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The 30’s of the twentieth century were a difficult period for the public. The global crisis of 1929 caused a change in many habits of the European society as a whole. Obviously, it had a big impact on the world’s leading watch manufacturers. Among those associated with the watchmaking industry, arose the need to produce a watch that would be very delicate, perfectly functioning under different conditions, simple in maintenance, with large dimensions and with a very clear dial.
These requirements guided in the search also people importing Swiss watches to Portugal, such as Rodrigues and Teixeira of Lisbon. They were looking for a watch which could be used to measure time in the Portuguese colonies, where access to service and parts was impossible. With such an order they decided to turn to the well-known Swiss company, IWC Schaffhausen. At their command, IWC Schaffhausen constructed a watch composed of a large, solid and durable steel plate, and assembled the well-acclaimed mechanism of caliber 74-17″ known from pocket watches. It was a major success locked in the plate with a height of only 10mm. Not only did the watch fulfill all of its clients’ expectations, it also surpassed them. Watches that were made in that period and were preserved to this day continue to function perfectly.
In 1993, IWC began to wonder what watch to choose in order to appropriately celebrate the 125th anniversary of the company. The decision of both designers and managers was a faithful reproduction of the Portuguese model from the 30’s. Old projects were “dusted off” and thus begun re-making of the legend. The plate was made exactly like the original, supposedly with the use of machines of the era of its protoplast, being additionally assembled with the cal. 982 mechanism, which was the direct successor to the original caliber 74.
The result turned out to be a big surprise! After 60 years, constructed was the more modern version, yet at the same time compatible with the original, version of the watch. Changes included a transparent case, through which, in the end, one could admire the beautiful mechanism inside. Finishing with the Geneva stripes on the bridges, swan neck adjustability, micrometer screws, Breguet overcoil, etc. This attention to details delighted collectors. The model had a Ref. 5441. In 1993, 1000 pieces in steel, 500 in pink gold and only 250 pieces in platinum were made for major clients. The success of Ref. 5441 references was stunning. All the watches were sold out immediately, while the world of watchmakers stood in awe – a large, 42mm watch has managed to achieve such success.
Ref. 5441 in platinum is the dream of all collectors, regardless of tastes. It has become a part of modern watchmaking. It is thanks to this model that a new story of various models of Portuguese has begun. With this model, other manufacturers started to produce timers of larger size in order to adapt to the new tastes initiated by no other than Ref. 5441.
Atelier Tempus is in possession of the most unique and sought-after version of the IWC Ref. 5441 watch – made in platinum. One of only 250 copies in the whole world, preserved in perfect condition, with original documentation contained in an impressive jubilee box.
Amazing treat for every collector!
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