The Portofino collection is the embodiment of understated elegance. This series is one of the Swiss manufacturer IWC's most successful. Models featuring an eight-day power reserve are among its highlights.
The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC presented the Portofino for the first time in 1984. Since then, this timeless and classic watch has been a staple in their collection. The IWC pocket watch Lépine, reference number 5201, served as inspiration for the design. IWC took the dial of the Lépine pocket watch, turned it 90 degrees, and added a moon phase display. The first Portofino with reference number 5251 was considered a blend of a pocket watch and a wristwatch, thanks to its design, movement, and large case size of 46 mm. At the time, 46 mm was considered very large for a watch; most watches in the 1980s were less than 40 mm. The first Portofino had a yellow gold case, Roman numerals against a white dial, Breguet hands for the hours and minutes, a small seconds at nine o'clock, and a moon phase display at three o'clock.
The Portofino is named after an Italian fishing village of the same name. The village is located by the Gulf of Tigullio near the city of Genoa. It's been a high society meeting place for decades. The Portofino timepiece reflects that luxurious lifestyle with its elegant design. IWC showcases their classic side with this wristwatch. The company, which was founded in 1868, is world famous for their pilot's and sports watches. The Pilot, Aquatimer, and Ingenieur are some of their most beloved models.
When buying an IWC Portofino, you should keep in mind that the larger case sizes pair better with bigger wrists. The original 46-mm Portofino from 1984 was already a very large wristwatch. Since 2014, IWC has introduced smaller, 37-mm models perfect for both men and women. The 37-mm Portofino is available in stainless steel or red gold. Some models feature 66 diamonds on the bezel. The simpler models have just 12 diamonds on the dial and are available new for around 4,000 euros. Models with diamond-set bezels cost around 7,000 euros new.
A pre-owned IWC Portofino is available for around 1,500 euros. These entry-level models are in good condition and often have an automatic caliber with a date display. New, these watches cost around 3,000 euros.
A pre-owned Portofino chronograph with a quartz caliber is available for around 2,000 euros. Pre-owned models with an automatic chronograph caliber are more expensive, about 3,000 euros. When new, the price for a chronograph starts at 4,000 euros. With a diameter of 42 mm, this automatic chronograph is perfect as a dress watch to match a suit.
The top models in the series, which are hand-wound and have a remarkable power reserve of eight days, are available for around 6,000 euros in very good condition. New models cost around 7,000 euros. The price for a new version with a panorama date at 12 o'clock and a day display at three o'clock starts at 10,000 euros. The Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher has a stopwatch function and can time up to 60 minutes. New, a white or red gold model costs around 19,000 euros.
The length of the power reserve is a deciding purchase factor for many watch enthusiasts. After all, they have to wind every mechanical watch after a certain period of time, lest the watch stop running. A watch is wound either manually by hand or via a crown. The power reserve of most wristwatches lasts about 40 hours, meaning there aren't many watches you can set aside over the weekend without having to wind and set them again on Monday. However, the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound with a movement from the caliber family 59000 only needs to be wound once a week; it has an astounding power reserve of eight days.
The standard version of the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound is powered by the in-house caliber 59210. The watch has a date display at three o'clock, a small seconds at six o'clock, and a power reserve display between eight and nine o'clock. The red area on the power reserve display indicates when the watch requires winding. Since the movement has a stop-seconds mechanism, you can set the watch to the exact second. A sapphire glass case back gives you a clear look at the caliber at work.
You have the choice between a stainless steel and 18-karat red gold case. The dial on the red gold case is either silver or slate-colored, which IWC calls ardoise. The stainless steel model can be combined with a silver, blue, or black dial. The Portofino Hand-Wound has very fine stick indices for hour markers; a Roman numeral can only be found at the 12 o'clock position. The fine, leaf-shaped hands go well with the classic, simple design. Domed sapphire glass with a double anti-reflective coating allows you a clear look at the dial. You have the choice of rounding out the look with a dark brown, brown, or black alligator leather strap from the Italian luxury brand Santoni.
The Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher is also available with an outsize date display at 12 o'clock as well as a version with a day/date display. The Portofino Hand-Wound Day & Date has a day display at three o'clock and an outsize date below 12 o'clock. The day is displayed on a subdial via a small hand.
You can time periods up to 60 minutes with the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher. The wristwatch is powered by the in-house caliber 59360 and has a stopwatch function. You can control the chronograph via a push-piece integrated into the crown. One push-piece controls starting, stopping, and resetting to zero. Usually, chronographs have one push-piece at two o'clock and another at four o'clock. You use the push-piece at two o'clock to stop and start the chronograph, while the other push-piece resets the hand to zero.
The chronograph caliber 59360 has a power reserve of eight days. You can tell when you need to wind the watch by looking at the power reserve display at nine o'clock. The small seconds is located at six o'clock and the date is at three o'clock. The timed seconds can be read via the central chronograph seconds hand. Thanks to the movement's balance stop, you can set the watch to the exact second.
This 45-mm wristwatch is available in 18-karat red or white gold. The white gold version has an ardoise dial with a gray alligator leather strap from Santoni, while the red gold version has a silver dial and dark brown strap.
The IWC Portofino Automatic is a simple three-hand wristwatch with a date display and automatic winding. With prices hovering around 3,000 euros for a new model, the Portofino Automatic is the entry-level watch in this classic IWC collection. The 40-mm wristwatch is a perfect fit on almost every wrist. The case is made of stainless steel or 18-karat red gold. The 18-karat red gold model has a silver or ardoise dial and features an engraving of the Portofino harbor on the case back. The stainless steel versions have either a black or silver dial. You have the choice between an alligator leather strap and a stainless steel Milanese watch band. Since 2016, there has been a version available with gold hands and indices, which create a subtle contrast with the silver dial. Models with reference numbers IW356514, IW356515, and IW356516 each have a bezel adorned with 72 diamonds. These diamond-studded watches are available in white or red gold. The alligator leather strap from the Italian luxury brand Santoni rounds out the watch.