In a continuation of its contribution to the “Laureus Sport for Good” charity, IWC has released a blue-dialled Portugieser. However, this piece is unprecedented in offering a brand new complication: the monopusher chronograph. Is the IWC Portugieser Monopusher Chronograph their best limited edition yet?
It’s rare that I announce the release of a new IWC which isn’t a spin-off of an existing model, whether in form or function. However, IWC has used its annual commitment to the charity ‘Laureus Sport for Good’ to produce something quietly marvellous: the IWC Portugieser Monopusher Chronograph ‘Laureus Sport for Good’.
After 14 years, IWC’s association with this charity has furthered it’s objective of helping disabled and disadvantaged children globally but has also delivered a series of blue variants of existing watches. This new IWC Portugieser Monopusher Chronographs sets an interesting precedent. It adopts the highly classical but unwaveringly oversized proportions of the higher-end Portugieser range with a 46mm diameter.
When taken in context, the thickness of 14mm seems acceptable and lends to this watch’s flat demeanour. Another notable design choice is the relatively complex dial which displays two subdials, a power reserve indicator and the date. Whilst the dial is certainly not for the minimalists out there, it is extremely well balanced and its vast size avoids a cluttered appearance.
Detailing is also delightful and I would particularly pay attention to the quality of the hands, the railroad minute track and to the date wheel which matches the colour of the sunburst dial. Inevitably, this watch is no great departure from the design which has sustained the Portugieser line since inter-war chronometers, yet it is handsome and supremely dignified.
Most exciting for me is the movement which marks a return to the IWC range after issues when implemented in the Portofino family in 2015. This calibre 59360 is a complicated version of the cal. 59000 which has spawned the most complex, manually-wound IWC Portofino, Pilot and Portugieser models for some time. In a new form, this IWC pairs the aforementioned 8-day movement with a the revered complication of a monopusher chronograph.
The result is a unique column wheel controlled movement with a stunning appearance and specifications reminiscent of classic watchmaking in the 1920s and ’30s. In the case of this limited edition, the caseback is solid with a design, as is customary for the IWC ‘Laureus Sport for Good’ editions, in the spirit of the charity. This year, it features a depiction of friendship by Chinese 15-year old Yi Xin.
Whilst this piece remains strictly a special edition, I think that the financial choice to create it can make us fairly sure that it will be joined by a standard piece very soon. On this version we may even see an exhibition caseback to permit viewing of the remarkable movement. In any case, the unique nature and the standalone elegance of the IWC Portugieser Monopusher Chronograph “Laureus Sport for Good” makes it a winner in my books.
Availability: 500 pieces for CHF 17,000
- Dimensions: 46mm x 13.9mm
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Crystal: Domed Sapphire Crystal with both internal and external anti-reflective coating
- Display: Sunburst blue dial / Rhodium-plated applied markers and curved leaf hands / Railway-style second track / Subdials for the chronograph functions / Power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock / Date at 3 o’clock
- Water Resistance: 30m / 100ft / 3 ATM
- Movement: IWC Cal. 59360: Time, date, power reserve indicator, monopusher chronograph / Chronograph operated via the crown / 36 jewels / Manually wound / 4Hz, 28,800 vph, 8 ticks-per-second / 192-hour (8-day) power reserve