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 at 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. The depth rating is 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).
Photos by IWC.