With the introduction of the Portofino family in 1984, IWC Schaffhausen continued the long-standing tradition of the classic gold watch line. The crowning jewel of the series was the Portofino Hand-Wound with Moon Phase (Ref. 5251). Designed on the basis of the Lépine pocket watch, this timelessly elegant watch with an impressive case diameter of 46 millimetres quickly went on to gain iconic status. Since that time, the representatives of this watch family have been up there with the most popular timepieces from Schaffhausen thanks to their combination of modesty and complexity. The collection is now being extended with the addition of two new models: The Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde (Ref. IW516501) is the first Portofino to feature a tourbillon, with the balance, pallet and escape wheel mounted in a cage that rotates around its own axis once every minute.
This constant rotation helps to counteract the pull of gravity so that it does not adversely affect the watch’s rate and accuracy. The newly developed hacking tourbillon enables the watch to be set with down-to-the-second accuracy. IWC has also revised the geometry of the pallet and the escape wheel, plus it has manufactured the components using diamond-coated silicon, thus reducing friction.
This contributes substantially to the power reserve of eight days achieved with the IWC hand-wound 59900 calibre. A retrograde date display and power reserve display accompany the flying minute tourbillon on the dial. The case, with a diameter of 45 millimetres, is made of 18-carat red gold. The dial is silver-plated and the hands are gold-plated; the appliqués are made of solid gold. The sapphire-glass back provides a view of the calibre, which is adorned with Geneva stripes.
IWC has integrated a moon phase display into a Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days watch for the first time with the Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase (Ref. 5164). The watch is also a tribute to the Reference 5251 from 1984, another timepiece that was equipped with this complication. When developing the IWC-manufactured 59800 calibre, the IWC watch designers enhanced the basic 59000 calibre with a moon phase module that only needs to be adjusted by one day after 122 years. The watch with a case diameter of 45 millimetres is available in two versions – both of which have gold-plated hands. The first version has an 18-carat red gold case, a slate-coloured dial and solid gold appliqués (Ref. IW516403), while the second has a stainless-steel case, a silver-plated dial and gold-plated appliqués (Ref. IW516401). Both models are fitted with a dark brown alligator leather strap by Santoni.
In addition, IWC has finally updated the Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37 (Ref. 4590). This popular watch is now also available with a silver-plated dial instead of a mother-of-pearl dial, making it blend even more harmoniously with the overall image of the Portofino family. The top-of-the-range model, with a case and Milanaise mesh bracelet in 18-carat red gold, is adorned with a total of 78 diamonds (Ref. IW459010). Two other models are also being released with 66 diamonds on the bezel and 12 on the dial: one in an 18-carat red gold case with gold-plated hands (Ref. IW459009) and the other with a stainless-steel case and rhodium-plated hands (Ref. IW459008). The fourth variant has a stainless-steel case, gold-plated hands and 12 diamonds on the dial (Ref. IW459011). These three watches are fitted with exquisitely finished alligator leather straps by Santoni.
The new Portofino models with integrated moon phase display are available now in IWC boutiques and from authorized IWC retailers. The Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde will be available from October 2017.