Innovation takes time in the watchmaking world but when it does arrive, it’s often subtle in its greatest achievements. IWC Schaffhausen’s latest flagship releases have benefitted from this with the introduction of the watchmaker’s proprietary Armor Gold casing on the Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph and the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon.

Schaffhausen material science

The material was developed by IWC to be significantly harder than conventional 5N red gold while increasing its wear resistance by about five to 10 times. This allows IWC’s high-end pieces to be shown off more often – should that be an owner’s wishes – without having to worry as much about fragility or natural-wear degradation.

The 18k Armor Gold is comprised of 75 per cent pure gold with the remaining 25 per cent being made of an alloy, which helps to achieve the right rose gold hue. IWC debuted the special gold for the first time last year on their Big Pilot’s Watch Constant Force Tourbillon Edition Le Petit Prince. It joins the growing list of proprietary case materials created by IWC including Ceratanium alongside conventional brass, titanium, ceramic and platinum.

IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph

Watches and Wonders forged ahead online this year with plenty of notable releases. The Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph comes with the option of either an elegant platinum case with a silver-plated dial or the aforementioned Armor Gold case paired to a blue dial. Both variants are striking pieces to look at in their own right, thanks to a sizable 43.5mm case. The only difference between the two is the dial and hand colours.

Functions on the Rétrograde Chronograph include hours, minutes, seconds, retrograde date and an additional co-axial display of the hours and minutes. The tourbillon movement, which comes with a stop-seconds function, also takes centrestage at the 6 o’clock marker.

Flipping the watch around reveals a viewable case back, which shows off the IWC 89900 movement that affords a power reserve of 68 hours. The watch is paired to a blue alligator leather strap crafted by Santoni.

Specifications

Case: 43.5mm
Material: Platinum or 18k 5N Armor Gold
Movement: IWC 89900 calibre
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, tourbillon, retrograde date, chronograph with co-axial hours and minutes
Dial: Silver plated or blue
Power reserve: 68 hours
Strap: Blue alligator leather strap by Santoni
Water resistance: 30 metres

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon

Complexity thrives in simplicity in the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon. The special movement, which has graced every IWC perpetual calendar to date first appeared on a timepiece in 1985. At the time, it was revolutionary thanks to an integrated perpetual calendar that had all of its indications mechanically linked. The individual day, date, month and year displays could all be adjusted with a single rotation of the crown.

The latest iteration of that timepiece is now here in the form of a seven-day watch complete with a stunning tourbillon movement and two case options. On the function front, it features a perpetual calendar, moon phase, four-digit year display, hours, minutes, seconds and a power reserve indicator. All of this is presented on either a blue dial with the Armor Gold case or silver-plated dial with the platinum case. The moon phase is also accurate to within one day’s error in 577.5 years.

The Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon comes with a viewable case back and blue alligator leather strap from Santoni.

Specifications

Case: 45mm
Material: Platinum or 18k 5N Armor Gold
Movement: IWC 51950 calibre
Functions: Perpetual calendar, moon phase, four-digit year display, hours, minutes, seconds and power reserve indicator
Dial: Silver plated or blue
Power reserve: 7 days
Strap: Blue alligator leather strap by Santoni
Water resistance: 30 metres

For availability visit IWC Schaffhausen