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IWC Portuguese 125th Anniversary Jubilee Ref. 5441 Luxury Watch Review

http://www.thewatchbox.com Despite its iconic style, the 1939-1980s IWC Portuguese never held a breadwinner role in the company's lineup. With fewer than 700 of the iconic but polarizing "big boy" built during this period, the Portuguese was more of a figurehead than a mainstay. In 1993, the Portuguese Ref. 5441 elevated the celebrated model to its current status as an IWC catalog anchor and sales engine. For the Schaffhausen watchmaker's 125th Anniversary Jubilee, 1,000 stainless steel Portuguese 5441 watches were issued with an exclusive Cal. 9282 movement. Derived from IWC pocket watches - just like the original 1939 Portuguese - the 5441's caliber features elaborate decoration and refinement. Gold chatons to center the pivot jewels, Geneva stripes, a swan's neck regulator, and beveled bridges create a spectacle through the large display case back. On the dial, rose gold feuille hands recall the original with warmth and elegance; rose gold Arabic numerals are true to the original. Delicate tapered lugs and a classical round 42mm case complete this homage to IWC's oversized pioneer. Today, the Portuguese is a staple of the IWC model line and among the company's key sales engines. While the volume of contemporary "Portugieser" is comparatively high, examples of the 5441, the comeback model, are scarce. Already a limited edition of 1,000, most examples have been removed from circulation by IWC collectors. This example of the IWC Portuguese 5441 is among the few we have seen, and it represents a rare opportunity to own one of the most wearable, desirable, and coveted IWC modern classics. Video and content by Tim Mosso.