This year IWC celebrates the 75th anniversary and with it, a whole new range of calibres and timepieces from the Portugieser collection were unveiled at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie SIHH 2015 in Geneva. In addition to the unveiling of 14 new timepieces, the Portugieser line went through a thorough facelift that IWC Schaffhausen refers to as the 'Evolutionary Aesthetic Enhancements'. These enhancements included adding new integrated strap horns to improve ergonomics, an arched-edge sapphire crystal and new handmade alligator leather straps done by Italian renowned shoemaker Santoni —straps come with an orange lining just like the shoes from this brand.
The Portugieser Perpetual Calendar ref. 503401 features now, for the first time ever, a new dial design with railway-track-style chapter ring and aesthetically enhanced subdial arrangement to improve readability. Additionally, two new 18K red gold variants and 18K white gold variants with slate dials were presented, the case size of the new Portugieser Perpetual Calendar was set to 44.2 mm in diameter and the calibre was fitted with a solid red gold oscillating weight and blued screws to add extra wow to the timepiece. The newly improved calibre 52615 features 54 jewels and it provides a power reserve of 7 full days. The dial on the ref. 503401 is midnight blue while the dial on the ref. 503404 is 'ardoise'.
On the moon phase display of the new Portugieser Perpetual Calendar with a double moon, the moon is just 5 mm in diameter. Nevertheless, the depiction of its orbit on the miniature stage diverges by just 1 day in 577.5 years from the actual phase of the moon. In the model with the double moon display, the moon phase and its mirror image show the state of the moon in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The design of the blue dial ref. IW503401 is as captivating and mesmerizing as the aurora borealis. Fitted with an 18K white gold case measuring 44.2 mm in diameter and 15.3 mm in thickness the new IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar is nothing but exceptional. Its midnight blue dial features moon phase indicator for both hemispheres at 12, date indicator with concentric power reserve indicator at 3, day of the week with concentric running seconds at 9 and month and four digit year indicator at 6 o'clock.
On the wrist, the new IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar ref. 503401 with midnight blue dial is pure elegance and perfection rounded out by its black Santoni alligator dial with folding clasp. The watch wears slightly bigger than its actual size and more like a 46 or 47 mm watch. Those with a wrist smaller than 7.25" in circumference will find this watch a little bit to too clunky. Now, for the money, it really doesn't get much better than this and who really cares if the watch ends up looking big on your wrist. Kudos to IWC on this year's novelties.
Sticker Price $46,000 USD for 18K white gold with midnight blue dial and $44,000 for 18K red gold with 'ardoise' dial. For more info on IWC Schaffhausen click here.