If you’ve been following IWC for the last few years, you know that they’ve taken a somewhat different tack in introducing new watches at the annual SIHH exhibition in Geneva – rather than exert themselves to create new watches across several collections, as is the norm, the firm’s been concentrating on a single collection per year. This year was the Year of the Portugieser, and there were quite a few new watches introduced as this was also the year that UK Replica Watches IWC For Sale Online chose to begin launching a series of new in-house movements.
However, there was one reference that remained unchanged: the Portugieser Chronograph Reference 3714. The watch first saw the light of day in the 1990s, following on from the design of the Portuguese rattrapante chronograph that preceded it. Remarkably, it’s persisted for nearly 20 years, quite literally completely unchanged except for some occasional updates to the available colors for the dials and hands, as one of the most successful watches of the post-quartz era. They sold like hotcakes when they came out, they’re selling like hotcakes right now, and for all we know they’re going to keep selling like hotcakes long after every movie star brand ambassador currently alive is a fading memory in Hollywood Babylon, The Year 3000 Edition.
How to account for its success? It’s not a watch that immediately screams for attention – in fact, it’s diffident almost to a fault. The bezel is slim to the point of obscurity; the hands are narrow and needle-sharp; the chronograph buttons are… well, chronograph buttons; and the crown is, in terms of size, exactly in the Goldilocks zone of not too small, nor unnecessarily large. It is a hair over 40 mm in diameter, and therefore not eye-catchingly big nor sternly small. There is no fussing about with a tachymetric scale, or indeed any other kind of scale and the watch is round. Plain old round. You look at this watch, and you say to yourself, “That, my friend, is a round watch.” There is no one thing you can point to on this watch that makes you say, hey, that’s a Portugieser Chronograph from good ol’ Best Replica Watches IWC UK , and there is certainly nothing about it that makes you say, “Wow, Engineered For Men!” (as a matter of fact I’ve seen a fair few quote female clients unquote, who enjoy wearing one).
So why the hell is it such a good looking watch? Why is it so likeable and so eminently wearable? And likeable it is, famously so – I mean, telling watch enthusiasts that they should like the Cheap Fake IWC Portugieser Chronograph Reference 3714 is like telling a bunch of GIs watching a USO show in 1968 that they ought to like the Playmate of the Month. How does it manage the trick of being both widely visible, but at the same time, seeming so personal once you have it on your wrist?
What’s really going on here, of course, is a classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. No one part of the watch stands out because they’re all team players, and there’s no “I” in team. There are not a huge number of elements to the design, but each one is done with a kind of unobtrusive excellence and attention to detail that is actually pretty rare in watchmaking at any price point these days.
The hands, for instance, are absolutely gorgeous, swelling and tapering along their lengths with a Brancusi-esque visual clarity (the elegantly slim, beautifully curved center chronograph seconds hand alone is worth the price of admission. Inappropriately cheap-looking hands are the bane of modern horology, and this watch has hands so nice they should make a few other, much more expensive watches I can think of die from shame.) The numerals rise up from the dial like the colonnades of some later-day horological Acropolis; the sub-dials rest in perfect opposition like the balances of the scales of Justice herself, and the really nice bit is, all these players do their thing without making a fuss about it.
I’m reminded of something someone once said about Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac – that it is “not a great play, merely a perfect one.” The Cheap Fake Watches IWC Portugieser For Sale is the Cyrano de Bergerac of timepieces – and I mean that as a compliment.