Last week we covered the Rolex Day-Date; this week we come to a watch my grandfather owns, a piece he wears intermittently between his favorite orange Toy Watch and an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.I am talking, of course, about the iconic IWC Portugieser Replica Watches, or as the English-speaking world is used to calling it, the Portuguese. It boasts a design that was ahead of its time upon its launch in 1939, and is without a doubt the most successful series IWC has yet produced. Originally created upon request for two Portuguese businessmen, the IWC Portugieser has solidified itself within the horological community, and continues to grow its image among newcomers and admirers alike.
For the 75th anniversary of this watch, IWC Replica Watches released the Portugieser Ref. 5102, a hand-wound piece that after a full wind can keep ticking for up to 192 hours. Available in either stainless steel or 18k rose gold — at $11,400 and $21,200 respectively — this watch, according to IWC, strives to “lean heavily on the purist design code of the original Portugieser of the 1930s,” and from what I can tell it is a job well done. From the 43-mm case to the vintage, corporate IWC Replica Watches, from the feuille hour and minute hands to a seconds subdial, this watch takes many direct inspirations to help recreate the early Portugieser Ref. 325. Some of the more modern, and noticeable, features of the piece are the clear caseback, a 6 o’clock date display, and the eight-day-power-reserve IWC Caliber 59215.
However popular the IWC Fake Watches is today, it is worth noting that between 1939 and 1981 only about 700 of the Ref. 325 models were actually manufactured. Due to this, this style of watch has the opportunity to become much more “its own” piece than if it were to have had a long initial following; regardless, IWC still chose to honor these earlier models in the Portugieser line. The piece, compared to the Ref. 325, is a very similar watch. In 1939, a 43-mm watch case was an anomaly, but today is in line with modern tastes, and the vintage-inspired, retro Arabic numerals, logo, and hands help it stand out as both tasteful and unique.The next watch we’ll look at this week is the Portugieser Chronograph Ref. 3714, possibly Cheap IWC Replica most popular watch. This watch uses an automatic IWC Caliber 79350 with a 44-hour power reserve, is also housed in either an 18k rose-gold or stainless steel case, and is just under 41 mm in diameter. The dial is available in either black, silver-plated white, or a sun-burst black known as ardoise, and most of the variations include nautical blue accents on either the hands or Arabic hour markers. With two vertical chronograph subdials and handsomely simple pushers, this model starts around $7,900 for the steel version, and $17,500 for the rose gold.
The modern IWC Portugieser has been able to solidify itself as one of the more iconic watches available. While there are many other vintage recreations and modern models that I would pursue before an IWC Fake Watches, I do understand why so many people both appreciate the brand and its watches. The Portugieser Ref. 5102 is a nice watch in its own right, and one that I do not think IWC will have any problems selling. Meanwhile, the Ref. 3714 is a modern watch that has become one of the brand’s more recognizable pieces today. As a modern-day watch brand with both a vintage story and contemporary success, the world of horology is always looking to see where the brand will go next.