The IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “150 Years” is a beautiful, minimalist watch. I particularly like the way the date window is camouflaged, almost part of the circuit of hour numerals. It’s satisfyingly large at 43.2 mm diameter and relatively slim at 12.2 mm thickness. The white lacquer dial highlights the blued hands and printed dial indications.
Though entirely classical, everything in the design is clean and carefully considered, and the final impression is one of a modern, timeless watch. Water resistance is 3 atmospheres, 30 metres, resistant to rain and occasional splashes only. Both versions of the watch have a black alligator leather strap by Santoni with the signature orange lining.
On the caseback you can see the in-house 59215 hand wound movement, with its beautifully finished bridges and relatively small balance running at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz). It provides a power reserve of 8 days, 192 hours, displayed on a small power reserve indicator. The movement would in fact run for 9 days, but it has an automatic cut-off so that the watch stops running after 8 days to ensure that it doesn’t suffer the lack of precision that would ensue if it continued running right down to the lower end of the mainspring’s torque. The calibre has the stop-seconds function. The way that the movement is perfectly sized for the case is another positive feature of this watch.
Price and reference
The Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “150 Years” is made in two versions, with red gold case (IW510211), price €18,900, a limited edition of 250 watches, and in stainless steel (IW510212), price €9,900, limited to 1,000 watches. Further information from the IWC website.
If you like this style but want to spend less, you could take a look at the Tourby Marine Arabic 43. Like the IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days, it is based on a hand-wound movement originally made for a pocket watch, in this case the ETA Unitas 6498.1, which runs at 18,000 vibrations per hour, 2.5 Hertz. The Tourby Marine Arabic with Cordovan leather scrap costs €1,325. More here.