The IWC Portuguese is one of the most popular models of the Schaffhausen based watch brand and in 2015 it will be celebrating 75 years of existence since its launch in 1940.
The new model Portuguese Annual Calendar – ref 5035 – will be officially presented during the next SIHH – International Exhibition of Haute Horlogerie in Geneva between 19 and 23 of this month.
The case, as pictured above, has 44.2 mm diameter and 15.3 mm thick.
In the steel case version, the dial may be in midnight blue or silver plated. On the right side of the dial, at the position of the three hours, we have the circle or a subdial with the power reserve indicator for 7 days or 168 hours, despite the mechanical movement – caliber ref. 52850 – is automatic. The caliber 52850 has two spring barrels.
The automatic system of IWC calibers is very efficient and it received the name Pellaton in honour of Albert Pellaton (1868-1966), master watchmaker who started his career at Vacheron Constantin. In 1944 Albert Pellaton joined IWC and he was responsible for the creation and development of this automatic winding system in the 50’s (caliber 85).
On the left side of the dial there is a subdial to count the seconds.
The annual calendar is displayed in three small windows at the top of the dial, providing an excellent view.
Watches with this type of calendar – Annual Calendar – once a year, on February, the wearer must adjust the date manually. In watches with simple calendar, such adjustment is done manually five times a year, when the number of days is less than 31 (February, April, June, September and November). In watches with perpetual calendar, manual adjustment should be made only in 2100, because this year will not be a leap year. Years divisible by 100, but not by 400, are not leap years, such as 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2100. While 1600 and 2000, for example, are. The mechanism of these watches was built to recognize leap years in sequence, whose circle occurs every 1461 days. At the end of February 28, 2100 the perpetual calendar system would automatically switch to February 29, but in reality it should be set to 1st of March.
This is the reason the new IWC model has the name Annual Calendar written on the dial. That is, to make it clear that it is not a perpetual calendar.
There is also a version with pink gold case. The caseback of both versions is protected by a sapphire crystal glass.
The IWC Portuguese model has an interesting history.
At the end of the 30s, two Portuguese businessmen, whose names were Rodrigues and Teixeira, visited the IWC factory in Switzerland and they ordered a wristwatch with a larger steel case – 43 mm – and it should also be equipped with a mechanical movement as accurate as a marine chronometer clock.
As it is known, marine chronometers clocks are very accurate. The high precision is required to determine longitude during long ocean voyages. Celestial navigation or astronavigation is based on the position of the sun, moon, planet or a known star.
The IWC Portuguese model since its creation retains the original sober style with an art-déco touch, as we can see in the picture below from one model sold in 1942. At the time IWC developed a specific mechanical movement for the watch, derived from the famous caliber 74 used in the brand´s pocket watches.
The format of the hands of the original model were kept and receives the technical name feuilles de sauge or sage leaves.
When it was launched, the original name of the model was Portugieser, meaning Portuguese in German. We can not fail to mention that in the Schaffhausen Canton prevails the German language or German dialect since its foundation in the eleventh century.
Founded in 1868 in the city of Schaffhausen, in the Swiss canton of the same name by the American engineer Florentine Ariosto Jones, IWC watch brand belongs to the Richemont group since 2000.
IWC watches always had a very good acceptance in Brazil since several decades ago.
IWC has its own boutique at Iguatemi JK Shopping Mall, which surely will bring this new model for the Brazilian customers.
Suggested prices: steel case: US$ 24,000 – pink gold case: US$ 34 000. Both versions are fitted with a crocodile leather strap with a safe device (folding clasp). The leather strap is made by Santoni, the famous Italian shoemaker brand specially for IWC.