Those vertical dials are back – IWC has relaunched the flyback Portugieser Chronograph Classic with a few new twists
IWC has debuted three new colour combinations of the 42mm Portugieser Chronograph Classic, along with making some subtle tweaks to the dial. There are two with silver dials, one with gold feuille hands in an 18ct red gold case on a brown alligator strap, the other with blue hands in a steel case. The third watch in the trio has a deep, ‘midnight blue’ dial, also in a steel case – both of these steel watches come on a black alligator strap.
The third chronograph in the Portugieser collection was launched in 2013, directly referencing IWC’s Portugieser designs of the 1930s. IWC went on to declare 2015 the ‘Year of the Portugieser’, for the model’s 75th anniversary. The new reissue has a smartened-up dial, too: gone are the second sub-divisions on the railway track chapter ring, giving a cleaner look overall, and the sapphire glass is now slightly convex.
The date display takes the place of the numeral at 3 o’clock, while the twin counters are placed at 12 and 6 o’clock – the trademark Portugieser chronograph layout. It’s worth noting that this does not replace the standard Portugieser Chronograph (ref.3714), which has remained unchanged since approximately 3000BC. The Chronograph Classic – reference 3903 – is wider (42mm over 40.9mm) and taller (14.5mm vs 12.3mm). If you like the bulkier case and thicker lugs – as well as hankering after a flyback chronograph – then this is the watch for you; otherwise, the original chronograph design takes some beating.
Inside the Portugieser Chronograph Classic
IWC’s big story in 2013 was the move to in-house movements: the Portugieser Chronograph Classic went from a Valjoux movement to an in-house IWC chronograph calibre. That was the self-winding 89361 calibre with a flyback function and a power reserve of 68 hours. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, says IWC – it’s the same calibre inside the 2017 version.
The calibre 89361’s rotor is decorated with Geneva stripes, visible through the sapphire glass caseback.
In terms of pricing, the red gold version comes in at almost twice the price of the steel versions – £17,500 compared to £9,750.