The Journal

Timeless Charm: A journey through the history of the IWC Portofino Watch family

Justin Hast and IWC Museum Curator Dr. David Seyffer compare and contrast IWC Portofino Watches of old and new, carefully detailing what makes each model unique. They also highlight how the collection has adhered to a design that has made it an integral part of timepiece history.


The IWC Tradition of watches for women


With watch sizes now very much unisex – it is fascinating to think that even back in 1984 when the Portofino collection launched, there were smaller pieces included to appeal to those with smaller wrists. Now the collections offers again also models in 34mm.


The IWC Portofino Hand-wound Eight Days


It was in 1993 when we saw most probably the slimmest of all IWC watches: the Hand-Wound Portofino. A lot has changed since then.


The IWC Portofino Chronograph development


In 1988, the IWC caliber 630 introduces a hybrid chronograph movement into the Portofino family. The Portofino Chronograph finds itself delicately placed in that sweet spot between functionality and sophistication. From quartz to mechanical, from big to small – it has become a staple of the IWC collection. 


The classic IWC design – Moon phase


It was back in 1981 when we saw the first Portofino pocket watch for the wrist. It was only later, in 1984, when the full collection was released. The sub-dial moon phase is one of the key design features of the 5251, which is also featured in several models of the current collection.


The beginning of Portofino watch family


IWC has manufactured Portofino since the 80’s. Since then to the present day – the sizing may have changed – a complication or two added – but the focus has always been on understated elegance. 


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