To announce the release of the 2016 IWC Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante as a “rebirth” would suggest that it had once died. On the contrary, the Rattrapante has stood the test of time as one of IWC’s most recognized and collectible pieces…which is exactly why this release is so exciting.
So firstly, rattrapante is French for “catch up” and in this application refers to the second chronograph hand on the dial, allowing the user to keep track of a second elapsed time by depressing the pusher at 10 o’clock.
When originally released as the IWC Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante (Ref. 3712) in 1995, it was recognized as significant due to its simplified mechanics allowing it be more approachable than other pieces on the market with a rattrapante complication. Although sales were overtaken by IWC’s chronograph version of the Portugieser (Ref. 3714), the Rattrapante is regarded as a pioneering achievement. As proudly explained by Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, “Not only is the Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante a masterpiece of IWC engineering, it soon became a popular style icon, too”.
In a very interesting , more so retrospectively, and informal forum discussion [DOES REBIRTH OF THE PORTUGUESE RATTRAPANTE MAKE SENSE?] we can see that in 2014 IWC questioned themselves on whether there was sense in a rebirth of the Rattrapante. When this idea was merely a twinkle in their eye, the impression from an unnamed IWC “key executive” was “It wouldn’t work. The watch would have to be close to 50% more expensive that the regular chronograph, and it doesn’t appear to be that different or special, with just an extra pusher hidden away on the left side”. On more careful consideration, market-research and the inclusion of limited edition to justify the expense, we are delighted to announce that IWC is releasing three limited edition versions of the Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante; the “Boutique Milano” (Ref. IW371215), “Boutique Rue de la Paix” (Ref. IW371216) and the “Boutique Munich” (Ref. IW371217).
Each of the three pieces are unique whilst maintaining the original design of the Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante from 1995. Each piece featuring icons from their respective cities on the case-backs.
- The Edition “Boutique Milano” (Ref. IW371215) sets itself apart with a striking red gold case and blue dial, and is limited to just 100 pieces. The Milano features a telemeter scale on the flange and a tachymeter scale on the inner circle of the dial. The watch is secured to the wrist by a hand-finished black alligator leather strap. This piece is available today at €21,500.
- The Edition “Boutique Rue de la Paix” (Ref. IW371216) is housed in a stainless-steel case, featuring a slate-colored dial and black alligator leather strap. Limited to 250 pieces. Available to purchase from December 2016 and price is yet to be announced.
- The Edition “Boutique Munich” (Ref. IW371217) is dressed in a stainless-steel case, blue dial and blue alligator leather strap. Also limited to 250 pieces. Not available to purchase until spring 2017 and price is yet to be announced.
All of the three pieces hold a respectable 40.9 mm case diameter and 12.3 mm in height. We are glad to see they weren’t tempted to go any bigger. The Calibre 76240 mechanical chronograph movement features small hacking seconds and a 44-hour power reserve.
Based on the heritage and prestige that surrounds this line, this is no doubt a future, if not an instant, classic. Interest in this piece can be registered via the IWC Concierge Service at [email protected]