Date — 16 January, 2011
Understated elegance and a certain pleasing reserve are the factors that explain the ongoing success of the Portofino Automatic timepiece. It is the unassuming star from Schaffhausen: for many years now, its timeless exterior and reliable mechanical movement have won it a place in the hearts of many watch devotees. In 2011, the big year of the Portofino collection, this classic model will be available with a carefully reworked design in a contemporary 40-millimetre case.
Good things come in threes – particularly hands. For many years, this has been the motto for the Portofino Automatic. And this watch is the entry-level timepiece to the world of IWC Schaffhausen. Hours, minutes, seconds and a discreet date display, all powered by a solid mechanical automatic movement: the epitome of good taste, it needs no more. It is precisely this expression of understatement that has enabled it, over the years, to become the unassuming star it is today.
During this time, the Portofino Automatic has also grown slightly. For a long time, the case measured just 38 millimetres, but grew moderately in 2007 to 39 millimetres. And now, in 2011 – the year of the Portofino collection – this classic watch comes in a modern 40-millimetre case. But the IWC designers, of course, did not stop there: they also addressed its shape. The rounded sides of the case now have an equal radius, which makes the Portofino Automatic look even slimmer. The gently flowing lines of the strap horns blend organically into the whole, giving the watch, in all its understated beauty, very well-balanced proportions. Its classical shape is reminiscent of the IWC models from the 1960s, without making it necessarily a retro design.
Milanese mesh bracelets were likewise highly popular in the 1960s. Milanese is the name used to describe bracelets made of tightly woven wire mesh, which are extremely robust but also fit snugly and comfortably around the wrist. At one time, bracelets like these were soldered directly onto the case. However, with the new Portofino Automatic, the Milanese mesh bracelets and the fine alligator leather straps are secured to the watch using spring bars. This means that owners of the Portofino Automatic in stainless steel not only have the choice of a silver-plated or black dial, with a date display in a matching colour, but can also customise the watch with a strap or bracelet of their choice. The Milanese mesh bracelets are available in three different lengths and can be adjusted to the wearer’s wrist in five-millimetre stages, guaranteeing a perfect fit.
The Portofino Automatic, in a red gold case with a silver-plated dial, featuring solid red gold indices and a VI and Xll in Roman numerals, offers a touch of exquisite luxury. Another attractive feature is the engraved view of the harbour of Portofino on the case back.
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