IWC - The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX Geneva Friday, November 10, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: IWC
    Year: 1981
    Reference No: 325
    Movement No: 2'286'258
    Case No: 1'455'157, this number is repeated inside the caseback
    Model Name: Portugieser the "Missing Link"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 982, 19 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 42mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    IWC’s reference 325, known internationally as the “Portugieser” draws its name from the country of origin of the two men who commissioned this piece. It was in the late 1930s that 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 original watches were delivered in 1939 but were not a commercial success. The market was not yet ready for a large 42mm watch with a pocket watch movement. Sales were so low that it was no longer even featured in the IWC catalogue starting 1945. In fact up until the 1970s less that 250 examples were documented in the IWC sales.
    In 1957, IWC received a new order from Portugal for the reference 325, confident that this was a rebirth for this reference, IWC ordered 100 cases but only 16 watches were assembled and delivered. Hope reared its head in 1973 when a Geneva based dealer Golay Fils & Stahl contacted IWC showing interest in large sized wristwatches. IWC once again made a new batch of the reference 325 using the cases stored away from the 1953 order but this time housing the pocket watch caliber 982, an improved version of the Calibre 98 used in the models originally launched in 1939 but with the integration of a shock absorption system and Glucydur balance. Once again the reference 325 was not met with the success it deserved and these watches ended up in the German market starting 1979 targeting a small but select group of IWC pocketwatch collectors. Ultimately only 57 of these reference 325 with caliber 982 were made.
    These models came with various types of dials and hands one distinguishing element being the Baroque Louis XV type hands as found in the present lot.
    The reference 325 is now today an extremely coveted and desirable piece, the present model from 1981 from the ultra-rare 57 examples made is called the “Missing Link” as it is a bridge between the original reference 325 from 1939 and the re edition of 1993 made for IWC’s 125th anniversary. In overall excellent condition with its large case, beautiful movement and enticing dial the present watch is a piece of contemporary horological history.

  • 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 rare and oversized stainless steel wristwatch with silver dial, Arabic numerals and Louis XV hands

42mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for CHF20,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX

Geneva Auctions 11 - 12 November 2017