IWC expands its Portofino collection this week with the Portofino Chronograph 39 (Ref. IW3914), a new design debuting as a set of three 39mm steel-cased chronographs.
The new, smaller-cased models complement IWC’s existing 42mm Portofino Chronograph. The new trio’s dial design emphasizes Portofino’s minimalistic layout with an even cleaner look than previous chronographs in the collection. With a smaller dial, the new models do not include the day/date display at 3 o’clock or the seconds subdial at 9 o’clock found on the larger chronographs.
The elegant Portofino often flies under the radar at IWC, which is best known for its technical focus (Ingenieur and Da Vinci), its range of larger aviation collections (Pilot and Big Pilot) and its nautical (Aquatimer and Portugieser) collections.
IWC has enriched Portofino in recent years to extend the collection’s unisex appeal, notably with an attractive series of Portofino Automatic models offered in 34mm, 37mm and 40mm cases. Throughout the Portofino collection IWC maintains a clean dial design characterized by the spare use of Roman numerals set between simple applied hour markers.
Here two totalizers (at 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock) balance the dial, each partially hiding the display’s only two Roman numerals. A very thin seconds track frames the dial’s primary elongated markers. Inside IWC fits its Caliber 79350, built by IWC from a very highly modified ETA Valjoux 7750.
IWC offers three steel-cased references in the new Portofino Chronograph 39 collection. Dial options are black, green or silver-plate. All models are fitted with top-notch alligator straps. Price: $5,900.
For 2020, IWC Schaffhausen is updating and expanding its Portugieser collection, focusing on equipping the entire collection with in-house calibers while also re-emphasizing the design’s nautical history.
Among the highlights: a smaller (40mm) Portugieser Automatic model, a smaller diameter (42mm) perpetual calendar, additional examples of the Portugieser Chronograph newly set with an in-house caliber, a new Yacht Club watch with a moonphase display, plus an all-new edition of the watch with a tide indicator. In addition, IWC added several complicated Portugieser watches that combine a tourbillon with a perpetual calendar and a chronograph.
The Portugieser Chronograph (Ref. 3716), long a best seller for IWC, is newly equipped in the standard version with the IWC in-house 69355 caliber and a clear sapphire-glass back. The two stainless-steel models ($7,950), one with deep green dial and one glowing in deep ‘claret’ red, are equipped with the newly developed folding butterfly clasp. A third model, elegant in 5N gold, (Ref IW371614, $17,800) features a blue dial, gold markers and gold hands.
Automatic, now at 40mm
The Portugieser Automatic 40 (Ref. 3583) marks the return to the collection of the three-hand design with the small seconds at 6 o’clock. You’ll find it now in a compact case with a 40-millimetre diameter–and bearing the collection’s entry price of $7,250.The new automatic model gets its power from the IWC-manufactured 82200 caliber with Pellaton winding. Four versions are available in 18-karat 5N gold or stainless steel cases.
A fifth Portugieser Automatic, in a larger (42mm) case, sports its power reserve display and small seconds on the dial and will be offered as either a gold-cased boutique edition (blue dial, $23,900) or with a the same rich red dial ($12,700) found on the new Portugieser Chronographs. These offer a longer power reserve than the 40mm models (up to seven days) thanks to their larger case diameter, which allows space for two winding barrels.
IWC Portugieser Automatic 42 (boutique Edition), with seven-day power reserve.
IWC adds its own in-house caliber 82650 with 60-hour power reserve to the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 (Ref. 3442). Thanks to the new movement, IWC was able to case it in a smaller 42mm diameter size (above). This could be the sleeper hit given its moderate starting price ($22,900) and full, easy-to-read perpetual functionality. All the displays are perfectly synchronized with each other and can be adjusted with a quick turn of the crown. In this version of the calendar, the displays for the date, month and day of the week are seen in three subdials.
Also look for a boutique 5N gold edition of the classic 44mm Portugieser Perpetual Calendar ($37,900, above). This model, with a nautical design, features a blue dial and shows the year in four digits–a feature IWC pioneered with its earlier Kurt Klaus-designed perpetual calendars starting in 1985. Thanks to its slightly larger dimensions of the boutique edition, the movement has room for two barrels that offer a power reserve of seven days.
Three new Portugieser Yacht Club watches combine a 44mm diameter with a recognizable Yacht Club bezel shape, flat casing ring and very useful flyback function.
The new IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph.
One, the Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide (Ref. 344001, $33,100) is the first watch from IWC to feature a newly developed tide display, which shows the expected times of the next high and low water. The Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph (Ref. 3907, starting at $13,100) comes with either a stainless-steel bracelet or a two-tone bracelet in stainless steel and 18-karat 5N gold.
IWC will ship more of the Yacht Club models to its boutiques, including those with expanded maritime-inspired colors (blue and gold). These are identifiable with their blue dials, braided blue calfskin straps and cases in 18-karat 5N gold or 18-karat Armor Gold. The latter is a new alloy that demonstrates a higher hardness value than traditional 5N gold alloys.
Two watches in the new collection underscore IWC’s expertise at the high end. These are the new Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph (Ref. 3940, starting at CHF 105,000), which combines a tourbillon with a retrograde date display and chronograph, and the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon (Ref. 5045, starting at CHF 115,000) that combines a tourbillon and perpetual calendar.
IWC has added its own 69355 chronograph caliber to the Portugieser Chronograph, a long-time best seller at the Schaffhausen-based watchmaker.
Visible through the clear sapphire caseback, the in-house movement features a column-wheel and an automatic pawl-winding system that builds up the power reserve to about forty-six hours.
By adding the new caliber to the Portugieser Chronograph, IWC drops its starting price in steel to $7,950, well below the $12,100 of the slightly larger and thicker (42mm by 14.3mm) Portugieser Chronograph Classic set with another in-house movement, IWC’s 89361 caliber.
The Portugieser’s famed dial owes its clean lines, railroad-style chapter ring and Arabic numerals to the 1930-era pocket watches on which its design was based.
And here IWC doesn’t change anything above the new movement, retaining the ever-clear recessed totalizers at 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock and slim hands circled by a thin bezel.
IWC is launching six different versions of the new Portugieser Chronograph in either rose gold or steel, all measuring 41mm by 13.1mm. The stainless steel models are now equipped with IWC’s newly developed butterfly folding clasp, and all are water resistant to 30 meters.
IWC Portugieser Chronograph references and pricing:
Ref. IW371604:Stainless steel case, silver-plated dial, gold-plated hands and appliques, black alligator strap . $7,950.
Ref. IW371605:Stainless steel case, silver-plated dial, blue hands and appliques, blue alligator leather strap. $7,950.
Ref. IW371606:Stainless steel case, blue dial, rhodium-plated hands and appliques, black alligator strap. $7,950.
Ref. IW371609:Stainless steel case, black dial, rhodium-plated hands and appliques, black alligator strap $7,950.
Ref. IW371610: 18-karat 5N gold case, black dial, gold-plated hands, 18-karat gold appliques, black alligator strap by Santoni. $17,800.
Ref. IW371611:18-karat 5N gold case, silver-plated dial, gold-plated hands, 18-karat gold appliques, brown alligator leather strap by Santoni. Price: $17,800.