The Portugieser collection is a pillar of IWC Schaffhausen, and for a good reason. The collection dates back to the 1930s when two gentlemen dealers from Portugal commissioned a watch for the local market. The result, reference 325, gave the name and paved the way for many beautiful timepieces with all sorts of complications. Two years ago, IWC offered a new take on the classic hours, minutes, and small seconds watch in the Portugieser collection, a compact Portugieser Automatic 40, in harmony with the universal trend of smaller case diameters, with several case materials and dial colour options. The new reference IW358315, also known as the IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 Edition Chinese New Year, complements this line with a new colour dial and a new – and fun – shape for the rotor.
Watch editions dedicated to the Chinese New Year are widespread across the industry. Big and small brands rush to satisfy the critical market, offering themed animations in limited editions. IWC is no stranger to this trend. To meet the start of the new cycle of 2023, which according to the Chinese zodiac corresponds to the Year of the Rabbit, the Schaffhausen-based manufacture will release 500 Portugieser watches in steel with burgundy dials with gold-plated hands and applied indexes.
To underscore the Year of the Rabbit, the gold-plated rotor of the Portugieser Automatic 40 Edition “Chinese New Year” is shaped like a rabbit! An engraving on the caseback marks the occasion: 2023 YEAR OF THE RABBIT. The decorative choices are apparent, and the rabbit-shaped rotor makes it a fun watch. Burgundy, a variety of red that symbolises longevity, happiness, success, and even brings good luck in Chinese tradition, is not a new dial colour for IWC. Still, I do not recall it combined with gold appliques, but this combination makes the dial shine.
There is not much to add to the description of this special edition, as the specifications were covered in detail when the IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 collection was launched in 2020. On the outside, it is an elegant yet casual watch, despite the use of gold accents, and this is true of all the past versions, too. Should you have missed the news back then and this edition calls to your heart, here are a few things to note that may add to the excitement.
The IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 collection employs calibre 82200, an automatic manufacture movement that was created to replace ETA and ETA-clone calibres, until recently very much in use by all brands, IWC included. The 82200 is undoubtedly a better option; the proprietary Pellaton system winds the spring to provide up to 60 hours of power reserve, and the movement design – and a transparent sapphire caseback – allow for a good look into the heart of the watch, with machined parts that are well finished. A typical Portugieser, and more.
The IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 Edition Chinese New Year ref. IW358315 is now available on IWC Tmall Flagship Store and IWC e-Boutique, priced at EUR 8,650. For more details, please visit www.iwc.com.
Technical specifications – IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 Edition Chinese New Year
Case: 40.4mm diameter x 12.4mm height – stainless steel case, polished and brushed – domed sapphire crystal and sapphire caseback – 30m water-resistant
Dial: burgundy red with gold-plated indexes and hands
Movement: IWC calibre 82200, manufacture – automatic with Pellaton winding system – 31 jewels – 28,800 vibrations/hour – 60h power reserve – hours, minutes, small hacking seconds
Strap: black calfskin strap, additional calfskin strap with burgundy colour gradation – butterfly folding clasp
Availability: limited to 500 pieces, now available