For many fans of the IWC Portugieser Chronograph, today’s news is big news: not only is this iconic chronograph now equipped with an in-house calibre, you can finally see the movement through the transparent caseback. To be precise, this is not the first time this manufacture movement has appeared inside a Portugieser Chronograph. In 2018, calibre 69335 was used on board the special 150th-anniversary editions and revealed through a sapphire caseback. However, it was a limited edition and not intended for serial production. The other good news is that the design of the watch has not changed an iota. It is the same, well-loved Portugieser Chronograph, only now known as ref. IW3716. Six references join the legendary family in stainless steel and rose gold cases with a choice of dial colours – which are the same as before!
Short history of the Portugieser
As many of you know, the Portugieser is one of the oldest collections at IWC. This particular watch was created at the behest of two Portuguese businessmen who wanted the precision of a marine chronometer in a wristwatch format. And in 1939, the 43mm Portugieser wristwatch (ref.325) was born, its large dimensions for the day attesting to the fact that it was equipped with a hand-wound pocket watch movement, calibre 74. Its clean, simple, legible design has withstood the test of time and is the salient feature of this family today. Following a period of scant supply, the IWC Portugieser made a grand return in 1995 with the Rattrapante model ref. 3712 followed three years later, in 1988, by a simpler model without the rattrapante function and an automatic movement known as ref. 3714. Don’t miss Brice’ extensive review of the metamorphosis of this icon here.
What hasn’t changed with the 2020 Portugieser Chronograph IW3716
Externally, no elements of the design have not been touched on this new IW3716. The 41mm case with a height of 13.1mm, in steel or rose gold seems to be slightly larger than the classic 3714 (40.9mm x 12.6mm) but displays identical piston pushers and the practically non-existent bezel along with the same polished and brushed surfaces. The dial also respects the Spartan symmetry of the IW3714 with its two vertical and recessed sub-counters, Arabic numerals, leaf-shaped hands, thin central chronograph hand, seconds track printed on the inner flange and absence of date window.
In-house engine, Calibre 69335
Hidden since its debut in 1998 under a closed caseback, the relatively simple movement powering the 3714 was based on Valjoux 7750 architecture and largely modified by IWC. Today, the movement has been exchanged in favour of calibre 69335, an in-house automatic movement based on IWC’s 69000 calibre, the movement is used in all IWC watches that require a precise, robust and high-performance chronograph movement (Ingenieur Chronograph, Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire).
A classic column-wheel design, the energy is obtained from a bidirectional pawl-winding system similar to the Pellaton mechanism. Beating at a frequency of 28,800vph/4Hz, the movement has a power reserve of 46 hours. Neither the 2018 Portugieser “150 Years” nor the new line-up of references IW3716 avails themselves of the hour totaliser or the date window. For an insider’s view of the 69000 movement family, you can read our article with ex-IWC CEO Georges Kern, design director Christian Knoop and technical director Stephan Ihnen.
Underneath the sapphire crystal, you can see the industrial-finished movement with its large openworked rotor, Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges and circular graining on the base plate. The 30m water-resistance of the watch is the same as the former 3714 references.
Variations and price
As mentioned, the 6 models of the IWC Portugieser Chronograph IW3716 are non-limited and come in a choice of stainless steel or rose gold cases with silver, blue and black dials options for steel and slate-coloured and silver-plated dials for gold. Other novelties include a new butterfly folding clasp for the steel models. All the steel models retail for EUR 7,850 (compared to EUR 7,600 for the previous model), the 18k 5N rose gold for EUR 17,600.
More information at iwc.com.