It’s the 75th Anniversary of IWC’s legendary Portuguese collection and to celebrate the brand has unveiled its new Portugieser Annual Calendar.
IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar
Due to be officially unveiled to the world later this month at SIHH 2015, the Portugieser Annual Calendar will be just one of a number of new pieces from IWC this year. As is the brand’s custom, each year a single collection is chosen for a complete overhaul. Last year it was the Aquatimer and for 2015 it is of course the Portugese.
It’s certainly a fitting way to mark the 75th birthday of this exceptional collection of timepieces and, given their popularity, one that has been much anticipated by collectors and enthusiasts alike. I for one certainly can’t wait to see the full line-up but for now we will just have to content ourselves with taking a closer look at the Portugieser Annual Calendar.
At first glance the new Portugieser Annual Calendar looks remarkably similar to the original seven days Portuguese that we know and love. In fact both models share the same 44.2mm case and familiar symmetrical dial layout, with small seconds and power reserve shown at their respective nine and three o’clock positions.
There is of course one (or rather three) noticeable difference however between the two models; across the top of the dial on the new Portugieser Annual Calendar three windows display the month, date and day, hence the name. This is a new complication for IWC, with all three indications being of the jumping variety, meaning levers are used to advance the calendar discs instantaneously.
Admittedly this new design takes a bit of getting used to as it does throw the balance of this classic dial off a bit but I think the increase in functionality is worth the trade-off. Plus reading the calendar indications can be done at a glance, a feat made slightly more challenging when the indications are split-up and spread out across the dial.
Inside the Portugieser Annual Calendar is the in-house calibre 52850, part of the new calibre 52000 collection which will replace the incumbent calibre 5000. Like its predecessor, the automatic calibre 52000 also offers an impressive 7-day power reserve, however this is now achieved through the use of twin barrels instead of a single-barrel as was the case with the calibre 5000.
Visible through the sapphire case back, the new 52850 calibre – like all 520000 movements – features blued screws and more elaborate decoration, details that were missing from the original calibre 5000. Likewise the automatic rotor now includes a solid red gold medallion adorned with the IWC motto “Probus Scafusia” and is thinner than that of its predecessor.
Best of all at 15.3mm the Portugieser Annual Calendar is only 1.3mm thicker than the current Portuguese Automatic, a difference that I am sure will be barely noticeable on the wrist. Indeed a small part of this increased height can actually be attributed to the domed sapphire crystal, another new feature that will appear on other models in the revamped Portugieser range.
The Portugieser Annual Calendar will be available in steel with a blue or silver dial, as well as red gold with a silver dial. No official word on US$ pricing as yet though unfortunately.
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