IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde Watch

By Jovan Krstevski

IWC is practically refreshing all its fascinating collection and to this effect the Portofino collection gets the brand’s focus this year 2017. The Portofino collection is marked by the brand’s classics and these are perpetually well respected pieces all over the world considering their technology and amazing craftsmanship but these are usually simple time-only watches but IWC has a new surprise addition this year. So what is it that gets added to this awesome collection? Without any further ado, here is the new Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde watch. Yes you read it right, this is a complicated watch.

The new IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde will only be available in 18k red gold case but maybe there’s already a steel version in the works. The 45 mm by 14.1 mm case looks large but rightfully so considering it’s a complicated watch. However, the design of the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde case closely follows the Portofino watches which is characterized by slim lugs and thin bezels. Since the case is large, the crown also looks beefy which should positively aid in the manual wounding of the watch. The case is also built to resist water intrusion at 30 meters.

Moving forward, the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde showcases a silver-plated dial with gold leaf-shaped hands. The look is pretty simple but luxurious. We see the hours in gold baton markers and they are very easy to read. The simple minute track with every 5-minute marker is indicated with Arabic numerals making them super legible. The handy power reserve indicator is not at the back, it’s at the convenient 3 o’clock and we see the impressive retrograde date indicator at 9 o’clock (it looks impressive, yes but sadly it’s a new way of looking at date which we always see as ready-date traditionally so this might take time to get used to). We like the exposed one-minute flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock, it’s super nice to look at. Overall, the combination of the classics and modernity has never been this effective, props to the legendary capabilities of the brand.

Turning the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde on its back allows us to see what powers it which is the 59900 caliber. It looks very nice through the large sapphire crystal case back. As usual with a complicated piece, we see portions of its beautiful internals which are the open-worked bridges, beveled edges, Côtes de Genève, perlage, including the large mainspring. The 59900 caliber is able to crank an impressive 192 hours of power reserve, that’s a whooping 8 days! This efficiency is aided by techniques such as the pallet fork and escape wheels being made out of diamond-coated silicon.

For us, the most valuable feature of the 59900 caliber is its hacking tourbillon, which we all know aids in the most precise adjustment down to the second. This is fairly a technology that was just invented by A. Lange & Söhne in 2008 so we rarely see tourbillons with this tech. The IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde retails at $58,000 and will be available in small batches considering its complexity. It’s not limited so fans have ample time to get one probably wait out the later models in various editions with steel cases. For more info, please visit