Seemingly nothing about the watch has been altered in the past 20 years, what is it that makes the IWC Portugieser Chronograph so popular to this day?
It is true that most change as time goes, some get updates, some grow out of fashion. IWC Portugieser Ref. 3714 has been around for more than 20 years now, however, it still stands as one of the most successful and most popular watch designs ever seen. Launched in the 1990s, preceded from the Portugieser rattrapante, the timeless design stayed almost completely unmodified except for some minor tweaks. Needless to say, their sales numbers are soaring, sold like crazy when it first launched, still selling like crazy now.
Model: IWC Portugiesier Chronograph 3714
References: 371445 – silver-plated dial with golden indices and hands – black strap
371446 – silver-plated dial with blue indices and hands – blue strap
Diameter: 40.9 mm
Calibre: Calibre IWC 79350, modified Valjoux 7750
Power Reserve: 44 hours
Price: USD 7,300
The Gentleman’s Take
You really have to lean into the minimalistic side of the spectrum in order to appreciate this watch. IWC has successfully keep the optimal legibility from the original Portugieser while keeping the design simple and discreet. A really thin bezel with hands sharp like needle-leaves, other than the sub-registers, it is easy to spot that the dial design of the 3714 is paying massive tribute to the early Portugieser model.
However, when you take a step back, there really isn’t anything exceptional about this watch. It does not contain a crazily intricate movement that wows you, nor does it have a really outstanding shape or design to it. So why do people love it so much?
The answer is, it doesn’t take much to make you fall in love, that’s the power of the Portugieser. There really isn’t much to say about this watch specifically but when you look at the watch as a whole, there is this unexplainable attraction force that grasps your attention.
The watch comes with a choice of blue or gold coloured hands. Either way, the overall design is refined and sophisticated which does not scream for attention.
In the 371445 (gold indices and hands), the plain white dial with a splash of gold, the dark blue chronograph hand that goes with the IWC logo quietly sitting on the right. The numbers rise up from the dial, giving a pleasant 3D look to it. Everything looks clean and irreplaceably elegant. Nothing could possibly recreate the feeling it gives when it is wrapped around your wrist, something so personal. This watch reminds me of a quote from Edoardo Ponti saying “Elegance is very dangerous. It’s like TNT. A little goes a long way.”
Without a doubt, the IWC Potugieser still stands tall among its competitors.
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