The Flagship Piece

Even though the Portuguese Grande Complication by IWC might be considered boring to those who don’t know better, it is an unmistakable piece of perfection to ardent watch lovers. The new flagship model of the brand’s classic watch, crafted distinctly for the man’s man, comes with a highly regarded manufacture movement, and an added helping of durability that many competing watches can’t match.

The title of “Grande Complication” is more than hyperbole in the world of luxury watches. Timepieces employing this term are required to maintain a quantifiable amount of features or “complications.” IWC has created its newest Grande Complication watch with all the advances of modern technologies, while retaining the classic style. A simple layout defines the dial orientation design of the automatic caliber 79091 movement, made in house. Despite the neat arrangement of the information windows and subdials on the watch face, this IWC movement has nine hands on the dial and is constructed of almost 660 parts.

It is rare enough to have a grande complication watch that is self-winding, but having one that looks easy enough to pick up and use right away without any instruction or explanation is much harder to find. The caliber 79091 movement offers the true holy trinity of grande complications—a 12-hour chronograph, perpetual calendar (adjusted only once each four years), and a minute repeater. The watch even adds a moon phase indicator and year indicator that goes up to 2100—a date that with good care the timepiece will likely survive to see. You have to agree that even with 11 pieces of information displayed on the dial, reading the time still only requires a quick glance. The wearer can easily slide down the lever located on the left side of the case to operate the minute repeater. This will cause the internal hammer and gong to musically indicate the time via a basic audible code.

The silver watch dial features engraved lines reminiscent of the longitudinal and latitudinal lines on a globe. The curved lines further represent a tilted structure, meant to display the Earth’s actual orientation and axis. Not a petite watch, this IWC sits at a respectable 45 mm wide on your wrist in 18-karat red gold, and is not too thick at 16.5 mm. More red gold, located on the dial, is used for the hour markers and the hands. The ensemble looks handsome combined with a brown alligator strap.

It takes a mature and comfortable collector to appreciate a refined and complex watch such as the IWC Portuguese Grande Complication. Often the modern trend is to go with wild designs when spending lavishly. However, a design such as this based on the popular Portuguese line will prove the test of time much better, and more appropriate for daily wear.

$217,000 |