The Schaffhausen watch manufacturer IWC is celebrating one of its oldest-established watch families, the Portuguese series, which was launched in 1939, specifically designed for use in the sports maritime world. From the start, these were generously-sized watches, easy to read, with superbly reliable mechanisms. At SIHH 2010, several new products in the Portuguese range were presented, such as the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph, with robust movement featuring a flyback function, water resistance to 6 bars, and luminous hands and indices; the Portuguese Hand-Wound, which appeals to all who appreciate the original, understated forms of the Portuguese; the magnificent IWC Grande Complication watch in its red gold case, with the lovely sound produced by its minute repeating mechanism.
The Portuguese Grande Complication is made in a limited edition of just fifty watches per year. However it is the Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde that remains one of the alluring watches of all, with its rotating carriage escapement and seven-day power reserve. It now includes a remarkable date display. Like the other models in the Portuguese range, it is of a good size, and it features the tourbillon escapement, visible at the 12 o'clock position against a deep black background. The enigmatic and mysterious character of the watch is in part due to the illusion that the delicate cage containing the tourbillon balance apparently rotates in a void. The flyback date indicator only adds to the aura exuded by this remarkable time-piece.
On reaching the end of any months with 31 days – January, March, May, July, August, October, December – the date indicator springs back automatically to “1”. In shorter months, or also if the watch has not been worn for some time, the date indicator can be advanced by the rapid adjustment function, and it flies back to the first day of the month.
The date display is located where the seconds dial was positioned previously. In this model, the seconds are displayed in an attractive manner by the minute tourbillon. The tourbillon mechanism alone comprises 81 parts, at a weight of just 0.433 grams. On the right-hand side of the face, there is an indicator for the seven-day power reserve.
The watch is made in a 500-piece limited edition in 18-carat red gold, with solid gold appliqués and a silver plated dial. In addition, there is a 250-piece limited edition of the Mystère Rétrograde in platinum, with a ruthenium-black dial and rhodium-plated hands and indices.
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