In the late 1930s, a Portuguese wholesaler from Lisbon approached IWC about developing a men’s wristwatch that could match the precision of marine chronometers. That request would lead to the creation of the Portuguese line of watches, starting with the now iconic reference 325. At 41.5mm in diameter the 325 was a rather large watch for the times, and for various reasons actual sale numbers ran low through the 70s and into the quartz crisis.
Fast forward to the 1990s and the largely forgotten reference was re-discovered by the famous IWC watchmaker Kurt Klaus, who created an inspired version for the brand’s 125th anniversary–the reference 5441 Jubilee Portugieser. This triggered a series of subsequent releases including a minute repeater, a rattrapante, and an automatic chronograph that re-ignited public interest in the line. Lost in the buzz of these other watches, IWC also created a small automatic version of the Portugieser–the reference 3531.
At 35mm in diameter, the 3531 had more classical dimensions than the typical Portugieser. Only a small number were made and in 3 different configurations–a steel encased white dial, a rose gold encased white dial, and a steel encased black dial. The latter seems to have been particularly rare with an estimated supply in the low hundreds. As such, these watches are scarcely seen on the market and have become highly collectible amongst the smaller audience that knows about them.
IWC black alligator strap with tang buckle
Max Wrist Size:
Hand model has a wrist size of 6.2 in
UNWORN: Case is pristine with no signs of use. Original stickers may still be present. Dial, hands, and lume have no imperfections and may show natural, even aging.
MINT: Case has only a few superficial hairlines. Lugs are thick, full, and sharp with superb finishing. Dial, hands, and lume may have micro imperfections visible only with a loupe.
EXCELLENT: Case has very light scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick, full, and well-defined. Dial and hands may have imperfections visible upon close inspection. Lume is fully intact and may show slight discoloration.
VERY GOOD: Case may have a few moderate scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick and full but may have softened edges. Dial and hands may have light stains or marks. Lume may have cracks or discoloration.
GOOD: Case has many scratches and nicks. Lugs may show signs of moderate polishing with worn edges. Dial and hands may have noticeable stains or marks. Lume may be damaged or show significant discoloration.
Case: The case shows minimal signs of wear with a few hairlines throughout and one micro nick on the lug at 1:30. All of the lugs are thick and sharp with excellent definition between polished and brushed surfaces. The case back has some hairlines and a few small scuffs, and the backs of the lugs show minor signs of strap removal. The serial number engraving remains deep and sharp.
Dial, Hands, & Crystal: The black dial and polished hands are in mint condition. The brushed numerals show no signs of deterioration and offer excellent legibility. The sapphire crystal is clean and scratch-free.
Bracelet/Strap: The IWC alligator strap shows light signs of use with some wear around the strap holes. There is a small scuff near the lugs at 6 o’ clock where some of the alligator skin has been removed.
Functions: All functions including the crown-winding and time-setting are working as expected.
Service History: Unknown.