A highlight of IWC’s novelties launched during Watches & Wonders 2020.
IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42
No other complication expresses the values of the IWC as eloquently as the perpetual calendar chronograph developed by the legendary watchmaker Kurt Klaus in the 1980s. For 2020, IWC unveiled four new watch references with their iconic Perpetual Calendar complication but our favourite remains the comfortably wearable 42mm edition.
Klaus became a legend when he devised an elegant solution to the Perpetual Calendar’s need for numerous, unsightly correctors, pock-marking an otherwise unblemished watch case. Thanks to his pioneering work, IWC perpetual calendar functions could be advanced from the crown.
Over 30 years on, a smaller new calibre 82000 calibre allows for a smaller case, and also a different albeit more traditional 3-6-9 layout for the calendar display than the one we’ve become accustomed to in the Portugieser. Launching in three versions – two gold, one steel, the new IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 features exquisite silver-plated dials while a special boutique-only gold edition showcases a splendid blue dial.
We won’t deny, the new Portugieser Perpetual Calendar does not resemble typical IWC perpetual calendar watch with “digital display”, however, the 2020 model is nevertheless a breath of fresh air: the signature “double moon phase” with displays for both hemispheres of the planet at 12 o’clock position has moved to a more traditional 6 o’clock position, joining the month’s subdial. Hence giving the new Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 a cleaner layout.
At 3 o’clock, the date subdial is also similarly paired down sans power-reserve indicator. The days indicator remains at 9 o’clock and the usual subsidiary seconds from older models is moved to a prominent central seconds display – while it’s not immediately apparent whether this update is universally appreciated, it does result in a more legible calendar. Meanwhile a discreet leap-year indicator joins the date display. It lacks the distinctiveness of predecessor IWC calendars but it is definitely the most classical the Schaffhausen manufacture has ever produced.
IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 And 42
For fans of small subsidiary seconds, what the new Portugieser Perpetual Calendar eschews, takes a place of prominent on the new Portugieser Automatic 40, a greatly appreciated smaller edition, and a contemporary variant sized 42mm. Needless to say, whatever you’re an aficionado for classical proportions or something more modern, both feature striking, head-turning dials.
Featuring two of the four new IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 watches.
The latest Portugieser Automatic draws direct design lineage from its predecessor, the the Portugieser Reference 325 which also exhibited small seconds subdial at six o’clock, a design element which was last seen on the exclusive and much larger 43mm Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight-Days Edition ‘150 Years’ and before that, reintroduced in the brand’s modern history in 1993 with the Portuguese Anniversary model.