Known since 1984 for its clean lines and classic style, IWC’s Portofino is today a mainstay among the brand’s collections, ever-expanding to include new styles and new features. Just this year the aptly named 43.5mm Hand-Wound Pure Classic was introduced in rose gold or steel and driven by IWC’s Caliber 59060. But, ladies, if you’re looking for something a smidgen smaller and perhaps with a little feminine sparkle, take a look at the Midsize Portofino, which measures in at 37mm.
“The Portofino Midsize collection responds to a current market trend, but at the same time draws on our past,” says Goris Verburg, Director Marketing & Communication IWC Schaffhausen, referring to IWC’s history. “Numerous different variations of watches with smaller cases, diamondset bezels and motherofpearl dials have been a feature of our company’s 147- year history, he explains. “For 20 years, most of the Portofino watches we sold were midsize models, and the manufacture of watches set with precious stones goes all the way back to IWC’s very beginning.”
Amazingly, there are 17 different versions among the three new 37mm models, introduced late last year, which include the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase, the Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night and the Portofino Midsize Automatic.
My personal favorite is the Moon Phase model in white gold with a diamond-set dial, bezel and horns. The black dial features several coats of lacquer that form the perfect canvas for the precious stones that conjure the night sky. And the entire moon phase display is depicted as a starstudded panorama, with the moon and stars seemingly floating in space.
The dials of the red gold and stainless steel versions of the Midsize Automatic Moon Phase are available in white or black mother-of-pearl, and their bezels are set with 66 diamonds. Each of the models is powered by the self-winding Caliber 35800 automatic movement and an alligator leather strap or a gold mesh bracelet will affix it to your wrist.
Day & Night
With a red gold or stainless steel case, the Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night again combines diamonds and mother-of-pearl to create the perfect accessory for women on the go. With a second time zone and 24-hour day/night display as the centerpiece on the dial, the watch gets its juice from the self-winding Caliber 35700 with 42 hours of power reserve.
“The use of diamonds and motherofpearl represents something of a renaissance in the history of our Portofino family,” explains Christian Knoop, Creative Director at IWC Schaffhausen. “But our take on luxury is a modern one. For us, it is discreet and unpretentious.”
To make reading the time in the second location easier, the lower half of the ring, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., is white, while the top half, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., is blue. The watch comes on a dark blue or black alligator leather strap to complement each color of dial.
The Portofino Midsize Automatic comes in four red gold and six stainless steel versions, each of which is available with a diamond- set bezel or with 12 diamond markers on the dial. The dials feature a sun pattern and have a slightly raised inner circle reminiscent of IWC’s Ingenieur collection. The watches also have a rapid-advance date display at 3 o’clock driven by the mechanical Caliber 35111.
Alligator leather straps from Santoni in colors ranging from a subtle gray to a lively orange perfectly complement the polished cases. One steel model comes on a mesh bracelet.
To commemorate the launch of this line, photographer Peter Lindbergh took a series of pictures that featured well-known celebrities, like Cate Blanchett and Emily Blunt, and supermodels Karolina Kurkova and Adriana Lima. The black and white photoshoot took place in the Italian harbor town of Portofino (of course), and the pictures are slated to travel the world as an exhibition entitled, “Timeless Portofino.”