Each year IWC focuses heavily on one of its main collections – introducing a powerful wealth of important new pieces in that family. For 2011, it is the Mediterranean-influenced Portofino that receives an infusion of creativity and innovation. This family has been an important part of the IWC line for more than 25 years, since its introduction to the world in 1984. It is the entry level price of the brand, as well as one of the most classical styles – emulating the picturesque Italian harbor town for which it is named. The original watch was a 46mm moonphase piece powered by the slim 9521 pocket watch caliber, and carried with it the advertising tag line:”Mediterranean lifestyle sculpted for your wrist.”
While IWC has continued to make the Portofino collection uninterrupted since 1984, this year’s collection promises to be ever more alluring – simple, elegant, sophisticated and timeless. The series consists of four models, including the Portofino Automatic (with hours, minutes, seconds and date in a 40mm rich rose gold case with silver plated dial, or in stainless steel with silver-colored or black dial), Portofino Chronograph (increased from 41 to 42mm case size, it features slim chronograph pushbuttons and features chronograph functions, day and date displays – all powered by the 79320 caliber with automatic winding and ball-bearing rotor). These two models are offered with either a strap or bracelet, as well as with the option of a Milanese mesh bracelet similar to the ones popular in the 1960s.
The other two Portofino pieces are the Portofino Dual Time watch (wherein time zones can be changed and the date reset simply via the crown), and the extremely sophisticated Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days — the flagship of the Portofino family. This watch houses the new IWC in-house made movement, the 59210 caliber with large bridges and plates and offers 192 hours of power reserve. In true classical style, the watch features small seconds at 6:00, date at 3:00 and power reserve indicator between 8:00 and 9:00. These two watches feature leather strap made by renowned Italian shoe maker, Santoni, exclusively for IWC, and use complex processes to finish. All of the Portofino watches are so new that they have not yet been priced, but they will continue to respect the brand’s positioning of being the opening line while still being the classically elegant Mediterranean gem.