IWC Portugieser

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IWC Portugieser Automatic, stainless steel
© IWC

Portugieser (German for "Portuguese") is a classically-styled series of watches from IWC.

History

In 1938, two Portuguese merchants Rodriguez and Teixeira came to IWC and asked for a particularly large and precise wristwatch. Following this request, IWC built a large wristwatch based on a pocket watch movement. Over the next decade, IWC would produce a few such pieces, all oversized, using pocket watch movements like Cal. 74, and featuring clear dials with Arabic numerals.

In 1993, IWC recalled this history as part of the celebration of the company's 125-year anniversary. They created a new "Portugieser" watch, the Jubilee, as a limited edition that closely matched the original's design. After an enthusiastic response from the public, IWC created another Portugieser limited series in 1995 using an updated version of the original pocket watch movement, IWC 9828, in a large 43 mm case. Shortly afterwards, the company released a smaller 35 mm version of the watch, the 3531, as a regular production series using sister company Jaeger-LeCoultre's 891/2 movement.

This model became so important that it was chosen to highlight the restart of IWC's in-house movement development, introducing Cal. 5000 in the 2000 IWC Portugieser 2000. Since that time, IWC has created a diverse line of Portugieser watches in various sizes and styles. Many feature complications, including chronographs, but always styled in large, rounded cases with elegant markings that contrast with IWC's Pilot watch lineup.

Although often called "Portuguese" in English, IWC is clear on using the "Portugieser" name for all of their models.

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