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WATCH REVIEW IWC Portuguese Hand-Wound

Editor's opinion
72 / 100
The brand from Schaffhausen offers us, through this new declination of its mascot model, the Portuguese, a watch of great classicism. I have tested it for you. Review.
Straight to the Point

IWC Portuguese Remontage Manuel

Ref.: IW545404
$6,500.00 US retail price October 3rd, 2010
  • a timeless design and an incredible charm
  • a comfort that is unusual for watches of this size
  • a movement proportionate to the case’s diameter
  • a case that is a little too big (2 or 3 mm less, it would be perfect)
  • a watch that makes woman jealous
Brand IWC
Model name
Portuguese Hand-Wound
Case material
Case diameter (without crown)
44 mm
Case diameter (crown included)
48 mm
Base Caliber
Dual-face crystal with anti-reflective coating
Power reserve
Transparent back
Lug width
22,01 mm
Length from lug to lug
51,75 mm
Case thickness
10,07 mm
Strap material
Clasp type
Pin buckle
Clasp material
Total weight
75 grammes
Retail price USA at October 3rd, 2010
Comfort (/15) 14
Movement (/20) 11
Movement Optimisation / Garnishment (/5) 4
Ease of handling and adjustment (/5) 5
Movement control proceeded by the Manufacture / horlogical awards (/3) 1
Power reserve (/2) 1
Complications (/5) 0
Finishing (/20) 17
Dial finishing (/6) 5
Case finishing (/6) 5
Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2) 2
Crystal quality (/4) 3
Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2) 2
Functionality (/20) 11
Diurnal legibility (/5) 5
Night legibility (/4) 0
Water resistance (/3) 0
Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4) 3
Clasp : quality and safety (/4) 3
Additional items (/10) 5
Limited edition (/3) 0
Watch delivered with several straps (/2) 0
Quality of the watch box (/1) 1
Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2) 2
Goodies included (/1) 1
Understandability of the brochure (/1) 1
Value for money (/15) 14
When to wear it ? For a romantic dinner!
Users opinion
like this watch
Do you like this watch?

IWC Portuguese Hand-Wound

Having this IWC Portuguese Hand-Wound around the wrist is being in a carnal contact with a beautiful item, of a great purity and elegance.
This new declination is bigger than its predecessors. But it is still very desirable.

Created in 1936 at the request of two Portuguese merchants, the Portuguese collections travelled through the time without having aged.

Under the name Portuguese, one can find an amazing number of variations, from the simple 3-hand watch (hour/minute/second) to the Minute Repetiting.

An XXL dial for a featherweight

IWC follows the trend of big diameter watches.
But contrary to lots of watches, this IWC remains relatively thin and can easily go under the sleeves of a shirt with its 10,07 mm thickness.

Even if one could prefer a 39 or 40 mm diameter, this 44 mm case will make the delight of the amateurs of huge diameters! They will be able at last to wear a smart watch without having the impression to wear a watch designed for the thin and delicate wrists of women.

You will paradoxically be impressed by the discretion of the watch as far as you will forget its presence quickly.

But you will understand better this mystery if you put it on a scales: 75 grams only…

A featherweight for a watch of that size!

A hypnotic dial

This watch is available in two versions: cream or black dial.
Its dial is hypnotic.

In spite of its simple appearance, it catches the attention. And you will admire the leaf-style hands, the simple markers and the small seconds at six o’clock.

The amateur of the brand or the purist may find that it is a pity that IWC did not write its name entirely in cursive script, such as on the vintage watches of the brand.

On this Portuguese, the movement is proportionate to the watch. What a pleasure!

A movement consistent with the watch

Watches collectors have too often seen XXL timepieces driven by 30 mm movements…

In such cases, the manufacture uses either a full back to hide the whole or a ring (aesthetically not really pleasant) in order to fill in the gap between the movement and the case…

On this Portuguese, the movement is proportionate to the watch.
What a pleasure!

The transparent back lets admiring the finishing (pearled, sunray, Côtes de Geneve).

The literature is discreet. And you even have to “sift through” the movement a little to discover that the watch is settled to 5 positions.

After 30 minutes spent to dissect the caliber, a magnifying glass in front of the eyes, you will be happy not to find any flaws.

The hyper pernickety amateur, who has just been left by his wife and who just learned its imminent dismissal from the girl at the reception desk, might regret the absence of bevels on the teeth of the wheels for instance….

But the finishing of this manufactured caliber Ref. 98295 is of great quality.

What to remember

Why do we love a woman rather than another? Why it is said of a woman that she is charming?
These questions are similar for watches.
We fall in love with them without understanding from where comes their irresistible charm.
It is what happened to me with this IWC Portuguese Hand-Wound…
With the numerous variations of the Portuguese, IWC has found a machine to produce some marvels!


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