1943 IWC Portuguese (Ref. 325) Cal. 74 "Starry Night" Dial W/ IWC Certificate of Authenticity
Founded more than 150 years ago, the International Watch Company has grown to become one of the most recognizable Swiss watch brands on the planet. But even the most recognizable brands have those pieces that just seem to rise above the rest. For IWC it's the Portugieser models, which got their start—and their name—in the late 1930s when a wholesaler from Lisbon, Portugal, approached IWC with a request for a special order men's wristwatch with marine chronograph precision.
These initial Portugieser models, which featured a sleek and gorgeous Calatrava case, clean and classic dial design, and a sub-seconds dial, were dubbed the ref. 325. The earliest of these references featured what has since become one of the brand's most iconic movements – the cal. 74. According to IWC, these cal. 74 fitted ref. 325 Portugiesers are extremely rare, with only around 300 ever being produced.
One can only imagine how many are left in existence today.
Which makes this piece even more remarkable than its otherworldly facade would indicate. Because this speckled dialed, "starry night" IWC is an incredibly rare, incredibly gorgeous piece that you can almost guarantee no one else will have.
It's as classic—and classy—as they come and would look good on any wrist, in pretty much any setting.
The large and noble stainless steel case is in impressively crisp condition, especially for the age of the watch, and shows minimal signs of use or previous polishing. The ornate unsigned crown is original to the watch. The case back retains an IWC factory sticker, likely from a more recent service. The watch comes supplied on a 2pc matte black alligator strap with an original IWC stainless steel tang buckle.
The original black gilt dial has taken on a fantastic, speckled patina that is reminiscent of a star-filled night sky. The radium lume Arabic numeral hour markers have aged to a dark grey color, causing the markers to slightly blend into the dial or be extremely pronounced depending on the lighting situation. The original pencil-style radium lumed hands have aged to a beige coloration and coordinated beautifully with the patina of the dial. Under U.V. light inspection the dial lume is all fully present with no notable degradation shown, the hands are also in excellent condition with the minute hands showing no degradation while the hour hand exhibits a minor spot of missing lume and remains stable.
The watch comes with an IWC Certificate of Authenticity. The watch is keeping time, backed by our 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.