Swiss brand IWC has lately been making some strategic moves to add more value to its products. Just a few months back the brand announced that going forward all its watches would be covered under an 8-year, a massive leap from the earlier commitment of 2 years. Furthermore, in the wake of a severe slowdown in the supply of the ETA movements outside of the Swatch group, IWC has gradually started upgrading its watches with modern-in-house movements. Last year saw the Spitfire family receive the internal makeover and now it’s the Portugieser’s turn. The IWC Portugieser (Reference IW3716) keeps the much-loved design DNA of the Portugieser intact and is now powered by a column wheel-based manufacture movement.
The outgoing version of the Portugieser (Reference IW3714) was powered by the calibre 79350, a heavily modified version of the trustworthy Valjoux 7750 movement. The IW3716 replaces it with the calibre 69355 an in-house movement based on the IWC’s calibre 69000. The caliber 69355 like its predecessor operates at a frequency of 4 Hz and offers a power reserve of around 46 hours. It also features a column-wheel mechanism that arguably results in smoother operation of the chronograph function. The movement has been nicely finished using perlage on the base plate, circular Geneva stripes on the bridges, and a customized open-worked rotor. It can be viewed in all its glory through the sapphire case back.
The Portugieser has always been a killer watch in the looks department and thankfully nothing has changed on that front. The dial which has been presented in silver, blue and black still features elegant looking applied numerals, a printed minute track on the rehaut, leaf style hour and minute hands and two well-balanced sub-registers at 12 and 6. Overall, the face of the Portugieser is clean and thoughtfully laid out, and offers great legibility, something that is not often seen on a watch with a chronograph complication.
Like the face, the case on the IW3716 does not see any changes. Offered in Stainless steel and 18k rose gold, the case still measures 41mm in diameter with a slightly increased height of 13.1mm as opposed to 12.6mm of the previous model. It still features the pump-style chronograph pushers at 2 and 4 and a nicely sized crown at 3. There is a sapphire crystal on both front and the back, and water resistance comes in at a low 30 meters.
Six different versions, in stainless steel and rose gold, are available:
Ref. IW371604: steel with silver-plated dial, gold-plated hands and numerals.
Ref. IW371605: steel with silver-plated dial, blue hands and numerals.
Ref. IW371606: steel with blue dial, rhodium-plated hands and numerals.
Ref. IW371609: steel with black dial, rhodium-plated hands and numerals.
Ref. IW371610: rose gold with slate-coloured dial, gold-plated hands, 18kt gold numerals.
Ref. IW371611: rose gold with silver-plated dial, gold-plated hands, 18kt gold numerals.
The refreshed IWC Portugeiser (Reference IW3716) is a handsome looking chronograph that now offers more bang per buck than before. The watch would come attached to high-quality leather straps and would retail for EUR 7,850 in stainless steel and EUR 17,600 in gold.