April 21, 2013
Introducing the IWC Portuguese Chronograph Classic, Ref. 3904. Of note, this Portuguese Chrono features an in-house 89000 series IWC caliber, much like the Yacht Club Chrono. The chronograph caliber 89361 is an ugprade from the ETA-based cal 79350 such as that found in the (immensely popular) Ref 3714 Portuguese chronograph. In other words, this new Portuguese Chronograph Classic represents in many ways an attractive upgrade for IWC fans. The Reference 3904 is available in 18-carat red gold or stainless steel with either a silver-plated or slate-coloured dial, on Santoni strap.
As I see it, the new Ref 3904 offers a larger, ever-so-slightly more masculine look than its Portuguese Chrono Ref 3714 brethren. Upsized in both diameter (42mm vs. 40.9mm) and thickness (14.5mm vs. 12.3mm), one look at the Ref 3904 and you can see the style difference versus the 3714. The applied Arabic numerals and slender feuille-style hands are very similar; the more visible a railway-track-style chapter ring is a new addition, as is the date window at 3 o’clock.
And of course there is the matter of caliber — a prime upgrade IWC fans have been waiting for. Powering the Portuguese Chronograph Classic is an IWC-manufactured 89361 calibre, a flyback chronograph developed specifically to record time spans of up to 12 hours on a subdial. I really, really like this two-handed execution in the subdial that IWC uses — it is a simple and intuitive — and it looks great.
In summary, there is a lot to like here with the new Portuguese Chronograph Classic. And although it is a tough decision, I must say that I prefer the new 3904 over the 3714 due to it having a date window, no cut-off numerals, and slightly larger case and the in-house caliber. But this is surely a subject up for debate amongst loyal IWC fans.
The Portuguese Chronograph Classic is available in 18-carat rose gold or stainless steel, both with silver-plated or slate-coloured dial. The new IWC Portuguese Chronograph Classic will sell for $13,000 in stainless steel with silver (IW390403) or ardoise dial (IW390404), and $24,200 in red gold with silver (IW390402) and ardoise (IW390405) dial. All on alligator leather strap by Santoni.
words by Kyle Stults