The new IWC Portuguese Grand Complication model (Ref. IW3774) is a huge jewel in the crown of the collection presented at SIHH 2010 industry event. Even if you don’t really care about the sheer complexity of the mechanism that animates this beautiful piece, its styling alone must make your heart skip a beat, if you have a heart at all!
Like the previous iterations of the model, the new IWC Portuguese Grand Complication is powered by the Calibre 79091 automatic movement.
Based on the well-known ETA 7750 ebauche and in production since 1991, the self-winding caliber is equipped with two more add-on modules that augment the original chronograph functionality with a whole lot of complications you can ever find in a watch, namely: minute repeater, perpetual calendar with a four digit year display, and a perpetual moon phase display. Yes, the fact that the brand didn’t decide the mechanism from scratch and limited its effort on creating an add-on module somehow devalues the achievement, but, still, this is one of the most beautiful (and complete) “grand complication” version of the workhorse that I have seen recently.
Okay, the tourbillon is missing, but that is probably for the better since there is not too much space left on the watch’s gorgeous silvered dial even considering the fact that the watch is now 2.8 mm larger. Too bad that this highly complicated engine is hidden behind a solid red gold case back. It is a real shame we can’t admire its inner workings. Well, the sextant, which is skillfully engraved on the cover, partly sweetens the pill.
Its round 45 mm case, which is made of red gold, has also got 0.2 mm thicker, but still looks less bulky than the outgoing Ref. IW927016 model that was only 42.2 mm in diameter and 16.3 mm in height.
Since both models are powered by the same movement, I can only presume that, by making the new watch larger, IWC tried to make it look more proportional, better looking on a wrist than the previous version of the beautiful timepiece. As you can see, they tried to compensate for the increase in diameter by making the lugs a tad shorter so, in most cases, you won’t see significant difference in terms of wearing comfort.
Due to an enormous amount of work needed to complete each movement and build the watch, IWC plans to limit the IW3774‘s production at only 50 units per year. Considering the watch’s price (I highly doubt that it will sell for less than €150,000,) it will still be able to generate a healthy cash flow for the Swiss watch making brand.
IWC Portuguese Grand Complication Ref IW377402 watch specification
Price range: TBD, around €150,000
Movement: Caliber 79091, automatic, 75 jewels, 28,800 vph
Complications: Chronograph, minute repeater, perpetual calendar, four digit year display, perpetual moonphase
Power reserve: 44 hours
Case material: Red gold
Bezel material: Red gold
Case shape: Round
Transparent case back: No, solid cover with engravement
Case size: 45.00 mm
Case height: 16.50 mm
Hands: Red gold
Strap: Dark brown alligator strap with a folding clasp
Water resistance: 30 meters