It’s the year of the Portugieser at IWC and the Portugieser Chronograph welcomes two new dial colours to the family. Previously known as the ref. IW3714, the big news in February 2020 was that the chronograph had been upgraded with an in-house calibre. The other good news for fans of the iconic Ref. IW3714 was that the design of the watch remained intact. Already available in six iterations in a choice of steel and rose gold, the new stainless steel Portugieser Chronograph Ref. IW3716 comes with burgundy and green dials. An elegant take on the chronograph, the new dials add a splash of vibrant colour to the collection.
A Condensed History of the Portugieser Chronograph
In 1998, IWC launched a simplified, standard chronograph that shared the same design, case and dial as the Rattrapante. This automatic chronograph, known as Ref. IW3714, was fitted with a Valjoux-based movement that was modified by IWC. Earlier this year, the movement was exchanged in favour of calibre 69335, a robust, high-performance in-house automatic movement and its reference was changed to IW3716. Other than that, the two generations are almost identical. If you want to explore the differences between these two models, we invite you to read Brice’s Face to Face article.
Identikit of the new 3716
Like the existing chronographs in the collection, the newcomers share the same 41mm case with a height of 13.1mm. The surfaces are polished and brushed and the case is fitted with piston pushers and an extremely slim bezel that offers an expansive view of the dial. Closer in nature to an elegant/dress chronograph than a sports chronograph, there is no trace of lume on the dial. However, the new sunray-brushed dials in green and burgundy provide enough contrast with the rhodium-plated hands and markers to consult the time.
Taking design cues from its 1939 ancestor, the chronograph features applied Arabic numerals and elegant feuille hands. The two sub-counters are aligned vertically (the 30-min totaliser at 12 and small seconds at 6 o’clock) and are slightly recessed and decorated with concentric grooves. The flange has a printed quarter-second scale for precision readings using the long, thin central seconds chronograph hand that reaches all the way to the track.
Another surprise on board the IW3716 was the addition of a sapphire crystal caseback to view the in-house automatic movement, calibre 69335. Based on IWC’s 69000, the calibre used in all IWC watches that require a precise, robust and high-performance chronograph movement, it has a column-wheel design and 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. None of the references in the new line-up of IW3716 avail themselves of the hour totaliser or the date window.
Price and availability
Both the burgundy and the green models are presented on black alligator leather straps and come with the newly designed butterfly folding clasp. The retail price of the Portugieser Chronograph Ref. IW371616 and Ref. IW371615 is CHF 8,200 or EUR 7,850 and they should be available very soon at retailers and boutiques. More details at iwc.com.