SIHH 2015: IWC, a Portuguese birthday in Geneva


Don’t expect anything from IWC but Portuguese. And the reason is the 75th anniversary of the brand’s success – without any chance left for the Ingenieur or any other collection to have a glimpse of attention!

SIHH focuses on three main references. Just like every year, there are many other new watches but mainly – if not only – changes of dial colors, sometimes case size. Apart from finished products, IWC announced a new plant and a production roadmap that includes three new calibers coming in the three next years, the cal. 52, 42 and 69. The first already powers the first novelty, the Annual Calendar.

#1 : Introducing the first annual calendar at IWC – ever

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Day, date, month. It might sound simple to many brands but these information were missing in IWC’s portfolio, unless you were fortunate enough to have a QP. In fact, the newly developed annual calendar closes the gap between the perpetual calendar and the simple date display. The new in-house 52850 calibre has two barrels and a 7-day power reserve. Unlike a perpetual calendar, however, the annual calendar is unable to factor in the differing length of the month of February or the leap years. Once a year, then, at the end of February, it requires manual correction. However, IWC has designed its new 52850 in a way that all changes can be made through the crown.

Still, the calendar displays its indications using the US system : November, 16, Thursday, for instance. It’s a good point for the US but not sure it will be one for the rest of the world, especially with the fact that IWC doesn’t plan to edit local versions with local languages –at least French, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic.

#2 : A very limited 75th anniversary QP
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This is one of the few anniversary editions IWC will unveil in 2015, and not the less significant : the new Portuguese Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary”. The watch is fitted with an arched-edge front glass and Santoni alligator leather strap and has a new calibre design. The watch is limited to 25 pieces in platinum and 75 pieces each in 18-carat red gold with either a black or silver-plated dial. What is interesting with this piece is that date, month and leap year are indicated with large figures through large windows on the dial, making it perfectly legible.

#3 : A brand new…old lady

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Those who are familiar with the history of IWC are most likely to associate the original Portuguese (Ref. 325) from the 1930s with its black and white dial. This minimalist design was one of the reasons that the Portuguese became the success that we know, along the decades. However, a number of different dial versions were also launched in the same year the watch family was founded. The new Portuguese Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary” pays tribute to a version of the original Portuguese that until now has been fairly unknown. Fortunately, an original version of this model had remained in a private collection. IWC’s designers based their work on it to recreate a new model, almost entirely similar to the orginal one. It still has the main attributes of this old lady : Arabic numerals, slim feuille hands, railway-track-style chapter ring and small seconds at 6. In order to make it enter the new century, IWC just made it a larger (43 mm) and added a date at 6 as well.

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