In 2015, IWC Schaffhausen celebrates the 75th birthday of the Portuguese line. In keeping with its jubilee, the new Portuguese collection comes with a host of technological and design modifications as well as new features. Furthermore, IWC plans to launch three new calibre families in the years ahead. Initiating this move is the 52000-calibre family, which is found in four models in the new Portuguese collection. The newly designed annual calendar celebrates its debut and the perpetual calendar with its digital large date display is likewise welcomed into the Portuguese portfolio.
The new Portuguese Annual Calendar brings together two firsts for IWC and three masterstrokes of haute horlogerie: the newly developed annual calendar closes the gap between the perpetual calendar and the simple date display. The new IWC-manufactured 52850 calibre has two barrels that keep the new function supplied with ample energy and still has enough left for a 7-day power reserve.
Located at “12 o’clock” on the dial, IWC’s annual calendar shows the month, date and day in three separate, semicircular windows. This “American” order in which the date is shown was not only necessary from a technical and design point of view, but is also a homage to F. A. Jones, IWC’s American founder.
The switching mechanism automatically takes into account the differing lengths of individual months but not the differing length of the month of February or the leap years. Once a year, then, it requires manual correction. This correction is carried out easily using the crown. Thanks to this elegant solution, the engineers were able to dispense with a corrector, which would have compromised the watch's purist design.
With its 44.2-millimetre case, grooved bezel, classic railway-track-style chapter ring, slim feuille hands and almost unchanged Arabic numerals, the Portuguese Annual Calendar very closely resembles the original Portuguese of 1939. The small seconds subdial, however, is not positioned at “6 o’clock” as in the original, but at “9 o’clock”. The subdial on the opposite side contains the power reserve display. The in-house movement with 7-day power reserve is yet another quantum leap in the history of the Portuguese family.
The Portuguese Annual Calendar is available in 18-carat red gold (Ref. IW503504) with a silver-plated dial or in stainless steel with a silver-plated (Ref. IW503501) or midnight blue (Ref. IW503502) dial. All versions of the watch are fitted with black Santoni alligator leather straps.
The arched-edge sapphire glass makes the case look slimmer and underscores the watch’s classic elegance. The curved strap horns ensure greater comfort even on slimmer wrists. The see-through sapphire-glass back provides an unimpeded view of the new IWC-manufactured 52850 calibre. Across the entire 52000-calibre family, the rotors have been made slimmer, while the bridges are more open and inset with a solid gold “Probus Scafusia” medallion. This way, even more details of the movement with its two barrels can be seen. The improved Pellaton winding system with the practically wear-free components made of ceramic is also clearly visible. Overall, it took IWC’s watch designers almost 5 years to develop the annual calendar.