IWC - The Geneva Watch Auction: XI Geneva Sunday, June 28, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: IWC
    Year: 1943
    Reference No: 325
    Movement No: 931'893
    Case No: 1'087'185
    Model Name: Portugieser
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal 74, 16 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel IWC pin buckle
    Dimensions: 42mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by IWC Certificat stating that the watch has been examined by IWC and confirming delivery of the piece on June 24, 1943

  • Catalogue Essay

    The origins of the IWC Portugieser are somewhat shrouded in myth, but it is widely agreed by scholars that in 1939, Portuguese watch importers – a Mr. Rodrigues and a Mr. Teixeira – made a special request of IWC to create an oversized wristwatch with a highly accurate movement. IWC took up the challenge, utilizing first their pocket watch caliber 74, a manually wound savonette movement with subsidiary seconds and a 54-hour power reserve. The wristwatches of the era were typically quite small, with a 36mm diameter being considered oversized, so a 42mm diameter wristwatch was positively gigantic.

    The first reference 325s, now dubbed the "Portugieser", were shipped to Lisbon in 1942 - three year after the original request - to Mr. Rodrigues, later of the firm Rodrigues & Gonçalves, Ltd.

    According to IWC, only 304 examples of the reference 325 were produced with the caliber 74, with 690 examples in total produced between 1939 and 1981. The production date of 1943 places the present example among the earliest specimens to come out of the factory, having been delivered the year after IWC began consigning the timepieces.

    The IWC Portugieser has been the bastion of the IWC line-up since its introduction. The style has been reinterpreted, the movement improved upon, and complications added and subtracted, but the overall physical profile – a slim and oversized men’s wristwatch with short, broad lugs – has remained the same. It is integral to the DNA of the IWC brand and retains a timeless aesthetic.

    The rarity of the present lot should be enough to capture the heart of any collector, but these elements are further enhanced by this Portugieser’s remarkable case condition and beautifully aged dial with luminous Arabic indexes which grants this timepiece an enormous vintage vibe.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1868

    With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world's leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining high precision with masculine design. Vintage wristwatches such as the oversized Portugieser, Aquatimer, Ingenieur and the B-UHR pilots watch are especially desirable for collectors.

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Ref. 325
A fine, rare and very large stainless steel wristwatch with black dial

42mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for CHF30,000

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XI

Geneva Auction 27 - 28 June 2020