IWC - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: IWC
    Year: Circa 1946
    Reference No: 325
    Movement No: 955'178
    Case No: 1'117'240
    Model Name: Portugieser
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 98, 16 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 42mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by IWC Zertifikat confirming production of the present watch and its subsequent sale on April 24, 1946. Furthermore accompanied by IWC Stammbuchauszug booklet stating the same information with the addition of the sale location: Kuchar, Bratislava

  • Catalogue Essay

    While the origins of the IWC Portugieser ref. 325 have been long debated by scholars (with a proposed introduction date ranging anywhere within the 1930s), the topic has recently been resolved. At the beginning of 1932, two Portuguese watch importers by the name of Mr. Rodrigues and Mr. Teixeira commissioned IWC with a special request: an oversized wristwatch with a highly accurate movement. Luckily, IWC had already developed and implemented in their pocket watches their cal. 74, a manually wound savonette movement with subsidiary seconds and a 54-hour power reserve. Whilst it was pretty common back then to have a large diameter pocket watch, a 42mm wristwatch was well beyond the norm for the time (when 37mm was considered oversize).

    The very first IWC references 325 were shipped to Lisbon in 1932 to Mr. Rodrigues, later of the firm Rodrigues & Gonçalves, Ltd. According to IWC, only 304 examples reference 325 were produced with the caliber 74, with a total of 690 examples in total produced until 1981. Over these 49 years, only 141 actual Portugieser watches were imported to Portugal. Though prized by collectors today because of their rarity, size, and history, IWC's reference 325 did not enjoy acclaim during its actual production most likely due to its intimidating size - resulting in the aforementioned scarcity.

    Historically very important, the present timepiece was sold in April 1946 in Bratislava - thus one of the very first post-war examples made.

    Its appeal is boosted by its absolutely unrestored condition and incredibly well-preserved case. Possibly unpolished, it sports full lugs, sharp edges and absolutely unmolested proportions.

    The dial as well exudes charme thanks not only to the fully original luminous material now aged to an intriguing mustard/chestnut hue, but also thanks to the strong ivory patina which enormously boosts the vintage appeal of this superb timepiece.

  • 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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Lot offered with No Reserve

Ref. 325
An early, oversize and very scarce stainless steel wristwatch with luminous numerals and hands

Circa 1946
42mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF12,065

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Europe, and Middle East

+41 79 637 17 24

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 79 460 55 88


The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023