2021 was the year of the Big Pilot for IWC, with several references being launched, including the Mojave Desert variations, the Shock Absorper XPL, the Constant Force Tourbillon, and the chronographs with green and blue dials. As the year comes to a close, the Schaffhausen-based brand has unveiled the new Portugeiser, a flying minute tourbillon at that. The Portugeiser Hand-wound Tourbillon is an elegant piece, but there is more to it than meets the eye.
We'll start at, but naturally, the flying minute tourbillon itself whose workings are a clear as day, thanks to the cage being held exclusively from one side. Thanks to the tourbillon stop, the mechanism can be brought to a halt, allowing the wearer to set the watch to a second's accuracy. Consisting of 56 parts, and weighing just .635 gms, its pallet lever and escape wheel have been coated with Diamond Shell® technology, which helps reduce friction and incraeses the flow of energy in the movement. The movement in question is a new one -- IWC has manufactured the hand-wound 81905 calibre, which has an 84-hour power reserve.
Another detail is the case material -- 18-carat Armor Gold®, a material that boasts significantly higher hardness value than traditional gold alloys. Armor Gold was first seen in the 2018 Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition 'Le Petit Prince' (Ref. IW590303) as well, and is created using processes by which the microstructure of the alloy is transformed to be more wear-resistant.
The dial is silver-plated, with appliqued Arabic numerals and feuille hands in gold that stand out against the background. The caseback is transparent, from which one gets the view of the elaborate decoration on the bridges and the solid gold medallion with the 'Probus Scafusia' (good, solid craftsmanship from Schaffhausen') inscription. The watch is flanked by black alligator leather straps, crafted by shoe manufacturer Santoni.
All images: IWC
|IWC Portugieser Hand-wound Tourbillon|
|movement||Mechanical movement - flying hacking minute tourbillon|
|case||18-carat Armor Gold®|
|strap and clasp||Santoni black alligator leather strap , 5N gold folding clasp|
|dimensions||Diameter: 42.4 mm; height: 10.8 mm|