A rare and oversized stainless steel wristwatch with black dial and Breguet numerals

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  • Manufacturer: IWC
    Year: 1943
    Reference No: 325
    Movement No: 931'903
    Case No: 1'087'195
    Model Name: Portugieser
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 74, 16 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel contemporary IWC pin buckle
    Dimensions: 42mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by product literature and IWC Certificate and Extract from the Archives confirming sale of this watch on July 16, 1943

  • Catalogue Essay

    IWC’s Portugieser reference 325 has become an iconic wristwatch amongst collectors both for its historical place within the firm’s production, and for its modern lines and oversized case. The name Portugieser is rooted in the city of Lisbon, Portugal, however it was collectors who later bestowed the name to the watch. It is believed Messrs. Rodrigues and Antonio Teixera, Lisbon wholesalers, approached IWC with a request for a large sized man’s wristwatch with the precision of a marine chronometer. The firm honored their wish, the first examples were sent to Ukraine and it was not until February 2nd, 1942 that the first models were delivered to Portugal. This three-year delay may be explained in part due to the political turmoil during that period.
    Unfortunately, the oversized case was not popular at the time and demand remained low for the timepiece, so it was never placed in IWC’s catalogue. Today, the unusual model has become a coveted gem amongst IWC vintage watches. The present lot is from the first series of Portugiesers, housed with a pocket watch caliber 74. According to the IWC archives, only 304 examples of the first series were produced between 1939 and 1952.
    The present lot remains well preserved in stunning condition. The white Breguet numerals and 24-hour outer scale adorning the glossy black dial provide an arresting and dramatic contrast. Our research shows that over the past decade, only eight examples of the reference 325 have appeared at auction, and in our opinion, the present timepiece is amongst the best preserved and most attractive examples offered. Last but not least, it is highly interesting to know that IWC presented an identical watch with black dial on the Portugieser presentation booklet. This IWC Portugieser will appeal to all collectors who seek a watch with inimitable style, a fascinating horological history, and superb condition.

  • Maker Bio

    IWC

    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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16

IWC

Ref. 325
A rare and oversized stainless steel wristwatch with black dial and Breguet numerals

1943
42mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF30,000 - 60,000 
€27,500-55,100
$30,900-61,800

sold for CHF62,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016