Last year, the Swiss manufacturer expanded its Portuguese line of watches with Portuguese Grande Complication timepiece. This IWC’s masterpiece was developed thanks to the greatest achievements in watchmaking industry. It features a perpetual calendar, mechanically programmed until 2499, a minute repeater, a perpetual moon phase display and a chronograph.
IWC from Schaffhausen housed the 79091 caliber automatic movement into a large 45mm round case, crafted either from platinum or 18-karat red gold. The movement made in house has amazing nine hands on the dial and it is constructed of nearly 660 parts. It is capable of holding full 44 hours of power reserve when charged.
Portuguese Grande Complication watch is protected by sapphire glass with antireflective coatings on both sides. The arched-edged front glass provides a retro look of this watch, while the caseback with an intricate engraving of a sextant gives an unmistakable sign that the watch is a part of the Portuguese series of watches.
The classic looking case is not too thick with 16.5 mm and it is constructed to resist water pressure up to 30 meters (100 feet). On the right side of the case, there is a crown and two buttons, while operating the minute repeater is accomplished by sliding down the lever situated on the opposite, left side. For those who do not know, the minute repeater is a complication in a mechanical timepiece that audibly chimes the hours and minutes at the press of a button.
This complication is very useful because it allows the time to be determined in the deepest dark. When activated, it chimes the time down to the minute, using separate harmonious tones for hours, quarter hours, and minutes (the hours on the lower-pitched of the two gongs, followed by a double strike on both gongs for the quarters and a single strike on the higher-pitched gong for the minutes).
Amazing Eleven Pieces of Information Displayed on the Dial
The silver-plated dial features a discreetly engraved globe of the world with lines meant to remind you of latitudes and longitudes. The silvered dial with its solid red gold or silver platinum appliqués comprises four sub-dials. Even three of them serve for a dual purpose function. For the Perpetual Calendar the right date of the month is displayed at the 3 o’clock position, the month of the year is placed at the 6 o’clock position, while the day of the week is situated at the 9 o’clock position. The current year is also available. It is displayed in a rectangular aperture at the 8 o’clock position.
The Swiss manufacturer even goes further. Besides the desirable perpetual calendar and the impressive minute repeater, IWC enriched Portuguese Grande Complication wristwatch with a moon phase indicator. The phases of the moon are displayed at the sub-dial at the 12 o’clock position. The same counter is also used for the chronograph functionality for measuring time up to 30 minutes. A 12 hour chrono counter is used in conjunction with the month sub-dial at the 6 o’clock position, whereas a 60 second counter shares the same sub-dial with a day counter at the 9 o’clock position.
In my opinion, the most attractive of all complications is the perpetual calendar that is mechanically programmed until 2499. A mechanical masterpiece will display the correct day, date, month and year. It requires adjustments only once each four years, as well as three adjustments in the non-leap years 2100, 2200 and 2300.
IWC offers two models of Portuguese Grande Complication Watch. The exquisite model IW377402 is crafted from 18-karat red gold with red gold appliqués on its dial. It is accessorized with a dark brown alligator leather strap and it can be purchased for $217,000. The exceptional model IW377401 boasts a platinum case and a black alligator leather strap. The platinum model is a little bit expensive.
IWC Portuguese Grande Complication Watch is limited to only 100 numbered examples per year of IW377401 and 50 numbered timepices of IW377402, so you can expect a long wait to get one.