Dream Watches: IWC Reawakens the Portofino Collection
First launched in 1984, this classic line gets a modern makeover today in both form and function with new complications and upgraded materials
It’s film festival season, and when we think of press calls and red carpets, the IWC Portofino family always comes to mind. For almost 40 years, IWC’s Portofino timepieces have told a story of effortless elegance. After a decade of celebrity watch spotting, we’ve seen stars like Joel Edgerton and Cate Blanchett showing off these round-faced watches to the paparazzi.
Portofino Automatic 34 Ladies’ Collection
What makes this dress watch a star and not just a starlet is that it is functional and opulent at the same time. What makes it an icon and not just a star is its ability to adapt to evolving tastes.
To say that the world has changed a lot since this timepiece was first introduced is an understatement. And IWC is more than ready to address the wants and needs of the modern watch enthusiast, with new colors, calfskin straps and a new five-link metal bracelet.
All of the six new references in the Portofino Automatic 34 Ladies’ Collection have been updated with refined details. For example, for the models featuring diamond-set bezels, and the case architecture has been optimized to accommodate 1.7 mm stones.
Traditional Or Bejewelled
However, you can opt for a polished diamond-free bezel with a green or blue dial, as well. Or you can go for a more glittering style, tastefully and carefully set with 66 diamonds totalling almost 1 carat. Using improved stone-setting techniques, these rocks better reflect the light, providing a super-sparkly effect. This play of light continues onto the dials’ sunray-finished surfaces.
The entire collection comes fitted with either a calfskin strap or a newly developed high-grade 5-link stainless steel bracelet. The suppleness of the leather and contrasting satin- and polished-finished surfaces on the bracelet creates a soft and warm counterbalance to the brilliance of the diamonds.
The Portofino Automatic Day & Night 34
All models in the new Portofino 34 line feature a quick-change strap system, making it possible to swap out the strap or bracelet when you want to update your look from office eleganza to nighttime gala glamour.
Since we are talking about a timepiece that easily moves between day and night functions, it's brilliant that IWC is also launching the first 34mm Portofino to feature a poetic day and night complication. This cosmic dance is illustrated by a disc at 6 o’clock that rotates around its axis once every 24 hours to indicate AM and PM. At noon or midnight, the sun or the moon appears in the upper area of the display.
The colour of these celestial bodies has been carefully matched to the hands and dial details while the background of this sub-dial melts into the main face.
The Portofino Automatic Day & Night 34 comes in two references. One comes dressed in a sumptuous 18-carat 5N gold case with 54 diamonds, a blue dial with 12 diamonds, gold-plated hands and appliques, and a taupe calfskin strap with a quick-change system.
The stainless steel version comes with a silver-plated dial, gold-plated hands and detailing, its face features 12 diamonds, and the watch is set on a buttery soft blue calfskin strap with a quick-change system. Both of these dreams are fueled by an IWC calibre 35180 automatic mechanical movement with central hacking seconds.
The IWC Portofino Automatic 37 and Moon Phase 37
We all have angels and devils on our shoulders. Just as celebrities are now as concerned about their ethical actions as well as their red carpet looks, the new Portofinos, including new 37mm versions, reflect this evolution in style: As a first in the luxury watch industry, IWC is now offering straps made of fully traceable Swiss calf leather. Each strap comes with a unique code that can be used to trace the origins of the material.
Perhaps the most heavenly addition to the IWC Portofino family is a new calibre for the Automatic 37. There are two new references— the Portofino Automatic 37 and the Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37 — both of which have received a technical upgrade with movements from IWC’s in-house 32000 calibre family.
The Automatic Moon Phase 37 is available in three versions, while the classic Portofino Automatic 37 is presented in six new versions. These fantastically finished mechanisms feature fine details such as gold-plated rotors and blued screws — all showcased through sapphire glass case backs.
Pricing & Availability
The Automatic 34 collection is priced between $5,450 and $13,500. The Portofino Automatic Day & Night 34 is priced at $11,800 for the stainless steel and the gold version is price on request. The Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37 is available for $23,200 while the Automatic 37 is priced between $6,250 and $19,600. You can learn more at the IWC Schaffhausen website.
(Images © IWC Schaffhausen)