IWC Portofino



The former fishing village of Portofino on the Gulf of Tigullio near Genoa in Italy has for decades been a desirable destination for the international rich and famous. To this day the Mediterranean flair of the coastal town still exerts a magical attraction on well-known actors, artists and people in the fashion industry from all over the world. The narrow little houses in red and terracotta clustered tightly around the picturesque natural harbour provide the perfect backdrop for stars and celebrities.

Even today, the international jet set gathers in Portofino to enjoy the relaxed, laid-back lifestyle of southern Europe. The classically elegant Portofino watch family is a subtle reflection of this lifestyle. The history of the Portofino watch family began in the late 1970s. Back then, IWC noted a steady demand for simple, classic models. The elegant IWC Lépine open-face pocket watch (Reference 5201) served as the basis for the new watch line: its dial was turned through 90 degrees and equipped with a moon phase display. And that was it; the new “pocket-watch style wristwatch” Reference 5251, which was unveiled in 1984, went by the name “Portofino”. Since then, the Portofino collection has become one of IWC’s most successful watch families: an expression of understatement and good taste.

IWC Portofino Bay
IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic
Good things come in threes – especially hands. For many years, this has been the motto for the Portofino Automatic
IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic
—Time moves on. Only in Portofino does it stand still.

In 1988, to mark its 120th anniversary, IWC unveiled the Portofino Reference 2532, a consummately elegant timepiece in a gold case with Roman numerals. That same year saw the launch of the Portofino Reference 3731 with the hybrid 631-calibre movement. Although the chronograph consisted of 233 parts, the height of the movement was just 3.8 millimetres: an outstanding achievement. In 1993, IWC unveiled the Portofino Hand-Wound (Reference 2010) with an ultra-slim movement measuring just 1.85 millimetres in height. The slimmest of all IWC watches, it sold successfully until 2005. A mechanical chronograph joined the watch family in 2007.

In 2011, the year of the Portofino, an IWC hand-wound movement from the 8-day 59000-calibre family, which is manufactured in-house, became the first to scale the pinnacle of Haute Horlogerie. The 59210 calibre in the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days only needs winding once a week. In 2014, it was joined by the 59230 calibre in the Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date.

Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days

—Reference 5101

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IWC Portofino
—Even today, the international jet set gathers in Portofino to enjoy the relaxed, laid-back lifestyle of southern Europe.

In 2014, IWC Schaffhausen substantially extended its Portofino range to include simple models with cases measuring 37 millimetres in diameter to more classic models with a moon phase display and other watches with big complications. Further complications were unveiled in 2015. The Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher features a sophisticated single-button mechanism that permits the measurement of stop times up to 60 minutes. The chronograph push-button is an integral part of the crown and at first glance goes virtually unnoticed. To start, stop or reset the chronograph, all the wearer needs to do is press the multifunctional push-button repeatedly. The Portofino Hand-Wound Day & Date combines the big date with a day display. Together with the 8-day movement and power reserve display, they produce an exquisite timepiece of enormous practical use.

In 2017, for the first time in more than 30 years, the moon phase complication makes a reappearance in the larger Portofino models. At 45 millimetres in diameter and with a classic design, the Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase is unmatched for sheer elegance. And with the Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde, IWC celebrates a premiere: for this is the first time a model in the Portofino family has featured a tourbillon. With diamonds on the case or dial and combined with elegant Milanaise mesh bracelets or alligator leather straps by Santoni, the Portofino Automatic 37 and the Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37 are a celebration of discreet luxury.

—In creating the new Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37, IWC’s designers have taken inspiration from the elegance and flair of the 1950s and ’60s and combined this with a distinctly modern take on luxury.

The new Portofino Automatic Day & Night 37 combines the luxury of diamonds and mother-of-pearl with the nonchalance of a new and more mobile generation. Thanks to a second time zone and 24-hour day/night display, the watch ensures that even those whose parties turn day into night never lose track of time.

Also new are three luxurious Portofino Automatic models in red or white gold cases with diamond-set bezels and Santoni alligator leather straps.

IWC Portofino Hand Wound Moon Phase IW516403

—Reference IW5164

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