IWC Schaffhausen introduced three new models in its Portofino collection at the recent Watches & Wonders salon in Hong Kong. They include the Hand-Wound Day & Date (Ref. IW516201 in stainless steel and IW516203 in rose gold), the Automatic Moon Phase 37 (Ref. IW459007) and two new Portofino Automatic 37 models (Ref. IW458111/12) with colored straps – which is something of an emerging trend in luxury watches.
Portofino is IWC’s elegant, vintage-inspired collection, with large, round, polished cases and clean, pure dials. The new IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Day & Date contains the brand’s in-house, manual-wound Caliber 59220, with day and date complications added. There is certainly plenty of room for the extra indications on the generous 45-mm dial without disturbing the sleek, uncluttered aesthetic. Functions include the day of the week on a subdial at 3 o’clock, power-reserve indicator at 8 o’clock, small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, and an extra-large date at 12 o’clock, a function driven by two synchronized disks.
The day function is directly connected to the date advance mechanism. It consists of two elastic advance fingers superimposed one on top of the other that gather energy from the barrel throughout the day. By midnight, they use the reserve power to advance the date and at the same time, move a seven-toothed star wheel that causes the day-of-the-week hand to jump. The movement’s large bridges are decorated with Geneva stripes, and the plates are circular-grained — all visible through the sapphire caseback.
There are stainless steel and rose gold versions, each with leather straps made exclusively for IWC by Santoni, the Italian shoemaker. The leather is manufactured to simulate a weathered patina, and features an orange-colored inner surface in a nod to the signature orange-colored leather on the inside of Santoni shoes.
Three new IWC Portofinos with automatic movements were also introduced at Watches & Wonders. The new models are scaled-down to 37 mm in diameter, making them more wearable for smaller wrists. Dress watches have receded somewhat in size over the past couple of years, and 37-mm tends to be the new average. It’s a size that makes a whole new spectrum of watches accessible to women as well, which may explain the move toward colored straps.
The Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37 was introduced with a stainless steel case that is not set with diamonds (moon-phase models with diamond-set bezels were introduced last year). This year, diamonds appear only as markers on the mother-of-pearl dial. Mother-of-pearl is used because it is symbolic of Portofino, the southern Italian resort town. “The material was a favorite with the stars who helped to make the resort of Portofino so famous in the 1950s and ’60s,” says IWC Creative Director Christian Knoop. “We took our inspiration from their accessories.” The watch contains the automatic Caliber 35800.
Two more Portofino Automatic 37-mm models were introduced in bold strap and dial colors, one in cobalt blue (Reference IW458111) and the other in raspberry pink (Reference IW458112). The cases are stainless steel, with 66 diamonds set into the bezel. They contain the automatic Caliber 35111, with hour, minute and seconds functions as well as a rapid-advance date display. The straps were made by Santoni. Both are also available with a Milanese-style bracelet in stainless steel. Both the Caliber 35111 and the Caliber 35800 in the Moon Phase model have a central hacking seconds.