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IWC Portofino Chronograph

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IWC Portofino Chronograph IWC Portofino Chronograph $4,950

IWC Portofino Chronograph: Elegant Timing

The IWC Portofino Chronograph is a classic dress watch. A stopwatch function gives it a sporty touch, while high-quality materials such as gold and alligator leather increase the value of these timepieces.

Highlights

  • Caliber 75320 with a stopwatch function and day/date display
  • Times up to 12 hours
  • Stainless steel or 18-karat gold cases
  • Alligator leather straps
  • Also available with a plaited Milanese strap

A Dress Watch Stopwatch

The IWC Portofino Chronograph is an elegant wristwatch with a stopwatch function. Thanks to its chronograph caliber, you can time up to 12 hours. This timepiece brings a touch of sportiness to the classic and timeless Portofino collection. IWC, short for International Watch Company, named the series after an Italian town located on the Gulf of Tigullio near Genoa. The fishing village is known today as a meeting spot for the rich and beautiful.
IWC introduced the Portofino in 1984. The Swiss watch manufacturer, based in Schaffhausen, wanted to recreate the feeling of high society life with this watch. The first model with reference number 5251 had a small seconds and moon phase display. It was based on IWC's Lépine pocket watch 5201. Due to the use of a pocket watch movement, the case of this "pocket watch/wristwatch" was unusually large for its time, with a diameter of 46 mm. In the 1980s, cases smaller than 40 mm were more fashionable. However, even with its larger size, the Portofino quickly became one of IWC's most successful models.

Buying Advice

The IWC Portofino Chronograph combines elegance and sportiness, making it the perfect wristwatch for those who want a classic, functional dress watch. Pre-owned models with a quartz movement cost around 2,000 euros. Mechanical watches with automatic calibers cost around 3,000 euros pre-owned and new, they cost around 4,000 euros.
A highlight of the Portofino collection is the manual-winding chronograph with just a single push-piece. It controls the stopwatch mechanism: starting, stopping, and resetting to zero. Normally, chronographs have two push-pieces for these three steps, but IWC integrated them into the crown, making this Monopusher timepiece reminiscent of early pocket chronographs. A new watch with an in-house caliber costs around 19,000 euros. As it's a relatively new model, there are few pre-owned watches available.
If you want something a bit more simple, then the Portofino Automatic is a good choice. This simple wristwatch features nothing but the time and date and is available in stainless steel or 18-karat red or white gold. The date is displayed at three o'clock. You can buy pre-owned models for around 1,500 euros, making the Portofino Automatic one of IWC's entry-level models. New, they cost around 3,000 euros. The new gold versions are even pricier, costing around 8,000 euros.

A Classic Design

The designers focused on classic features when creating the IWC Portofino Chronograph. Thin stick indices, Roman numerals at 12 and six o'clock, and an alligator leather strap emphasize the traditional look. The strap is available in either black or brown. The stainless steel model is also available with a steel mesh Milanese bracelet. The Portofino Chronograph's case is made of either stainless steel or 18-karat red gold. The red gold version comes with either a silver or ardoise (slate-colored) dial, while the stainless steel models have a black, ardoise, or silver dial. The hands on the dial are very thin and leaf-shaped.
There are fine index markers located on the dial edge for the seconds and their fractions. It's easy to keep track of the seconds as they're marked in five-second intervals with a 5, 10, 15, etc. up until 60. The tiny stick indices give the watch a sporty touch. You can time down to 1/4th of a second. The push-piece for starting and stopping the chronograph is at two o'clock. In order to reset the chronograph to zero, you have to push the push-piece at four o'clock. The small seconds is located at nine o'clock, the 30-minute counter is under 12 o'clock, and the 12-hour counter is at six o'clock. The day/date display is located at three o'clock.
Caliber 75320 powers the wristwatch. The movement has a power reserve of 44 hours and winds automatically. The oscillating mass winds the mainspring itself as the watch is worn. The caliber 75320 is based on the ETA Valjoux 7750, which is considered to be one of the most successful automatic chronograph movements in the world.

Features

  • Stainless steel or 18-karat red gold cases
  • Fine stick indices and Roman numerals at 12 and 6 o'clock
  • Day/date display at 3 o'clock

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