Perfect Replica IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “150 Years”

Making a collection as wide and as crucial important as the IWC's jubilee collection must represent quite the challenge. It needs to be new and innovative, but also remain true to the brand's deepest roots. I think that the replica IWC have done a fine job. Not only does the diverse, 27-watch collection have a clear, unifying theme, thanks to the richly lacquered white and blue dials, but the selection of models is a good balance of their greatest hits and historically significant models. The Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition "150 Years" fits into both camps quite neatly. The significant reference has enjoyed ever-increasing popularity since it first made its way back into the IWC catalogue in the early '90s. And just quietly, I think this limited edition hand-wound Portugieser is one of the most attractive takes on the model ever released. Hands down. It's got everything you need, and nothing you don't. Given in either steel or red gold versions — both with white dials — the replica watch is effortlessly, unashamedly classic. The black printed sans-serif Arabic numerals, railroad-style minute track, seconds dial and IWC logo are crisply printed, and given some space on the large dial. The blued steel leaf-style hands add a flash of color, a dash of style and are an essential factor of the Portugieser DNA. Even the date — the traditional bugbear of the watch nerd — is well done: neatly integrated into the dial layout, legible with well-matching color and typeface. Side note, I actually prefer this logo type to the more sprawling, cursive logo type used on the heritage Portugiesers from a few years ago. It looks rather cleaner, feels less like a heritage reissue, which is great, because it isn't. However typically, I'd scoff at replica watches with this sort of classic chronometer style dial in a 43mm case, but the Portugieser gets a pass, as the original was just as large, thanks to its use of a big pocket fake watch movements. And speaking of movements, the calibre 59215 is the other star of this watch, the ever steady rhythm to the soaring melody that is the dial. With its whopping eight days of power, hidden power reserve indicator, traditional big bridge architecture and Breguet spring, this is the sort of movement that made IWC great. There's even a charming little gold medallion celebrating the 150th anniversary inset into the movement. Both models are provided on formal black alligator straps with pin buckles. And while I really love the richness and contrast offered in the red gold version, I absolutely wouldn't say no to the steel.