IWC Portugieser Automatic 42: contemporary classic

New dial colours and a redesigned case: the Portugieser Automatic 42 gets a makeover and confirms itself as a great IWC classic.

IWC Portugieser Automatic 42
IWC Portuguese Automatic 42 Horizon Blue.

The Portugieser is deeply rooted in the history of IWC. The first was realised in 1939 to combine the wearability of a wristwatch with the precision and robustness of a pocket model. And that big watch aesthetic, with its large dial and highly legible graphics, became the DNA of the entire collection, which went on to introduce important complications to the catalogue. Revisited this year, with a redesigned case and new dials, the collection includes some of its most popular pillars.i, such as the Portugieser Automatic which, in the 42 mm version, in times of 'downsizing', emphasises the original vocation of this model that was born as a forerunner of large-scale modelling.

IWC Portugieser Automatic 42
IWC Portugieser Automatic 42 Dune.

The Portugieser Automatic 42 is a classic watch that does not betray its style. The restyling starts with the case: the slimmer central ring streamlines its profile and the sapphire crystal with its curved edge, both on the back and on the dial, leaves more space for both. IWC is known for its robust cases, and even with the new construction, the brand's engineers have managed to further increase the robustness and water resistance to 50 metres (compared to the previous 30 metres).

IWC Portugieser Automatic 42

IWC Portugieser Automatic 42: a revisited dial

The new Portugieser dial colours include Horizon Blue and Dune.

The dials of the Portugieser Automatic 42 from IWC have also been reworked. 15 layers of finely polished transparent lacquer are applied to the brass bases, which are either sun-blasted or slightly sandblasted, to achieve a brilliant finish. Very nice the Horizon Blue dial, matching the white gold casewith finely brushed soleil finish and applied rhodium-plated hour markers.

IWC Portugieser Automatic 42

But it also affects the Dune dial, in a delicate sand colour, combined in this case with steel. Here, the applied indices are in gold. The layout of the displays features small seconds counters at 9 o'clock and power reserve counters at 3 o'clock. The counters are milled in both the brass base and the lacquer layer.

IWC Portugieser Automatic 42

An IWC-manufactured automatic movement

7 days of autonomy for the Portugieser Automatic 42 from IWC.

In the IWC-manufactured 52011 calibre, the escapement has been improved to provide superior protection against magnetic fields. The Pellaton automatic winding system, which makes maximum use of the kinetic energy of wrist movements by allowing winding in both directions of rotation of the rotor, has components made of almost wear-free zirconium oxide ceramic.

IWC Portugieser Automatic 42

The 7-day power reserve is ensured by the double barrel. The white gold Horizon Blue version of the Portugieser Automatic 42 is on sale for 28,000 euros, while the steel Dune version is offered at 14,000 euros.