Among modern IWC watches, the Portuguese 7-Day Automatic is hands down one of the best. The reason for this is many-fold: it follows the historical path set by the very first Portuguese watch IWC created back in the 1930’s (a large, super-legible, highly accurate wristwatch that would challenge pocket watch performance), it’s incredibly handsome, it has great wrist presence, and for timepiece aficionados – possesses one of the most interesting self-winding mechanical movements in current production. Now that’s a strong resume!
While not a dress watch in the strict sense, being quite a thick piece, the IWC Portuguese Automatic watch can serve very well in this capacity, particularly for a man with robust wrists. The dial certainly fits the bill, being incredibly elegant and timeless; take a look at the first IWC Portuguese, and you can see that this model has inherited all the good “DNA” of its ancestor. Those slender leaf-shaped hands and the gleaming Arabic minute track are alone worth the price of admission. Because the dial is so large, the addition of the subsidiary seconds and power reserve indicators don’t create a sense of clutter – on the contrary, they look superb and add just the right amount of technical interest to a face which might otherwise be almost too classical for some. This aspect keeps the versatility factor high, and lets the Portuguese Automatic work equally well with finer attire, or casual wear like jeans and a sport shirt.
The backside of the IWC Portuguese Automatic is some very tasty frosting on the cake. If you’ve grown tired of small movements in large cases, this timepiece will make you smile. The in-house IWC 51011 caliber is the LARGEST diameter self-winding movement in current production, and fills the case right to the edges. To accommodate this Grand Canyon of watch movements, the sapphire crystal viewing window occupies virtually the entire surface of the back.
That’s a very good thing too, because this movement is so neat to examine in detail. Unlike watch movements where most of the mechanism is hidden underneath the bridges, this one allows you to see the interaction of various components, most notably the famous IWC “Pellaton” auto-winding system with its cam and click pieces. The IWC Pellaton movement is as enjoyable to hear as it is to behold: placing the IWC Portuguese Automatic watch close to your ear lets you enjoy the exacting sounds of finely-tuned machinery in concert with the precise ticking of a screw-adjustable balance wheel.