For all its Swiss-German pride, IWC Schaffhausen has built its contemporary reputation on a model named the Portugieser, produced in 1939 and named after two Portuguese merchants who challenged the watchmaker to produce a wristwatch with the precision of a marine chronometer.
Now, more than eight decades after IWC fulfilled that request, the Portugieser collection is getting a massive re-boot that includes a new perpetual calendar, a nautical sports chronograph and the first watch fitted with a tide indication—all equipped with in-house calibers.
The talking piece of the collection, the $33,100 Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide (Ref. 344001), features a double moon phase display—to show spring and neap tides—as well as a tide tracker that indicates the shifting times for high tide. It comes in an 18k rose gold case fronted by a blue dial with gold-plated hands, 18k gold appliques and a blue rubber strap.
“We’re introducing a completely new Yacht Club movement with a double moon indication at 12 o’clock and an indication showing whether we are facing high tides,” IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr says. “At 6 o’clock, there’s an adjustable timer, set to your individual location to run local tide cycles. So you really see the indication of high tide/low tide. It comes in a 5n gold case, has a stunning blue dial and integrated ocean-going rubber strap. It’s a very elegant talking piece.”
Although the Portugieser collection serves as the primary vehicle for the brand’s high complications, IWC shows off its sporty side with a trio of new third-generation Yacht Club Chronographs (Ref. 3907), including a stainless steel version with a blue dial ($13,100), a stainless steel version with a silver-plated dial ($13,100) and two-tone version made of stainless steel and 18k rose gold ($19,900). The models trace their lineage to a rugged, weatherproof watch that IWC debuted in 1967 and reinvented in 2010, when the Yacht Club joined the Portugieser family.
“The chronograph has the same classic dial layout as the first-generation Yacht Club, but it’s the first time the Portugieser line will contain a chronograph on a steel bracelet,” notes Grainger-Herr.
The 2020 spring novelties also include three new versions of the Portugieser Chronograph (Ref. 3716), now fitted with the in-house 69355 calibre. The two steel editions are $7,950, while an 18k rose gold boutique edition with a blue dial retails for $17,800.
Also new: The Portugieser Automatic 40 (Ref. 3583), now in a more compact 40 mm case size, ranges in price from $7,250 for the steel edition to $23,900 for the boutique edition in 18k rose gold with a blue dial. And the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 (Ref. 3442) now comes in a 42 mm case—according to Grainger-Herr, “a much more versatile watch, easier to wear in terms of dimensions.” The perpetual calendar starts at $22,900 for the steel model and goes to $32,900 for the boutique editions in gold.