Portuguese on precision course to success


In the 15th and 16th centuries, the pioneers of Portuguese seafaring Vasco da Gama, Bartolomeu Dias and Fernando Magellan undertook their daring voyages of discovery to West Africa, India and finally across all the world’s oceans.

Above all, it was their outstanding sailing skills, their precise nautical charts and the use of instruments such as the astrolabe and Jacob’s staff to determine their latitude on the high seas that enabled them to conquer new horizons. The Portuguese watches from IWC are a distant echo from that glorious past. They combine the tradition of nautical instruments with contemporary design and forward-looking mechanics.


The Portuguese Automatic has become one of the most successful Portuguese models ever to leave Schaffhausen

At the end of the 1930s, two Portuguese businessmen active in the watch industry were searching for technical precision of the highest order and paid a visit to the factory in Schaffhausen. They ordered wristwatches with steel cases and the accuracy of a marine chronometer. At the time, the only way of meeting their request was with a pocket watch calibre, so IWC decided to take a hunter movement (which also has the crown on the right-hand side) and house it in a wristwatch case. The first Portuguese of 1939 established an IWC watch family whose precision, sheer size and complex mechanics have been a source of pleasure to watch enthusiasts the world over for more than 70 years.