IWC Launches All New Portugieser Chronograph 41 Models

by Matt Clymo

Continuing their “Tribute to Eternity”, IWC launches their new Portugieser Chronograph collection in their new colours: Horizon blue, Obsidian, and Dune.

This year, IWC is celebrating the Portugieser. If you have read our release coverage on the new Portugieser 42 with the 7-day power reserve, you’ll know they are looking to the idea of timelessness and eternity as a theme for this year’s Watches & Wonders and through the rest of 2024. The dial colours inspired by the time of day permeate this year’s releases, and for the new look Chronograph collection in 40mm, they’ve landed on Horizon Blue (Midday), Dune (Afternoon) and Obsidian (Night). Each piece represents the light and elements of that particular time of day.

The IWC Portugieser Chronograph 41 Collection

Starting at Midday with Horizon Blue, the 41mm Chronograph takes on the blue hues of the horizon at midday or early afternoon –  just think about when you stand on the coast and look out across the ocean at the part where the sky meets the sea. Did that paint the picture? This piece is done in an 18k White Gold case which brings out the blue dial and matching strap nicely.

Horizon Blue

On the dial, you have the vertical sub-dial layout that’s been a part of the collection since 1998 with the minute dial at 12 o’clock and small seconds at 6 o’clock. Around the dial on an outer track features an inner flange printed with a quarter-second scale to help with more accurate timing. The numerals are applied and Rhodium plated as are the hands on the main and subdials.

Stunning blue dial with the applied numerals and rhodium-plated hands

Moving on to the late afternoon with Dune, this piece takes on a much warmer tone which reflects the mood in the evening when the sun is about to set. Personally, I’m reminded of sand dunes in the early evening at dusk and the way the light bounces off them if you happen to be in a spot on the West Coast or Island with the sun setting over the ocean.

Dune

Dune is one in a stainless steel 41mm case and comes equipped with gold- plated hands and gold appliques to provide a mild contrast to the dial with a more monochromatic look than the other two chronographs. This piece is paired with a glossy black alligator leather strap giving it a subtle but elegant look.

The golden dial with a sunburst finish and gold-plated appliques and hands gives a unique look

Last but definitely not least we have the night represented by Obsidian (or Dragon Glass if you’re a fan of Game Of Thrones or House Of The Dragon). With an 18k rose gold case and gold-plated hands, and gold appliques, this piece is more formal and takes the essence of the night to another level. According to IWC, this combination of black and gold symbolises the night sky with the shining stars, however, when I first saw this piece, I imagined the deep red/golden colour of the just set sun in the sky (rose gold) and as you look across to the east, the sky gets darker and darker, like Obsidian. Maybe it’s just me and being a little poetic!

Dragon Glass, I Mean Obsidian…

Like the other two pieces, the dial is made from brass with a sunburst finish and then coloured and finally given up to 15 layers of applied clear lacquer to add depth. It’s finally fine-ground and then polished to a high gloss given the pieces the look you see here. On top of this, each numeral and index is applied by hand, and once done, the entire dial process including the milled subdials takes over 60 steps.

Milled small seconds subdial in the Obsidian black dial with gold plated appliequés

Inside each is the IWC-manufactured calibre 69355 automatic movement with a column wheel chronograph Beating at 4Hz (28, 800 VpH) and pivoting on 27 jewels, it outputs approx 46 hours of power. There is also a distinct tactile resistance when the buttons are pushed which comes from the use of the column wheel and also allows for no lag or jumping when starting the timer.

Caseback of the Portugieser Chronograph showing the calibre 69355

Our Thoughts

Press pics don’t do these pieces justice at all, and if you’ve seen the current range of Portugieser Chronographs, especially the white dial variants, you’ll appreciate how silky these dials look. The colours that IWC has chosen for this year’s collection are en-pointe and the combination of dial and case colours just works with these – from fresh blues to warmer dark hues.

IWC has gone a little more upmarket with the collection, and this is ok as what they have done with the dials and metals elevates the Portugieser to that next level. Utilising 18k white and red gold with the coloured dials gives them more luxury than the predominantly steel line-up of current, which I think was needed.

References: IW371626 (Horizon Blue) / IW371624 (Dune) / IW371625 (Obsidian)

Specification

  • Case: 41mm, 13.1mm thick
  • Case Material: 18k White Gold (Horizon Blue), Stainless Steel (Dune) and 18k Red Gold (Obsidian)
  • Dial: Horizon Blue, Dune and Obsidian with applied numerals, milled subdials and rhodium-plated hands (Horizon Blue) and red-gold plated hands (Dune and Obsidian)
  • Crystal: Sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
  • Water resistance: 30m / 3 Bar
  • Movement: IWC-manufactured calibre 69355 beating at 4Hz (28, 800 VpH) and 27 jewels
  • Power reserve: 46 hrs
  • Strap: Blue calfskin (Horizon Blue) or black alligator (Dune and Obsidian) with steel, white gold or red gold pin buckle

Australian Recommended Retail Price: A$13,200 (Dune) / A$27,500 (Obsidian) / A$30,000 (Horizon Blue)

Availability: Available now at IWC Boutiques, authorised retailers or online at IWC.com

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