For 2020, IWC added a smaller automatic model to the Portugieser line — three stainless steel references, and one in 18K red gold.
The IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 measures 40.4 mm x 12.3 mm, has a convex sapphire crystal on the dial side, and a flat sapphire crystal window on the screw-in caseback.
Based on reference 325 from 1939, the IWC’s signature Portugieser styling is apparent with Arabic numerals that have been applied to the minimalist dial, and thin leaf-shaped hour and minute hands that are either gold-plated, rhodium-plated, or blued. Also distinctive of the line is a printed railway-track chapter ring that circles the dial and indicates the precise minute. A needle-shaped hand sweeps the small seconds subdial, which is sunken in the dial 6 o’clock, and decorated with a circular azurage pattern.
This is not a sports watch per se but it’s also not quite in dress watch territory. Water-resistance is rated at only 30 meters but the movement is designed to take more abuse than what’s found in a typical formal timepiece.
IWC has created a smaller size to appease those with smaller wrists but that want the Portugieser, and they’ve done a good job of it even if the movement — which powers other IWC wristwatches in the collection — is not custom-fitted to the case the way Tudor, for instance, tends to do for their watches. It still looks attractive.
This 4Hz movement (caliber 82200) is automatic winding with a total of 224 components, 31 jewels, and ceramic used for high-wear parts. The bridges have been adorned with Geneva stripes, although no chamfered or polished edges. The mainplate is decorated with a repeating circular perlage pattern. A skeletonized winding rotor — with an IWC medallion in gold and brushed and polished surfaces — winds the mainspring up to a maximum reserve of 60-hours. Seconds can be hacked by pulling out the crown. The balance wheel is free-sprung and is supported by a single-arm bridge.
The retail price is $7,250 for the three stainless steel models. (Ref. IW358305 – steel with blue dial, IW358304 – steel with blued hands and steel-plated dial, IW358303 – steel with gold hands and steel-plated dial). For the 18K red gold version, the retail price is $16,900 (Ref. IW358306 – red gold).
Learn more at IWC.