected once again. For aside from the technical delicacy of this escapement, the Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde is above all a true feast for the eyes.

In addition to the 500-piece limited edition of the variant in 18-carat red gold with solid gold appliqués and a silver-plated dial, a 250-piece limited edition of the variant in platinum with a ruthenium-black dial and rhodium-plated hands and indices is also available.

The Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde owes its mysteriousness to the illusion that the fine cage containing the balance appears to rotate in a void

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