IWC has turned the clock back, re-launching one of the favourites of the Portugieser range, the Rattrapante – or double-chronograph.
Long a favourite of enthusiasts – we’ve had ours for 20 years – the split-second chrono Portugieser slipped from the catalogue a decade back but now returns as three fresh models dedicated to the cities of Milan, Paris and Munich.
The first IWC Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante appeared in 1995 in gold and steel versions, its distinguishing feature a third push-button at 10 o’clock for starting and stopping the split-seconds hand.
The new Milano boutique model boasts a red gold case and blue dial and features a telemeter scale on the flange and a tachymeter scale on the inner circle of the dial. It’s limited to 100 pieces, priced at $29,000.
The boutique Roux de la Paix boutique edition numbers 250 pieces and has a stainless-steel case, slate-coloured dial and black alligator leather strap, while the Munich boutique watch has a stainless-steel case with a blue dial and blue alligator leather strap. Both these editions are priced at $15,900.
The dial on these models is based on the original design, while engravings on the case-backs show icons or landmarks from the respective cities.
All three timepieces are driven by a hand-wound 76240-calibre movement with a power reserve of 44 hours.
Beyond the capabilities of a pure chronograph, the rattrapante complication also enables a second period of time to be measured with down-to-the-second accuracy. That said, it’s the way the two chronograph seconds hands align, one sitting invisibly under the other at rest, that beguiles and impresses.
On starting the chronograph the push-button at “10 o’clock” is used to stop the upper hand, while the lower hand continues to move until the regular stop button at “2 o’clock” is pushed. This enables two short periods of time to be measured simultaneously. When the rattrapante push-button is activated a second time, the split-seconds hand snaps into position with the chronograph hand – irrespective of whether this has been stopped or is still moving.
As for availability of the new models, the Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante Edition “Boutique Milano” is now in the IWC boutique Milan; the “Boutique Rue de la Paix” version will be available from December 2016 in the boutique there; and the Edition “Boutique Munich” will be available in the IWC boutique Munich later in the new year.
Enthusiasts can already register their interest in purchasing via the IWC Concierge Service (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How do we rate the new IWC Rattrapante range? Really lovely. But then we loved the original and IWC has wisely stayed true to its fine proportions and promise.