In addition to the bracelet, the dial of the best quality replica IWC Portugieser has also been updated. The central chronograph hand is now steel-gray instead of red, and the date window has been shifted from the 3 o’clock position to the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. Both changes enhance the elegance of the Yacht Club and were well received by our editorial staff.
The elegant impression is diminished, however, by the enlargement of the already considerable stainless-steel case from 43.5 mm to 44.6 mm. Our editorial staff admitted that no one among them had a wrist to match its substantial dimensions.
Even so, the large, heavy watch is quite comfortable to wear thanks to ergonomically shaped sloping lugs and a supple steel bracelet. Unfortunately, the flexibility and adjustability of the IWC’s bracelet results in relatively large gaps between the links, which can catch and pull hair.
Components taken from earlier generations of the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club replica with steel bracelet include the sturdy and powerful in-house movement, Caliber 89361, with many excellent features like a 68-hour power reserve; a traditional column-wheel control mechanism; the brand’s own exceptionally efficient Pellaton dual-pawl winding system; a free-sprung, temperature-resistant Glucydur balance wheel; and a flyback function for the direct restarting of the running chronograph. It can also show off beautiful decorative finishes, gold-enhanced engraving and a gold IWC medallion on the skeletonized oscillating rotor.
Another feature of the in-house movement is the combined 12-hour and 60-minute counter in the upper half of the dial, which is intended to show elapsed time intuitively, as on a clock. The combined counter is too small for everyday use, however, and its markings are too fine to read elapsed time to the minute quickly and easily. The chronograph seconds track around the dial is also extremely fine, and the central chronograph seconds hand is insufficiently long to fully reach it. In sum, it’s a mixed bag, with clearly legible time and date, and elapsed time that is much more difficult to read.
Automatic Caliber 89361 runs with superior accuracy, can time intervals while the chronograph function is running and boasts a 68-hour power reserve when fully wound.
Our rate test revealed more about the Swiss movement. The electronic timing machine showed a negligibly small daily rate of +0.8 seconds, a maximum deviation between the positions of only 4 seconds and almost the same values when the chronograph is engaged. A two-week wearing test confirmed the small daily deviation with values between zero and +2 seconds — making our test watch a reliable partner for everyday use.
In addition to the movement, another feature of the Swiss made fake watches that hasn’t changed arouses mixed feelings — the pressure resistance of six bar that corresponds to water pressure at a depth of 60 meters. Although this may sound like a lot at first, the water resistance as it is tested under laboratory conditions is rather low for a nautical luxury sports watch linked to the world of sailing. Coming in contact with spray or waves means a watch should be resistant to at least 10 bar or 100 meters to ensure a certain degree of security in a variety of different environments. And even though this still isn’t a lot, it is the current standard for any water sports watch not explicitly designed for diving.
Advice for boat owners is simply this: it’s better to wear this watch in the evening, below deck, or to dinner at the marina, and either take it easy onboard during the day or rely on a sports watch that is clearly defined as such. The new 1:1 copy IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph is well equipped for normal everyday wear and light sports activities — and is the perfect gentleman sailor for social events on or below deck.
Manufacturer: IWC Schaffhausen, Baumgartenstrasse 15, 8201 Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Reference number: IW390701
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, flyback chronograph with combined 60-minute and 12-hour counter, date
Movement: In-house Caliber 89361, automatic, 28,800 vph, 38 jewels, hack mechanism, quick date adjustment, Incabloc shock absorber, column wheel, fine regulator with screw weights, Glucydur balance, 68-hour power reserve, diameter = 30 mm, height = 7.5 mm
Case: Stainless steel, domed sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating on both sides, screw-down crown, threaded caseback with sapphire crystal viewing window, water resistant to 60 m
Bracelet and clasp: Stainless-steel bracelet with safety folding clasp and quick extension
Rate results (deviation in seconds per 24 hours, with chronograph switched off/on).