The 2010 Portuguese Grand Complication (Ref. IW3774) is a huge jewel in the crown of the collection presented by IWC at the SIHH 2010. Even if you don’t 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, the 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 an ultraluxury wristwatch, namely: a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar with a nothing less than a four-digit year display, and a perpetual moon-phase indicator. 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 gorgeous silvered dial even considering the fact that the case is now 2.8 mm larger in diameter. 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.
The 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 version a tad larger, IWC tried to make it look more proportional, better looking on a wrist than the previous version. 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 a 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 to only 50 units per year. Considering the price (I highly doubt that it will sell for less than €150,000,) it will still be able to generate healthy cash flow for the Swiss brand.
See also: Chopard L.U.C Lunar Big Date chronometer
IWC Portuguese Grand Complication (Ref. IW377402) specification
Movement: Caliber 79091, automatic, 75 jewels, 28,800 vph
Complications: Chronograph, minute repeater, perpetual calendar, four-digit year display, perpetual moon phase
Power reserve: 44 hours
Case: Red gold
Case shape: Round
Transparent case back: No, a solid cover with engravement
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