Though this iconic model has been around for decades, I first learned of this watch back in 2002 or so while flipping through an issue of GQ magazine. I was flabbergasted to say the least. The clean lines, the simply elegant and sophisticated looks… I just knew I wanted one. Then I saw the price and I was equally as flabbergasted… the lowest end model (the chronograph shown above) retails at about $8,000!
But I digress, as it certainly doesn’t diminish the watch’s beauty or history. The model was named after two Portuguese businessmen who asked IWC (The International Watch Company) in Schaffhausen, Switzerland to create a watch movement that was accurate as a marine chronometer. At the time the 43mm face was huge compared to other watches on the market. You might say this is the great grand daddy of the huge watches you see today. These days they come in at about 40 or 41mm so it’s a little more manageable for the average guy. The base model sports a 44 hour power reserve, an automatic movement, and a chronograph. Unfortunately there’s no date complication which I rely on a lot with watches, but there’s a higher end model that has it there.
All in all the Portuguese is a watch that is best for work and for formal occasions, but still looks great with jeans or shorts.
PS: I’m happy to say that in 2012 I bought my very own Portuguese (used!). I get compliments on it regularly, and I’m a very very happy customer. If only 2002 me could see 2012 me!