SIHH 2010: IWC Portuguese Hand-Wound (Ref. IW5454) Swiss

Dressy and extremely elegant, the new IWC Portuguese hand-wound wristwatch (ref. IW5454) was recently presented at SIHH 2010 industry event only to reiterate the Swiss brand’s commitment to making luxury timekeeper that are not just expensive, but also extremely refined and deliberately classic. While its relatively large body may scare away people with smaller wrists, the gadget whose roots descend to a bespoke model based on a pocket watch just have to be larger than a Patek Philippe Calatrava or some other traditional timepiece of this sort!

IWC has once again extended its line of its iconic Portuguese watches powered by manual-wind movements.

Featuring the well-known Calibre 98295 engine inside its slim (only 10 millimeters thick!) stainless steel case, the IWC Portuguese Hand-Wound Ref. IW5454 features the characteristic seconds display sub-dial at 6 o’clock with a distinct “60” printed in bright red. Hard to say, but it seems to be a brief respectful nod to a classic IWC model from 1950s that, too, featured display with a small seconds sub-dial, and was powered by a very Spartan hand-wound movement hidden behind a perlaged hunter case back cover.

Traditionally for the collection (the first IWC Portuguese model was built around a large pocket watch caliber,) the Portugueser will be available in an oversized, but slender-looking body with nicely curved, elongated lugs and a rather small winding crown.

IWC Portuguese Hand-Wound watch (Ref. IW5454)

According to the officially disseminated specs, the case of the watch will be whole 44 millimeters in diameter, but only ten millimeters thick, which makes it especially comfortable to wear even with a tight-cuffed shirt. Of course, this is not one of those ultra-thin models, but its proportions make it look very slim indeed.

However, you should bear in mind that the watch (again, traditionally) possess rather long lugs, so, if you, in your own turn, possess rather thin (or just narrow) wrist, this model may look a little funny on you. Yes, I have seen a number of skinny guys wearing similarly sized Portuguesers and they did look somewhat awkward with cases of their expensive timepieces almost overhanging their wrists.

The watch will be available in two color combinations. One (pictured) will feature a silver-plated dial combined with contrasting light gray seconds display and the other one will have its main dial in black and seconds sub-dial silver-plated.

Both versions will sport easily readable Arabic numerals (rhodiumed for the version with black dial or gold-plated for the one with silver face) and a pair of easily recognizable feuille-type hour and minute hands. As usual for the brand, all elements of the case are extremely well-proportioned in relation to each other making the timepiece looking very organic. You literally have nothing to rant about when looking at this beauty.

Thanks to the signature black railway-style minute track, the watch makes it really easy to read time and sure hope that a version with an anthracite dial and white minute track (I hope, there will be one soon) is going to be even more legible.

Of course, some people may complain about the lack of lume on the hands and hour markers, but for such a dressy timekeeper it is not a bug, it’s a feature, you know.

See also: 2010MY IWC Portuguese Automatic Chronograph in Rose Gold (Ref. IW371482)

Photos: IWC

IWC Portuguese Hand-Wound Ref. IW5454 watch specification

Price range: $8900
Movement: Caliber 98295, hand-wound, 18 jewels, 18,800 vph
Complications: Small seconds display
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Transparent case back: Yes, sapphire glass
Case size: 44 mm
Case height: 10.0 mm
Dial: Black and silver or Silver and gray (pictured)
Hands: Gold
Strap: Black alligator leather strap, pin buckle in stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire

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