The best news here is the model chosen to display these mad new features on. After a few years where the brand’s focus has been on models like its Pilot’s Top Gun and Ingenieur, it’s apt to see the Portugieser in the limelight this year with 17 new pieces in a range of new colors including Dune (beige), Horizon Blue (sky blue), Obsidian (black) and Silver Moon (gray). First made in 1939, the Portugieser is by far the most iconic and classic, but also accessible, model in IWC’s locker. It’s also very popular with the likes of Chris Evans, Kieran Culkin, and James Marsden.

“When balancing out continuity as a brand with innovation and invention, the Portugieser is a beautiful way to bring things back to who we are at the core,” says Grainger-Herr. “It makes something very complicated [like the Eternal Calendar] feel quite simple. There’s a complete lineage that is absolutely stable in terms of its core design expression—it sits right in the middle between very classical and very sporty watches. It has a modernity and a legibility to it but also there’s the refinements and the full range of functions.”

Among the other Portugieser models to launch at Watches and Wonders, there’s four new perpetual calendars in 44mm. Two with gold cases come in either an Obsidian or Silver Moon dial while two white gold pieces come in Dune and Horizon Blue, and there’s also a unique Day and Night hand-wound tourbillon on a black dial. At the other end of the pricing spectrum, there are four slimmer stainless steel Portugieser Automatic 42mm pieces, two gold versions in both 42mm and 40mm and three new Portugieser Chronograph.

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Some of the new collection in Obsidian

“When you think about a Portugieser chronograph or a Portugieser Automatic 40, they are often the first and only watch purchases [someone makes] and you’re basically getting all of the IWC DNA,” says Grainger-Herr. “On the other hand, you have people who clearly are not buying their first watch, who are looking for really a complicated showpiece like a Tourbillon Day and Night or a Perpetual Calendar with additional storytelling and emotional value.” With prices ranging from CHF 8,000 to CHF 150,000, it’s symptomatic of the Portugieser’s wide appeal. And thanks to the mind-boggling Eternal Calendar, that remit has become broader still.

This story originally appeared on British GQ with the title ‘The new IWC Portugieser could change the perpetual calendar game forever’

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