IWC celebrates the Portugieser watch. A name that wasn’t used before 1993 though, when IWC Replica resurrected the Portugieser collection. You have to know, that back in the day, a lot of brands only used a reference number to indicate a particular watch. Using collection and model names is something that wasn’t very common in the first half of the 20th century. The IWC Portugieser goes back to 1940, when two importers from Lisbon, Portugal, requested a large pocket watch sized wristwatch for their clients.
IWC created such a watch, with a very unusual 41,5mm diameter for that time, when the average mens watch had a diameter between 30 and 35 mmm. The reason for the Portuguese business men to request a wristwatch with a large diameter was that pocket watches had a better accuracy due to the larger movement, and thus larger balance. IWC Replica Watches used their hunter style pocket watches caliber 74 and 98 for this new project to ensure accuracy for the wristwatch. The first “Portugieser” watch was actually referred to as ‘325’ and was in production from 1939 till 1981 in different sub versions.
The dial of the reference 3035 that I have here has a nice dark blue tone and a “sonnenschliff” finish. The two sub dials look familiar and have the same functionality as the ones on the Portugieser Automatic 7-Days ref. 5007. The main difference on first sight between the classic 5007 and this 5035 are the three apertures on the upper half of the dial. Of course, the date aperture on the 5007 was located at 6 o’clock and that became obsolete with the three annual calendar apertures on the 5035. The IWC logo moved from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock instead. The beautiful applied Roman numerals stayed, as well as the very sleek leaf shaped hands. The art of finish and aesthetics is something IWC Replica masters, especially with the Portugieser collection there seems to be so much focus on these aspects.
As expected, the 5035 has a lot of wrist presence. The 44.2mm diameter case in shiny polished stainless steel is unmistakably IWC and immediately draws the attention of other watch fans. It is surely a talking piece among enthusiasts. The alligator leather strap is of topnotch quality and the folding clasp makes it easy to adjust it for the correct wrist size. Officially, I’d say the Portugieser is a dress watch, including the chronograph Replica Watches. However, since I left the banking industry a couple of years ago – and especially during summer – the days I am in business attire are very scarce. Shirt and jeans and during summer days, a polo and jeans. The IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar 5035 will do fine with that as well. For sports or more active events I won’t suggest to wear a piece like this, but mainly because of the leather strap. The watch is probably up to it, but it would hurt too much to see the beautifully finished case getting scratched.
The setting of the calendar is being done with the crown. In its first position, you can correct the calendar. However, you can also advance the date with the time setting in position 2 of course. Setting the correct date on the IWC Portugieser Replica Watch Annual Calendar is very easy, but always needs to be done with care. Once you advance a day too far, you can’t turn it back. You can only advance. It is not a Perpetual Calendar, so if a mistake is made in terms of multiple days or even months, you can just start over again. With a Perpetual Calendar, that is more problematic as it is programmed till a certain year.