This year, 2018, International Watch Company or short IWC celebrates its 150th anniversary and for that reason, it has launched a host of anniversary models (see here in our IWC section) and in the meantime there’s been a new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph with creme-coloured (vintage style) markers and hands and a “Laureus Edition” black ceramic Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII. And while the entire year will be all about the 150th anniversary, the Schaffhausen-based brand still adds some other novelties to the collection. There’s a new version of the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar in platinum and a steel Portugieser Automatic, that looks exactly like the older platinum version of this watch.
IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Platinum IW503406
Three years ago IWC introduced a new engine for its Portugieser Perpetual Calendar, and it was improved with a double mainspring barrel, ceramic ball-bearings and solid gold automatic winding rotor. On the dial side, the beloved “double moon” moon-phase indicator returned (the first edition of this QP came with a double moon phase) and was now surrounded by a ‘starry night’. Since there was no platinum edition of this large, but comfortable wearing QP, it is now being added again.
Like most platinum editions of the Portugieser collection, it features a silver dial and rhodium-plated hands and Arabic numerals for hour markers, resulting in a rather monochromatic look. A clean look and very discreet as well, despite its hefty size of 44.2mm in diameter and 14.9mm in height. The platinum Portugieser Perpetual will retail around EUR 50,000.
IWC Portugieser Automatic Steel IW500712
The second new model that IWC introduces is a new version of the Portugieser Automatic in stainless steel (under the reference IW500712). Nothing new in terms of technology, or even design, except for one factor: the hands and hour markers (Arabic numerals) are rhodium-plated. Stop the presses! While you might think this is no big news at all, I was somewhere in between jumping for joy and being in shock. Wanna know why?
Well, the silver dial and rhodium-plated hands are usually reserved for the platinum versions in the Portugieser collection. The platinum version of the Portugieser Automatic, always with its iconic dial layout and seven-day power reserve, came as a limited edition of 250 pieces (in the year 2000) and later again as a limited edition of 500 pieces. While these are only for sale on the second-hand market for approx. EUR 20k, you can now buy a stainless steel version that looks exactly the same. I’m not in the position to talk on behalf of the 750 people who own the platinum version, but I can imagine that they are not jumping for joy…
Again nothing new in terms of technology, design, or anything, this is the same (updated) Portugieser Automatic that was launched in 2015. The main difference is that the silver dial version now also comes with rhodium-plated hands and hour markers. With this discreet looking combination this is probably the best looking Portugieser Automatic at the moment. This new Portugieser Automatic Steel IW500712 will cost exactly the same as the other steel versions of this watch, meaning EUR 12,900.
More info at www.iwc.com.