IWC has celebrated the 75th birthday of its oldest and most iconic watch collection by renaming it. The Portuguese is no longer; long live the Portugieser (or as we like to call it The Watch Collection Formerly Known As Portuguese or TWCFKAP for short. Catchy, non?)
The Portugieser was launched in the end of the 1930s when two Portuguese businessmen who worked in the watch industry, Rodrigues and Teixeira, visited IWC. They went to the company, which was then trading under the name International Watch Company, specifically to propose the development of a large stainless steel wristwatch that could house a movement with the same precision as a marine chronometer.
The original watch did not match the overriding aesthetic at the time. For starters, it was huge – measuring a substantial 43mm compared to the usual 33mm – and wasn’t in the Art Deco style. However, it was these qualities that made it the icon it is now.
In anticipation of the formal launch at this year’s SIHH, which runs from January 19–23, it has released a preview of the newly designed annual calendar (above). It’s IWC’s first annual calendar and the brand has said it has been designed to bridge the gap between perpetual calendar and the simple day-date display.
At first glance, we’re rather impressed. The blue dial has an ocean-like quality to it and, despite having two sub-dials showing the power reserve and a small hacking seconds, it feels clean. However, it is the annual calendar element that might divide opinion.
We’re on the fence until we see it in the flesh in Geneva in a couple of weeks, where the rest of the TWCFKAP models will be on display.