Continuing to resolutely raise its success graph especially with its recently introduced pilot's watches, IWC is under the spotlight with the Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph from the Portugieser model family, which is among the classic product groups of the brand.
IWC is known, especially among younger watch enthusiasts, for its wide variety of pilot watches, classically themed simple lines, and Tool Watch models. When we look at the brand's recent product groups, it is possible to understand the reasons for this situation. However, IWC has a long history with traditional complications. When we look at its past, one of the first examples we come across is the Il Destriero Scafusia model of the brand. The model, also known as the first real grand complication, brought to life by IWC's talented engineers, was the brand's first Tourbillon escapement watch, as well as a perpetual calendar with a four-digit year display, a chronograph with Split-Seconds, and minute repeater complications. This Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph, which is the guest of our review column today, follows the footsteps of Il Destriero Scafusia.
The IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Boutique Edition comes in a 43.5mm diameter and 16mm thick case. The case, which consists entirely of glossy surfaces, is produced from an 18K 5N rose gold alloy, which the brand calls Armor Gold. The case, which has sapphire crystals on the front and back, sports rectangular pushers and an IWC signed winding crown. The case is waterproof up to 30 meters, but I don't expect anyone to be immersed in water while wearing a classic dress-Tourbillon with a leather strap and a rose gold case.
The model is hosts a sunray patterned dial. The cobalt blue tone dial features matching pink gold accents. The dial sports a Tourbillon escapement at 6 o’clock, a Retrograde style day indicator at 9 o'clock, and a chronograph with a co-axial display of the hours and minutes at 12 o'clock. Frankly, it is difficult for someone who does not know the technical details of the watch to guess the layout at first glance. Simply put, you can easily think of the Retrograde day indicator as a power reserve indicator. You can even use this indicator to see how much of the month is left behind. It is possible to say that this dial arrangement, which we have encountered in the DaVinci model family before, is unusual.
The IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph draws its power from the Caliber IWC 89900 movement, designed and produced by the brand in-house. Stunningly beautiful with its perforated rotor made of solid 18K rose gold, the automatic movement also offers an efficient power reserve time of 68 hours when fully wound.
The model is accompanied by a navy blue strap with a diamond pattern and an 18K 5N Armor Gold pink gold folding clasp. The IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph model family consists of two versions. The Boutique Edition, which is the subject of our review, carries a price tag of CHF 105,000, while the platinum case/white dial (Ref. IW394006) version is available with a list price of CHF 123,000. Both models are limited to 50 pieces only.