IWC Introduces the Portugieser Chronograph “Year of the Dragon”

A prosperous new look for the ref. 3716.

Continuing with its occasional special editions to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, IWC has just released the Portugieser Chronograph “Year of the Dragon” to mark honour the Year of the Wood Dragon commencing in early 2024. This limited edition is essentially the classic Portugieser Chronograph Ref. 3716 but with a striking burgundy dial featuring gilt numerals and hands.

Initial thoughts

Burgundy dials on the Portugieser stand out as demonstrated by last year’s Portugieser Automatic 40, so it was inevitable to see it on the Portugieser Chronograph. The fact that this is a limited edition isn’t a big deal since IWC does a fair number of limited editions. But this specific watch, however, does look good.

Whilst the design remains identical to the original, this has all of the dial elements in either gold-plating or powder-gilt print, which are more visually complementary than the combination of gold and black found on the silver dial of the standard steel model.

The new look incurs an extra charge of US$950 in comparison to the standard production model, culminating in a retail price of US$9,350. While not a great deal by any means, it’s a reasonable premium, given the new dial and commemorative rotor. However, it is a limited edition of 1,000 watches, a substantial number given IWC’s scale, so the brand should have either reduced the premium or edition size to boost the appeal.

The Portugieser Automatic 40 “Year of the Rabbit” from 2022. Image – IWC

Restrained elegance for the Chinese Lunar New Year

The Year of the Dragon edition is basically a new dial for the ref. 3716, the latest generation of the Portugieser Chronograph launched in 2020 that’s equipped with an in-house chronograph movement. The dial for this limited edition is influenced by the traditional colour for the Lunar New Year – red symbolises good fortune and prosperity. An identical hue was used for last year’s equivalent, the Portugieser Automatic 40 “Year of the Rabbit”.

Besides the dial, the dragon edition is distinguished by a gold-plated oscillating weight that takes the form of a dragon. It’s meant to symbolise the Wood Dragon, which is the elemental sign of the Dragon year that commences on February 10, 2024 and concludes on January 28, 2025.

Excepting the dial and rotor, the rest of the watch is identical to the standard model, including the case that’s 41 mm in diameter and 13.1 mm high. It is powered by the cal. 69355, an in-house movement developed with help from ValFleurier, the movement-making division of Richemont. A column-wheel chronograph movement, the cal. 69355 has 46 hours of power reserve while running at a frequency of 4 Hz.

Key facts and price

IWC Portugieser Chronograph “Year of the Dragon”
Ref. IW371629

Case diameter: 41 mm
Case height: 13.1 mm
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 69355
Features: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 46 hours

Strap: Black calfskin leather strap, with an additional burgundy rubber strap

Limited edition: 1000 pieces
Availability: Available at IWC boutiques, retailers, and
Price: US$9,350; or 14,500 Singapore dollars

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