In 1868, F.A Jones left Boston to seek in fortune in Switzerland, and Schaffhausen has never been the same. The IWC Portuguese F.A. Jones is a 43mm Rose Gold tribute to the founder of eastern Switzerland’s most renowned manufacture.
As the warmest and most romantic of the 2005 IWC Portuguese F.A. Jones trio (3,000 steel, 1,000 rose gold, 500 platinum), this watch is a rare showcase of IWC‘s finest watchmaking traditions. Its “Portugieser” case and F.A. Jones-inspired pocket watch movement capitalize upon two of the company’s core strengths.
The IWC Portuguese is the undisputed icon of its brand. Like the Submariner to Rolex or the Royal Oak to Audemars Piguet, the Portuguese is the sole essential IWC to own if a collector can possess only one exemplar from the parent firm’s catalog.
Since its 1939 inception as a special order from IWC’s Lisbon distributor, the pocket watch-powered Portuguese (“Portugieser” in German-speaking Schauffhausen) has been as closely identified with IWC as Mickey Mouse is to Disney.
This IWC Portuguese F.A. Jones combines the visual impact of the grand Portuguese case and dial with the exquisite wrist feel of 18-karat rose gold. Collectors who have not experienced the subtle pleasure and sublime sensation of wearing a precious metal watch will find no better first experience than this Portuguese F.A. Jones. The contrast between brushed flanks and polished bezel alone is worth the price of admission.
As the first oversized wristwatch designed from inception as a wristwatch (i.e., not a converted pocket watch), the IWC Portuguese was decades ahead of its time. While the sheer scale of the model meant that it spend over half a century as a low volume special, the same generous proportions make the Portuguese an ideal showcase for IWC’s other grand tradition: pocket watch movements.
F.A. Jones brought more than a dream to Schaffhausen in 1868; he brought innovative ideas for a new generation of mechanical movements. Jones’ experience in U.S.-style precision mass production combined with Schaffhausen’s craft traditions to produce a series of pioneering IWC pocket watch movements known as the “Jones Calibers.”
Each IWC Portuguese F.A. Jones features a special IWC pocket watch caliber “98” specially modified to incorporate signature elements from the original Jones calibers of the 1860s and 1870s. Having been introduced in 1936 and powered generations of the original Portuguese, the caliber 98 is a classic in its own right.
But the addition of a sprawling “Jones Arrow” regulator index, elaborate engraving, a three-quarter plate to enclose the barrel and train gears, and a series of train jewels set in chatons transform the basic caliber 98 into the limited-edition caliber 98290. Exclusively featured in the IWC Portuguese F.A. Jones, the caliber 98290 is a window into the heritage of the great manufacture.
See this rare and historically significant IWC Portuguese F.A. Jones 5442-01 in high-resolution images at WatchBox.