The IWC Portugieser Chronograph Replica has enjoyed strong popularity for many years and is one of IWC’s bestselling models. No one could have possibly predicted this success when the Portugieser’s history began in 1939. IWC responded by filling a 41.5-mm-diameter steel case with Caliber 74H4, which was originally used in pocketwatches and is more than 38 mm in diameter.
This hand-wound wristwatch was given a neatly designed dial with a railway-style minutes circle, Arabic numerals and a subdial for the seconds at 6 o’clock. In an era when gents preferred to wear small and elegant wristwatches, the IWC Replica must have looked like a gigantic measuring instrument strapped to its wearer’s wrist.
When this caliber debuted at the turn of the millennium, its diameter of 38.2 mm made it the world’s largest automatic movement. This was a courageous step because this caliber would never have fit into a smaller Fake watch. If the trend for large wristwatches had reversed itself, the big movement would have been useless. But history took a different turn, and the Portugieser was a big success.
With a diameter of 41 mm, the Portugieser Chronograph is nonetheless 1 mm smaller than the IWC Replica Portugieser Automatic. This size was formerly considered to be large, but nowadays 41 mm is a normal size for a wristwatch with a built-in stop-seconds function.
To achieve the desired arrangement with the small seconds at the dial’s South Pole, the elapsed-hours counter had to be removed and replaced by a mechanism for the continually running seconds. Such modifications in movements have long been standard procedure at Copy IWC.