After releasing its popular Big Pilot’s model in a more wearable 43mm size, IWC is back with another compact offering. Presented in green, silver, and black, the new IWC Portofino chronograph watches come equipped with a modest steel case and are powered by a modified Valjoux 7750 automatic movement.
IWC is a brand that is primarily known for its utilitarian Pilots watches. However, the Schaffhausen-based brand’s catalog does feature several elegant models as well, and one of them is the Portofino. The previous iteration of the Portofino chronograph, which is still a part of the collection, features a more modern 42mm case, that is more suited to people with large wrists. Fitted with a modestly sized 39mm, the latest Portofino chronograph makes for a watch that can now be enjoyed by people with small wrists as well. Apart from being a little less wide, the case on these new watches is also slightly slimmer compared to their elder siblings coming in at just 12.7mm tall. Dimensions aside, the case maintains the design traits of the Portofino family and features a nice rounded profile with elegant curvaceous lugs and pump-style chronograph pushers. Water-resistance is limited to a paltry 30 meters.
The dial on the new Portofino Chronograph 39 is being offered in three colors: silver, black and green. The green and black dials come with a nice sunburst finish, whereas the silver variation features a matt finish. In terms of layout, you get a highly legible twin register set up with a running second’s display at 6 and a 30-minute counter at 12. The hour index in Portofino style comprises a combination of applied batons and Roman numerals and a white printed minute track runs on the outer periphery. Finally, all hands have an elegant leaf style design except for the chronograph second’s hand, which is a simple tapering stick. My favorite detail on these new watches is the lack of a date or day complication that lends the dial a symmetrical and balanced look.
Ticking inside the new Portofino Chronograph 39 is the IWC calibre 79350, which is a modified version of the venerable Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement. It operates at a frequency of 4 Hz and offers a power reserve of around 44 hours. This is the same movement that powered the IWC Portugieser chronograph until recently when they got a new in-house mechanical heart.