IWC Portugieser: Back In Blue

by Jamie Tan

New additions to two classics from the Portugieser line mark a return of the panda dial to the collection with a fresh blue-on-white colourway.

The panda dial, which sees a watch’s sub-dials and main dial rendered in contrasting colours, has made regular appearances in IWC’s Portugieser line. Its unique aesthetic doesn’t just offer increased legibility, but also a departure from the classic tone-on-tone colourways for a more contemporary look – despite the design actually being over half a century old.

IWC has just reintroduced the panda dial to the Portugieser collection with new timepieces. The freshly unveiled Portugieser Automatic and Portugieser Chronograph watches are line extensions to two perennially popular Portugieser models, and bear a striking blue-on-white scheme that expands the collection’s palette while alluding to its original inspiration.

A Mid-century Classic

An original example of the vintage Ref. 325.

In the late 1930s, two Portuguese businessmen approached IWC with an idea to create a wristwatch with the accuracy to rival marine chronometers. IWC answered the call by using a large, reliable pocket watch movement, Calibre 74, and casing it in an oversized wristwatch. The result was Ref. 325, which would be iterated on to create the Portugieser line years later.

At 43mm across, Ref. 325 was far larger than its contemporaries of that era, which rarely exceeded 35mm in diameter. What’s more, its narrow bezel made its dial look even bigger. Coupled with the distinctive feuille hands, Arabic numeral indices, and railway track chapter ring, the watch was supremely legible – a trait that its movement’s chronometric performance complemented. These features all define the Portugieser line today, even as complications extend the collection into myriad models.

New Looks

The latest additions to the Portugieser collection are familiar favourites, but dressed in a blue-on-white colourway that nods at the marine chronometers that Ref. 325 was inspired by.

The Portugieser Automatic

The first, the Portugieser Automatic, features a symmetrical layout with its power reserve and small seconds at three and nine o’clock respectively. This watch’s self-winding 52010 calibre sports a long going time of 7 days, which IWC’s proprietary Pellaton winding system enhances with its efficiency. A simple date window at six o’clock completes the package for a simple, no-frills timepiece that’s perfect for daily wear. This watch is delivered with a blue alligator leather strap.

The Portugieser Chronograph

The Portugieser Automatic is joined by the Portugieser Chronograph, which is powered by IWC’s 69355 calibre. With its chronograph minute totalizer at 12 o’clock and small seconds sub-dial below it at six o’clock, the watch’s dial has a less common layout for chronographs – a detail that the panda dial accentuates. Note the lack of a date display here as well; like other models in the Portugieser family, this timepiece is an exercise in sleek minimalism.The new Portugieser Chronograph comes fitted with a blue rubber strap.

The new Portugieser Automatic and Portugieser Chronograph timepieces are already available worldwide through IWC boutiques, retail partners, and online at

Images courtesy of IWC Schaffhausen, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.

Related Links:

IWC Portugieser: Navigating Through Time

IWC Portugieser: An Endless Sea of Dreams


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