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Dress Watch - IWC Portuguese Chrono-Automatic

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thinking about picking up an IWC Portuguese Chronograph watch (black strap, black dial) to use as a watch for work.


I'm looking for something elegant and subtle (not a big fan of the plain dials so would prefer some chrono). Do you think this will do the trick? If anyone owns one of these, how are they? Do they last over time?


I currently wear an Omega Speedmaster (metal bracelet). Looking for something a bit dressier now. Any suggestions other than the IWC mentioned above? Looking to spend around 6K-8K but can be tempted to go above if the watch is VERY VERY nice. No Rolex though; don't know why but I have never liked them that much.

post #2 of 11

The IWC Portuguese Chronograph is a great watch. I found it to be a bit too tall. 


Have you considered the JLC Master line? Hodinkee just did a nice write up on the JLC Master Control (plain dial).


The JLC Master Ultra Think Moon may also fits what you need.

post #3 of 11
It's a beautiful watch but keep in mind it is large for a dress watch. 41mm dia and 12.5mm thick is quite bulky. For work it's probalby fine but if you want something thinner that will easily fit under a jacket or shirt sleeve you will have to probaby go with a non chrono.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback.


The JLC looks great too. Hmmmmmmmm.......I might need to go have a look at it and try one on to see how it feels.


In terms of the size of the IWC, agree that it is slightly large (diameter) for a dress watch but it's less than 2mm larger than what I wear now and it is slightly thinner too so shouldn't be a problem for me. Ideally, in a perfect world, it would be smaller and my decision would be all that easier.

post #5 of 11
Nobody said you only have to have 2 watches.
post #6 of 11
Originally Posted by derekli View Post

The IWC Portuguese Chronograph is a great watch. I found it to be a bit too tall. 


Have you considered the JLC Master line? Hodinkee just did a nice write up on the JLC Master Control (plain dial).


The JLC Master Ultra Think Moon may also fits what you need.

I have that JLC (the new Master Control), I love it. I also thought about the IWC Portuguese Chrono, but no in-house movement with that price tag put me off, also it's a bit large for a dress watch.

post #7 of 11
Love the black/black port chrono. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a leather strap watch in the 6-8k range with as much character and presence. If you increase your budget you can also look at the portuguese automatic, also great in black.
post #8 of 11

This will be a bit too tall for a subtle dress watch.  Also, dress watches are not supposed to have any complications. 


I have tried quite a few JLCs and I agree that Master Moon is what you probably want.  It is one of the best new offerings out there IMHO.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice.


Went back and had another look at the IWC and is quite big to be used as a more formal/dressier watch.


After looking in many shops and trying on numerous watches I finally decided on buying a Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196. Much more suitable for a dress watch than my current Omega and the sub-dial seconds gives it something additional as I did not want a very plain dial. However, it did cost a lot more than what I originally budgeted for but at that moment in time I didn't care. Just means I need to cut down on spending in other areas for now........beans on toast it is for dinner! Hopefully this watch will be worth it though and will last for many many years.

post #10 of 11

I own a Speedmaster day-date blue face watch with the metal bracelet.  Purchased it maybe 7 years ago.


Then, my wife hooked me up with a IWC Portuguese chronograph with the blue crocodile band 5  years ago.


My feelings on the two watches...


The Speedmaster is a true engineering feat.  You have a chronograph function, date, and day of the week function.  The watch face is somewhat cluttered.  Omega website says the watch is 40mm in size.  Omega could definitely moved up in size, perhaps 42mm or so.  If you like solid, heavy-weight-feel, watches, you cannot go wrong with this watch.  And if you are the type like me who likes bells and whistles on his watch, then this is it.


The IWC Portuguese chronograph is a level up in pricing and you are entering a new class in terms of luxury watches.  The watch is very dressy, but there is no flash and it does not yell out, "I HAVE AN EXPENSIVE WATCH."  But anyone who sees my watch knows that I am wearing a costly timepiece.  And it is a definite eye catcher.  I have had men and women of all ages just randomly point out my watch in the NYC subway system when I am holding onto the rails.


IWC website says the watch is 40.9mm in size, but I do not believe this.  (I should just measure my watches with a metric ruler, but I never was motivated to do this.)  This watch looks at least 42mm big and it looks much bigger than the Speedmaster, hands down.  I have rather thin wrists, so this watch looks oversized on my wrist.


The watch is very solid and like the Speedmaster it has a heavy-weight-feel.  Absolutely built like a tank and there is a comforting feeling when you wear the watch.  If you want a lightweight watch, get yourself a Casio.  This is not it.


In terms of aesthetics...  All I can say is that it is understated, but beautiful in a classic, classy, way.  You can tell that this watch is refined and well "bred."  It does not scream new money, but rather is muted.


I own a Chopard Mille Miglia chronograph and an old vintage Rolex datejust just in addition to the above two watches...  But if I ever want to impress and I am going all out power suit, I sport the IWC.  No hesitation and second thought.


There is one drawback to the IWC though...  Its crocodile band is not too durable.  The band will not hold up to prolonged everyday use.  I sport my IWC every other day and I avoid wearing the watch when I know I will be sweating.  And I looked into replacing the band.  If I opt for an IWC band, I will have to spend at least a couple of hundred dollars.

post #11 of 11
Agree with BoredMan generally. Second that about the band. Mine lasted a couple of years, and then I got a replacement from Sirtoli (alligator). Not as expensive as the original, but still not cheap.

I have it with the white-ish face, gold numbers and hands, which I think is a more elegant choice than black, etc.

It's nice that it's not a Rolex, or something else that is very well-known.
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