In 2015, IWC Schaffhausen celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Portugieser (Portuguese) watch lineage, the history of which reflects the development of the Schaffhausen-based watchmaking manufacture into a world renowned haute horologerie brand.
“Portugieser”, the name under which the watch would become famous, was chosen in 1993 when IWC celebrates its 125th anniversary. The original wristwatch was without a name and was simply known as Ref. 325 with the 74 calibre. In the late 1930s, two Portuguese businessmen placed an order for wristwatches with the precision of marine chronometers with the International Watch Co. In order to meet this request, the IWC’s watchmakers used a 74-caliber hunter pocket watch movement and created a special case for the wristwatch. The result was an unusually large wristwatch (41.5mm in diameter) which provided new standards of precision while creating a new aesthetics of oversize wristwatches which was not only well ahead of its time but portends the trend of oversized watches so popular today. Since then, IWC has created many variations to the “Portugieser” theme by adding new and striking complications.
This present IWC Portuguese F.A. Jones limited edition watch was made in 2005 in honour of the founder, Florentine Ariosto Jones (1841-1916), an American watchmaker from Boston, Massachusetts, who founded the International Watch Company in Schaffhausen in 1868.
For this classic tribute, IWC dedicated a movement to its founder, the 98290 calibre, also known as the F.A. Jones calibre. The movement features a nickel-silver three-quarter bridge decorated with the Geneva stripes and an elongated index to facilitate precision adjustment. Thus, history was reinvented in 2005 and an iconic variation takes its place in the Portuguese watch family which combines aesthetic appeal with technical virtuosity.