Unveiled in 1998, the original Replica IWC Portugieser Chronograph ref. 3714 had a surprisingly long life, managing to be a bestseller for 22 years – and a lucrative franchise for IWC.
Now it has finally been replaced by the new Portugieser Chronograph ref. 3716 that looks almost identical, but is powered by a proprietary movement.
Now the ref. 3716 joins the regular collection, IWC Replica with steel or 18k rose gold case, as well as all of the dial variants that were offered for the outgoing ref. 3714.
That means the quintessential Portugieser Chronograph in steel matched a silver dial, gold numerals and gold hands is still available.
The new IWC Portugieser Chronograph Replica is slightly larger than the original, but the differences are so slight that they are not apparent at all. The new model is 41 mm in diameter and 13.1 mm high, compared to 40.9 mm by 12.6 mm for the original.
Fake IWC labels the cal. 69355 in-house, but the movement is part of the 69000 family, which incorporates some basic components of the Valjoux 7750, most notably the going train and barrel.
Most years, the Swiss brand trains its focus on revitalizing specific collections, and this year the Popular Replica Portugieserfamily is the one in the spotlight.
Both timepieces use tourbillon movements and offer a retrograde chronograph and perpetual calendar, respectively. The references are available in limited quantities in rose gold and platinum, each produced with either a familiar silver or blue dial.
The Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon has a 45-mm Portugieser case, with curved lugs and a relatively large crown. The dial’s outer edge features a railroad minute track recalling the marine chronometers that originally inspired the series, while applied Arabic numerals decorate most hour positions. Each of the dial’s four sectors hosts a different feature.
The right-hand side features an analog date indicator as well as a display for the impressive 7-day power reserve. Opposite this we find a 9 o’clock analog day indicator, with Fake IWC Watch branding at its center and a display for the year slightly below it brushing the 8 o’clock mark.
This array of functions is powered by the IWC Caliber 51950, an automatic movement with a gold oscillating rotor, visible via a sapphire caseback. Both the blue-dial and silver-dial versions of the Replica Watches are secured to the wrist via a blue alligator leather strap by Santoni.
Inside the new Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph is the IWC caliber 89900, made in-house by the brand. Like the movement powering its perpetual calendar-equipped sibling, this IWC Replica watch’s automatic mechanism features a gold oscillating weight, though it offers a smaller power reserve of 68 hours.
The IWC Portugieser ChronographReplica 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.