IWC : Portuguese/ 1938
Watchmakers are well-advised to listen to the market and pay heed to their customers' requests and suggestions, no matter how bewildering they may at first seem. Take as proof the Portuguese by IWC. Three-quarters of a century later, IWC can still congratulate itself for agreeing to indulge two of its Portuguese customers.
At a time - the nineteen-thirties - when the fashion was for small, Art-Deco style watches, they urged IWC to develop a large wristwatch with all the virtues of their ancestors' marine timepieces. Search as they may, no such thing existed on the market. And so the Schaffhouse watchmakers set aside their misgivings and rose to the challenge. The Columbus' egg that would satisfy this request was to take a slim pocket-watch movement and fit it in a wristwatch case. The success of the original model was immediate and confirmed with each subsequent variation. Needless to say, the Portuguese was a natural frontrunner when late 1990's fashion dictated imposing watches, and a new audience was seduced by its silhouette.