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Maaria

New Portuguese?!

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Hi guys.

As a newcomer to 'luxury' mechanical watches, and prior to my first purchase, I have been reading round and learning for several months (reviews/forums/watch blogs/u-tube/etc). After a circuitous tour - I first thought of a Frederique Constant - nope, a bit bland or a bit muddled or both (IMHO); then upped the budget and thought about Grand Seiko: I rather like the SpringDrive concept, but their customer support looks a bit flakey and I can't quite feel comfortable with mixed mode quartz/mechanical; HiBeat looked possible - but 2 to 3 years for service intervals? - are they really that badly made?; then I saw the blue-black dialled Nautilus and decided to go mad and push the boat out, only to find that waiting lists in the UK are about 3 years! Back to square one,then - hence another big read around and search of brands/models only to discover that what I really, Really wanted was an IWC Portuguese 500107. So, yesterday saw me looking around for buying options: online over here (UK) offers about 20% off, so they are within my comfortable (as opposed to mad) budget. Finally, I've spent a couple of days with a drooling exploration of Portuguese watch titillation [i see my first choice of word was auto-deleted!] at forums and u-tube before clicking the BUY button!

Oh dear, I now find from u-tube that new Portuguese models, Ref 5007, based on the new in-house 52000 calibre, were announced at SIHH and, to quote from Escapement - Watch Reviews of high-end watches and haute horology :-

'The specification of the 52000 calibre is impressive. At the centre of the oscillating mass is a rotor bearing made of white ceramic, resulting in low friction and, by default, virtually no wear. A Breguet Overcoil enhances accuracy and the brand’s legendary bi-directional Pellaton winding system also features.'

Only small external changes apparently (the lugs are to be slightly more curved), and the beautiful dial seems to be unchanged (thank the stars!). However, the new watches sound to be rather better time-keepers [sometimes given as a weakness of the Portuguese range] and clearly will have better rotor bearing lifetimes (and, I guess, will be actively supported for IWC for longer than the now 'obsolete' models). Anyway, that leaves me with a dilemma: Go now for the old-style Portuguese or Wait for the new???

Anyone here with any thoughts on the new models (which will presumably be more expensive and offer rather limited discounts and maybe will not be fully sorted for some months to come)? Any thoughts on my dilemma?

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Wow, two spring barrels and an increased beat rate could significantly increase the accuracy of the new calibre. This would make my Big Pilot with its calibre 5001 obselete (or just more obselete given the general state of anachronism that characterizes mechanical watches).

I think it's worth waiting for the new model, I unless you like the retro aspect of the current generation of calibre 500X movements. I'll be keeping mine despite its eccentricities.

Given your interest in movements and the technologies behind watches, have you taken a look at the El Primero? Servicing will also be more consistent as it is unlikely to be replaced by some new passing trend.

 

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