IWC Portuguese 325 Tropical

original Portugieser from 1939 - 42mm - caliber 74

This spectacular vintage watch is the first IWC Portugieser from 1939 with a stunning tropical dial.

Portugal was a country of great navigators and explorers. The Schaffhausen watch manufacturer IWC decided to develop a large and precise wristwatch for this target group and named it "Portugieser" (Portuguese in German). The first examples of the reference 325 were produced in 1938 and sold in 1939. With its case diameter of 42mm, the Portugieser was considered a huge wristwatch at the time. Perhaps that was the reason why the great success of the Portugieser failed to materialize at that time and only a few examples were sold. Until the 1990s, the diameter of a men's wristwatch was often 35 mm. The reference 325 only received its due attention from collectors worldwide after many years. In 1993, to celebrate its 125th anniversary, IWC decided to produce a limited edition wristwatch called the Jubilee Portugieser, which was a tribute to the original reference 325. This special edition quickly sold out and revived interest in the original Reference 325.

The big feature of the IWC Portugieser 325 here is its unique tropical dial. The reference 325 was available with several dial variants. Some were silver, others were black, some had Arabic hour numerals, others had Roman hour numerals. The dial we have here was originally silver colored. This is suggested by the black printing on the dial, as black dials had gilt or silver printing. Over the years, the dial on this watch developed a unique brown patina. A picture is worth a thousand words. The dial with all its scars tells us a long, unique life story. On the wrist, the ultimate vintage look combined with large diameter will leave no one unimpressed.

The first Portugieser used the beautiful pocket watch caliber 74, which today enjoys a legendary status. The super-flat manual-wound caliber has a height of 4mm and offers a small running seconds complication.

Condition report
Dial: even Tropical patina created by natural aging (see pictures).

Case: great condition with only a few wear marks - case number inside the back - original crown.

Movement: manual wind IWC caliber 74 - timegrapher: rate: +60s/day, amplitude: 316, beat error: 1.8.

The Portugieser ref. 325 holds a very special place in IWC's history. Its classic design and legendary movement represent the tradition of the Schaffhausen manufacture. The watch undoubtedly arouses the interest of vintage collectors with its rarity. Between 1938 and 1951, about 300 examples of the Portugieser 325 with the caliber 74 were produced. Much less are preserved in good condition to this day. And here we have a specimen with a unique Tropical dial: an irretrievable icon!

Case number: 1070xxx
Movement number: 918xxx

Int.Exe.: 9657825

Manufacturer: IWC

Model: Portuguese

Reference: 325

Functions: small running second - hour and minute

Material: Stainless steel

Dial: Tropical

Watch glass: acrylic crystal

Bracelet: leather

Type of clasp: pin buckle

Diameter: 42mm

Caliber name: IWC 74

Movement type: manual wound

Year of Manufacture: 1939

Overall condition: 9 - has rarely been worn - top condition


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