For SIHH 2015, IWC makes a comeback with a variety of models, but one of the more interesting watches is the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month 75th Anniversary watch, which will be limited to 75 pieces in each of two red gold variations and 25 in platinum. Included in the package is a vast array of technical features, ranging from the expected perpetual calendar, an oversized digital date, a leap year display, and a chronograph with flyback ability—quite a lot of watch any way you look at it.
We know that IWC Schaffhausen likes to give full focus to a particular collection each year. 2012 was the year of the Pilot. 2013 was the year of the Ingenieur. 2014 the year of the Aquatimer. And 2015 will be the Year of the Portuguese, the year that the iconic watch also happens to celebrate its 75th anniversary. In 2015 IWC will rework most all of its Portuguese collection (some more substantially than others), presenting almost a dozen new models as well as three new movements. Headlining the lineup will be two anniversary models, the Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary” and the Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary”.
For now I will preview the new Portuguese Annual Calendar family, with the new the new calibre 52850 with seven day power reserve. This also happens to be IWC’s first annual calendar ever introduced. The steel model you see here has a blue dial with radial sunburst-finish, with Cal 52850 delivering calendar indications up top, small seconds on the left, and power reserve (7 days) on the right
IWC’s renowned Portofino collection is home to the brand’s most classic designs, and the new Portofino Hand-Wound Pure Classic (Ref. IW511101 red gold/IW511102 steel) carries on this tradition of elegant yet understated design. This time-only watch is powered by IWC’s manual wind caliber 59060 with 8-day power reserve. The dial is free of unnecessary embellishment, with only hour and minute hands (no seconds); the power reserve indicator is on the back of the watch. Roman numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock, applied hour batons at the rest of the hours and a discreet chapter ring around the edge complete the dial. It is a simple, yet composed aesthetic.
The only thing that feels a bit less traditional to me is the size of this watch — 43.5mm. Though this is not unusual for the Portofino collection, it is worth noting that we saw IWC introduce several new 36mm and 40mm Portofino models earlier this year, and IWC saw fit to point out that the arched-edge glass on this watch “makes the 43.5-millimetre diameter of this harmonious model seem smaller than it actually is.”
Always a fan of good watches for great causes, this is the fourth year running that I’ve featured IWC Schaffhausen’s special watch for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Since 2006 IWC has launched several limited editions in honour of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. In addition to their blue dial color, these watches are distinguished from regular counterparts by the caseback which features an exclusive engraving on the back based on the winning entry in a drawing competition organized by IWC for children involved in Laureus projects. They are given a specific topic as a guideline and asked to produce a work of art showing how the project has positively affected and inspired them. The caseback of this year’s winner is seen below.
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