IWC has a multitude of watches in the stable, from time only hands-winds to tourbillons and minute repeaters. Probably the most determining of those however, past the Pilot’s line, continues to be the Portuguese Chronograph, who’s vertical dials and stylish situation have grown to be symbolic of the road they represent. This watch’s successor, as they say, that was revealed captured, continues to be long awaited by fans of the trademark for that upgrade from the Valjoux-based movement for an in-house IWC chronograph quality (cal 89361). In addition, the timepiece has gone through several aesthetic revisions that considerably separate it in the original. So, what is the new Portuguese Chronograph Classic like around the wrist and just how will it match up against the model it develops upon? I spent per week using the new watch to discover, as well as experienced my on the job the prior model to assess continue reading in my impressions.
IWC’s Portuguese type of watches holds an essential devote the brand’s history. The very first Portuguese goes back to 1939, when two Portuguese business males were searching for a watch that may match the truth of the marine chronometer. To do this, IWC (then operating underneath the full “Worldwide Watch Company” moniker) was forced to utilize a pocket watch movement inside a hunter style situation to permit crown positioning at 3 o’clock. The timepiece, which measured 43mm, was enormous by standards during the day, however it got the task completed in yet-to-be-appreciated dapper style. We have proven you original Portuguese available online and also at auction, plus they routinely fetch up to $35,000.
A brief history of Portuguese production is a little cloudy, but we all do know these watches were created in (very) limited amounts. Based on one source, in the nineteen thirties with the early nineteen forties, only 304 total Portuguese using the Calibre 74 were created, as well as an additional 371 Portuguese watches were created using the Calibre 98 and Calibre 982 in the nineteen forties with the seventies. Throughout this second period, distribution was limited to certain marketplaces (the German market particularly). But in early 90s an authentic found its long ago for an IWC atelier (around the wrist of the customer), where it elevated enough eye brows to earn a place in IWC’s selection once more.
So in 1993, to celebrate the business’s 125th anniversary, the Portuguese ref. 5441 was introduced, sporting the beautiful Quality 9828. The anniversary model introduced styling cues still loved by its contemporaries, for example rivet style minute and hour markers and modern Arabic numbers put on the dial. This time around only watch has additionally created numerous versions inside the Portuguese line, and you will find from chronographs to minute repeaters to perpetual calendars rounding the Portuguese family. Particularly, the Portuguese Chronograph ref. 3714 is becoming something of the modern icon, so we possess the new Chronograph Classic.
The Portuguese Chronograph Classic
The brand new Portuguese Chronograph Classic is not only an easy evolution of their older brother. The situation plays a far more prominent role, layout from the chronograph registers has transformed, along with a date aperture finds its way to the dial. It’s best to not think about this watch like a direct alternative from the ref. 3714, but instead extra time from the bloodline inside a slightly different direction.
Among the first stuff that I started to understand concerning the 3904 is the way accessible its design and execution are. The steel situation options look great worn with nearly anything north of cut-offs along with a sweatshirt. I chalk this up towards the watch’s new sportier looks, which you’ll credit to some more broad-shouldered situation, the railway track chapter ring divided to quarter-second hashes, and also the more pronounced circular graining and markings for that subregisters.
The dial design is actually more reminiscent of another Portuguese chronograph, the Yacht Club, than the 3714. Additionally, the chronograph totalizer displays elapsed time via hour and minute hands living atop one another in the 12 o’clock sub dial. The sum of these details is a 3904 that doesn’t have to live in the formal wear section of your wardrobe.
At 42mm, the new Portuguese Chronograph Classic is slightly over 1mm larger than the 3714 (which sits at 40.9mm), and it’s just enough to be noticeable. Everything about this new design though is a little beefier. The lugs are wider and make a less pronounced curve into the caseband, the pushers have longer but thicker stems and heftier tops (not to mention the substantial click you get when activating the chronograph), and even the crown has more visual weight to it.
On the wrist, I suspect that only those with sub 6.25″ wrists will find something to complain about though. This is a watch that wears its size exceptionally well, thanks to that strong bezel that pushes the dial into a more modestly sized opening. The hand-made Santoni strap looks as good as it feels on the wrist, though I believe a less formal option might entice some buyers.
The biggest thing the Portuguese Chronograph Classic brings to the table is an in-house IWC movement. IWC’s manufacture caliber 8900 family can be found in some of the marques latest and greatest, from the Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month (3792) to the Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month (3791). It lives as the 89361 within the Portuguese Chronograph Classic, and it’s on full display around back.
The Caliber 89361 features an impressive 68 hour reserve, flyback function, and the aforementioned hour and minute counters combined in a totalizer at 12 o’clock. Using the functions you immediately realize that this is a truly serious movement, from smooth winding and easy chronograph actuation to a snappy quick-date set and hacking functionality. Unlike the Valjoux-based caliber in the 3714 the spinning of the oscillating weight on your wrist will also go entirely unnoticed.
The circular Geneva striping on all prominent surfaces creates a uniform and almost utilitarian look. Cut away sections in the three-quarter plate give enough detail to see what’s going on, but this movement is not one that I’d label sexy. Neither is it one that I’d label accurate. during my testing period, the watch ran nearly +8 seconds a day against an atomic clock. Please note that the watch I was testing may not have been market ready or properly adjusted.
The main difference between both of these watches isn’t minor. You will find subjective variations, like the sporty versus formal appearance and the expertise of with them. But you will find also objective variations such as the situation size and excellence of quality inside. After which, there’s the cost difference, that is difficult to ignore. The 3714s listed from $7,900 in steel on as much as $16,400 in gold. The 3904 however, starts at $13,000 and rises to $24,200.
This difference implies that the 3904 now resides in territory occupied by the kind of Cartier’s excellent new in-house Calibre Chronograph, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Offshore Chronograph along with a little watch known as the Rolex watch Daytona, who’s quality 4130 is one thing of the standard bearer in the realm of automatic chronographs. While IWC’s new Portuguese Chronograph Classic is unquestionably a remarkable watch, could it be to the task of going foot to foot using these heavyweights?
The ref. 3714 resided in comfortable territory and it was available to a lot of more purchasers compared to 3904 is going to be. Furthermore, for less than $13,000, purchasers could possibly get into manufacture movement chronographs such as the new Speedmaster Negative Side from the Moon, the TAG Heuer Carrera 1887, or even the Zenith El Primero.
Taken by itself merits, the IWC Portuguese Chronograph Classic is really a beautiful watch which hits all of the particulars just like it ought to. The situation continues to be reengineered and all sorts of components, such as the crown, pushers, and very, interact harmoniously, and also the sportier dial design features a date window, more technical searching subregisters, along with a railroad minutes track. Also, importantly, the Portuguese Chronograph Classic houses an trendy in-house movement by having an trendy cost to complement.
Even if you be disappointed using the Portuguese Chronograph Classic should you be searching for a in-house Quality 89361 installed in a Portuguese Chronograph Ref. 3714, this brand-new interpretation from the Portuguese Chronograph serves another purpose for any different audience entirely. And it’ll serve that audience well.