This is a classic Portugieser in every way. A comparison with the 1942 Portugieser Reference 325 (on the left in the photo below) shows that while the design of the numerals, logo and chapter ring has changed, the overall layout is very similar. The 2015 Portugieser Minute Repeater, reference IW5449, is made in two versions, in platinum and red gold, each a limited edition of 500.
A classic movement
The watch is powered by the in-house hand-wound 98950-calibre movement, an updated version of a movement designed in the 1930s, visible through the sapphire caseback and interesting for its large balance running at 18,000 vph (2.5 Hertz), and the long index used by a watchmaker to calibrate the length of the balance spring and therefore its speed. The movement provides the stop-seconds feature for accurate synchronisation, and an all’or-nothing function for the repeater, so that the repeater is only activated when the slide is completely depressed. The movement has a power reserve of 46 hours.
The gongs are tuned at an interval of a fourth one from another, a decision apparently taken by an IWC watchmaker who went to concerts of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which opens with fifths, and Wagner’s Tannhäuser, which opens with rising fourths.
Price and availability
The watch has a case size of 44 mm diameter, 14 mm thick.
Reference IW544906 has a platinum case, £81,900.
Reference IW544907 is in red gold, £65,900.
The watches are currently available from boutiques.Find boutiques at http://www.iwc.com/