HANDS-ON: IWC PORTUGIESER HAND-WOUND EIGHT DAYS 75TH ANNIVERSARY

If Rolex is probably the most British swiss watchmaker, IWC is definitely the most american one. In 1868, U.S. engineer and watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones (1841–1916) founded the International Watch Company, that we know nowadays under the name IWC. He wanted to combine swiss craftsmanship with the modern engineering technology from the U.S. and manufacture watch movements and watch parts for the American market. That’s where Moser entered in the picture (Yes, the Moser we know today for a collection of timepieces with minimalist designs, often fumé dials with no logo). Jones went to Switzerland, willing to open a factory and met watch manufacturer and industrialist Heinrich Moser. Together, they laid the foundations of a would become the International Watch Company manufacture in Schaffhausen.

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If you think about the history of Portugal, you will probably think about great navigators and explorers like Vasco da Gama or Magellan. Watches had a major role in the development of maritime empires as being precise was crucial when exploring the ocean. Many inventions in the watchmaking field are linked to marine and navigation. You could think that IWC famous timepiece collection Portuguese (or Portugaise, Portuguese depending your language), introduced in 1939, is a tribute to the historical link between timekeeping and exploration. Though, it is not. The name of this wristwatch collection dates back to the end of the 1930s when two Portuguese businessmen (Rodrigues and Teixeira) visited IWC in Schaffhausen. They proposed the idea of developing of a large stainless steel watch housing a movement that would match the precision of a marine chronometer. IWC replied to this request by using a pocket watch movement. This special edition, limited to 750 pieces, was launched to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the collection. The dial is directly inspired by the first Portugieser watch from IWC.  

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A great watch without a great caliber would definitely not be a great watch. And there is nothing better than discovering a wonderful movement when you turn your timepiece. IWC Portugieser Hand-wound Eight Days Edition 75th Anniversary houses the IWC caliber 59215, a hand-wind mechanical movement, tribute to the original caliber, that offers a full eight days of power reserve thanks to twin mainspring barrels. The movement is pretty big and as a result, the watch is also pretty big with 43 mm. A tribute here as well to the roots of the collection as the original watch launched in 1939 was also 43 mm. And I am really surprised how nice it is to wear it as I am much more used to wear ultra-thin watches with smaller diameters!

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