For once, allow me to quote a press release (something that we usually never do, considering the insane amount of self-love brands can and usually put in their press releases). However, this one was quite appropriate: “Like a good movie, this watch doesn’t have to rely on special effects“. Indeed, the IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days is visually flying under the radar and all the artifacts are mechanical – which is a much better option for watch-nerds like us. To follow the unique platinum edition of the Portugeiser Annual Calendar for BFI 2015 we showed you recently, IWC also introduces a 59-piece limited edition, with a simpler movement and in steel. Here is the IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days ‘BFI London Film Festival 2015’ Limited Edition.
If you have interest in history of watchmaking, you’ve probably noticed that the IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days could easily be the edition that is the closest to the very first Portugieser watches introduced in 1940 – except maybe the 75th anniversary edition that is based on the same movement but with a different, vintage-oriented dial. Indeed, with its large case induced by the massive pocket-watch style movement, it’s clean dial with a small second sub-dial at 6, its stylized Arabic numeral, the long and thin leaf hands and the rail-road minute track, this is the watch that best interprets the role of the old Portugeiser. It is definitely the closest from the original spirit.
This watch used to come previously (before 2013) with a simpler movement, the Calibre 98295 (basically an evolution of the antique Calibre 98), a large pocket-watch-style movement that boasts only 46 hours of power reserve. Now, the classical IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound comes with an extra-date feature but mainly with a massive 8-day power reserve movement, shared in several other Portugiesers and Portofinos (like the Hand-Wound Pure Classic). The update is mainly mechanical (and clearly, final customers should be happy from the upgrade) and visually, this watch remains a classic – and there’s nothing to complain about. The IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days was available until today in 3 editions (steel with silvery-white dial, steel with black dial and rose gold with silvery-white dial). To celebrate the 59th anniversary of the BFI London Film Festival, IWC introduces a 59-piece limited edition, with several visual specificities (more on the partnership between IWC and the BFI here).
Basically, it uses the same theme as the unique platinum edition of the Portugeiser Annual Calendar for BFI 2015 we showed you recently. However, on the contrary of the latter that will be auctioned through this link, the Hand-Wound Eight Days will feature a stainless steel case and will be sold classically (at the London boutique first). The dial is silver-plated and features a nice sunburst pattern – which was, from the words of Justin who did the photos, superb to look at but difficult to shoot as it plays a lot with the ambient light. Then the hands and the indexes are blued – while keeping the same iconic look as every good old IWC Portugeiser.
The caseback also gives its dosage of specificities, as the sapphire glass is printed with the logo of the BFI London Film Festival and the number of the watch (xx/59). Behind this glass cover, we found back the Calibre 59215, with its 8-day power-reserve from a huge single barrel. Here, the power reserve indicator is located on the movement side and allows a view on the remaining energy, which is practical for two reasons. First, with such a long power reserve you tend to forget to wind the movement (thus losing the daily ritual of rotating the crown) and it also induce that the precision tends to fall down when the energy gets closer to zero. Thus, the indicator will help you to know when you’d better wind the movement.
The IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition ‘BFILondon Film Festival 2015’ is a limited edition of only 59 watches (as a tribute to the 59th London Film Festival). Each model will be individually numbered on the case-back. This Special Edition piece will be available to pre-order from September. More details on the dedicated page on IWC.com.