Monochrome Watches
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IWC Welcomes the Year of the Dragon with a Burgundy-Toned Portugieser Chronograph

The classic Portugieser Chronograph impresses front... and back!

| By Rebecca Doulton | 3 min read |
2024 IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon IW371629

With watch brands across the board riding the Chinese New Year wave, there are no prizes for guessing which of the twelve animals represented in the Chinese Zodiac will be in the limelight this year. Admittedly one of the more attractive beasts to depict on a watch, the dragon replaces the rabbit of 2023 and will reign supreme until he is replaced by the snake in 2025. One month ahead of the Lunar New Year, IWC releases a limited edition of its Portugieser Chronograph. Flaunting a rich burgundy-coloured dial – associated with good luck, celebrations and prosperity in Asia – the brand has adopted the same prudent approach as last year’s celebratory Chinese New Year Portugieser model and hidden the mascot from prying eyes.

Last year, which starred the Year of the Rabbit, IWC produced a special version of its Portugieser Automatic time-only model with a burgundy dial with gold-plated appliqués and a rabbit engraved on the rotor. This year, the more complicated Portugieser Chronograph gets a Chinese New Year makeover to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Wood Dragon.

2024 IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon IW371629

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One of IWC’s most famous collections, the Portugieser was designed in 1939 to the specifications of two Portuguese merchants (hence the name) who wanted the precision of IWC’s desk clocks miniaturised into a wristwatch. Chronographs made their way into the collection in 1995 with a sophisticated rattrapante (ref. 3712) followed by a simplified chronograph without rattrapante, powered by a Valjoux-based movement (ref. IW3714). In 2020, the outsourced movement was replaced by a manufacture column-wheel automatic to become the ref. IW3716, the same base that is used for the Year of the Dragon.

The 41mm stainless steel case has a thickness of 13mm and features piston-style pushers and an extremely slim bezel, offering an expansive view of the dial. Dressier and more elegant than a beefy sports chronograph, the 3716 has no external scales, no traces of luminescent material on the dial and is only water-resistant to 30m.

2024 IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon IW371629

Red and gold are a symbolic colour combination in China associated with luck, joy and passion, featured extensively for festivities and weddings. To celebrate the Year of the Dragon, IWC has selected a rich burgundy tone for the dial, elegantly offset with gold-plated appliqués (indices) and powder-gold print for the inscriptions.

Taking design cues from its 1995 ancestor, the vertical arrangement of the two snailed registers (30-min totaliser at noon and small seconds at 6 o’clock) is respected, as are the elegant gold-plated leaf-style hour and minute hands, the applied Arabic numerals, the dots on the minutes track and the flange printed with a quarter-second scale for precision chronograph readings via the thin central seconds hand.

2024 IWC Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon IW371629

Powered by IWC’s in-house automatic calibre 69335, this precise and robust chronograph movement has a column wheel and a bidirectional pawl-winding system. Beating at a frequency of 28,800vph, the power reserve is 46 hours. In honour of the Year of the Dragon, the external part of the gold-plated openworked rotor hosts a detailed oriental dragon.

Availability & Price

The Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon is delivered with a black calfskin strap with a butterfly clasp and an additional burgundy rubber strap. It is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces and retails for EUR 10,100. It is currently available through IWC boutiques, authorised retail partners, or online at

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