IWC Portofino
Stefan Sebök, last updated on 07/10/2019

For three decades now, IWC Schaffhausen has been delighting the watchmaking world with new models of the Portofino series. The models reflect the lightness of the Mediterranean lifestyle of the Italian village of the same name – a deluxe travel tip. This is where the lifestyle of elegant luxury watches collects in one place.




A tribute to the romantic coastal village

With just 500 inhabitants, this small municipality on the Ligurian coast appreciates the “La Dolce Vita” feeling. But despite its small size, the town has a lot to offer: Luxury boutiques, yachts, top hotels… The rich and beautiful have long since discovered the value of the former fishing village in the Gulf of Tigullio, so that it is now often called in a train with Monaco or Nice. But it is not only the luxury that makes this place so special. The colourful landscape with the pine, olive and cypress groves, as well as the adjacent sea, appears as if taken from a picture book and invites to dream. Also the many small colourful houses, small cafés and the picturesque natural harbour contribute to the wonderful overall picture. In addition, there are impressive sights such as the church of San Giorgio and the magnificent Castello Brown, which towers over Portofino in the middle of a magnificent park. With its ancient flair and incomparable panoramic views, the castle is a sought-after location for weddings. But also for various exhibitions the fortress with the famous castle museum is booked again and again. But if one makes it to Portofino once, the village and the surrounding landscape should definitely be explored on foot, as the great flora and fauna can only be really enjoyed during an extensive hiking tour along the tip of the peninsula or through the nature park. There is no question that the magical idyll of Portofinos makes you long for the distant lands.

Portofino feeling for the wrist

For decades, IWC Schaffhausen has been using the classically elegant Portofino timepieces to capture the light, carefree flair of this special place, which has lost none of its magic over all this time, and to delight watch fans with them. They were also very successful, because the Portofino collection with its stable value is one of the manufactory’s lasting guarantors of success. It is popular with men and women alike. The constant demand for classic models and purist design also benefits the Portofino models, because the plain dial with Roman numerals or line indices and the slim Feuille hands fit exactly into this scheme. The design origins of the series date back to the 1970s, when the IWC Lépine pocket watch was chosen as the model for the Portofino collection, creating a voluminous yet minimalist case design. The purist pocket watch for the wrist was finally introduced in 1984 and has been part of IWC’s repertoire ever since.




Unique engraving as the icing on the cake of wristwatches

If you go by boat to the idyllic harbour bay of Portofino, you will witness a truly extraordinary view. The small Italian coastal village looks as if time has stopped. It is precisely this special moment that IWC Schaffhausen has captured on selected models of the Portofino collection by means of a unique floor engraving – literally preserving the magic of this holiday resort in the watches.




The anniversary editions of the classics

The Portofino Hand Wound Moon Phase came onto the market in 1984 and was relaunched in 2017. The homage to the classic has, however, an additional pretty and extremely accurate moon phase display at 12 o’clock and is driven by the hand-wound movement 59800. The power reserve lasts a proud eight days after winding. The simple dial with date, small second, power reserve and moon phase radiates the timeless elegance typical of Portofino. The transparent sapphire crystal back also allows a glimpse into the impressive movement, as well as the plates and bridges with various decorative finishes. The Hand Wound Moon Phase is available with a stainless steel or pink gold case and a silver-plated or slate grey dial. The noble timepiece is complemented by a dark brown bracelet of the Italian manufacturer Santoni made of the finest alligator leather. The special 150 Years Edition is also available in a noble blue tone – either in the form of accents or the entire dial. Here it is combined with black alligator leather strap. However, the models are strictly limited – in some cases to only 150 pieces. Here you have to hurry if you want to conquer one of the treasures for yourself. The Portofino Automatic has also recently been updated: The 2018 Portofino Automatic Edition 150 Years also comes in the incomparable with blued accents or full dial and black alligator leather strap.

The classic automatic watch does not let its wearer down thanks to the robust and reliable automatic movement. With the three hands, the discreet date display and the round slim case, the Automatic has been one of the most popular Portofinos for many years. The models of the new edition are limited to 2000 copies each.

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About the author
Stefan Sebök

During my school days I worked in the warehouse of an auction house and that was when I first came into contact with exclusive, mechanical watches. The fascination was born from that moment and has not let go of me to this day. So it was clear to me very early on that I wanted to learn more about the history and price development of watches - and of course I wanted to own an automatic watch at some point. (My absolute dream, unfortunately far away, was a Rolex GMT Master with the blue and red Pepsi bezel). During my studies, I took my first steps in trading used watches via various online marketplaces and was then able to afford a used Breitling Colt.