Haute Complication: IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar

A good design goes a long way: this is common knowledge but what makes a good design is far more difficult to pin down. With the Portugieser has IWC had a very strong design ever since it was first created in the 1930s. Because the brand understands the subtleties of its design it has been able to create several varieties on the theme that are so strong that they individually all have benchmark-status. Take for example the Portugieser Chronograph, the automatic, or the perpetual calendar.

IWC introduced the perpetual calendar into the Portugieser collection in 2003. It was based on the automatic caliber 5000, fitted with a perpetual calendar module designed by the legendary Kurt Klaus. Just as he did with the iconic Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar, dit Klaus also made the Portugieser in such a way that all the functions can be simply set with just the crown.

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Reference 5033 Black Watch
What makes the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar such a strong design is that IWC took full advantage of the 44.2mm large case. It has only a thin bezel and is furthermore all dial. As also the automatic movement, with a generous 7-day power reserve, is large the complications are spread out beautifully over the dial, which increases the ability to read them, which is not the easiest with most perpetual calendars. Another unique feature is that it also features the year in full between seven and eight o’clock. This is the only item that is not symmetrical on the dial and because of that makes it a bit more tantalizing.

Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Edition “150 Years”
IWC offers two varieties on the moon phase for this Portugieser. One is the traditional version, but the other one shows the moon phase on both the northern as well as the southern hemisphere. This is also the configuration that they opted for with the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar that they included in the Jubilee Collection, celebrating their 150th anniversary. Fitted with a red gold case, it has a white lacquered dial which contrasts beautifully with the blued hands. It also confirms once again this model’s position as an icon.



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