By Harlan Chapman-Green
The International Watch Company isn’t a brand I’m particularly interested in. Indeed for the money I’d rather have a Zenith, but that’s just me, and this is IWC’s Portofino midsize collection of timepieces.
So as the name says this isn’t the smallest or the largest or the smallest of the IWC portfolio. The crown jewel of this collection is the Midsize Automatic Moonphase. When I said jewel, I literally meant it. It’s got 174 pure white diamonds in the bezel as well as the dial and a pretty moonphase that has stars on the plate that the disk hides behind, a lovely touch. You can have black or white dials in rose gold or steel. To be honest, I wouldn’t put diamonds in a non precious metal watch. Maybe IWC knows people think this and is playing on the fact that they’ll then pay more for the gold? Some food for thought anyway.
There’s also a new Midsize Portofino Automatic Day Night. This is basically a GMT watch that shows then it’s 3 in the morning or the afternoon. It also comes covered in diamond like the Moonphase, but it also has it’s own unique mother of pearl dial. It’s offered in the same metals as the Moonphase. It also features lancet hands, Roman numerals at 6 and 12 and more square cut diamonds at each hour marker.
You also get a pretty simple date version that also has loads and loads of sparkly carbon based jewels aka diamonds. This version you can have in white gold, rose gold or steel. If you choose rose gold, you can have a silver plated dial or a dark grey. The white gold is only available with a white coloured dial and the steel a grey dial. All the dials feature a sunburst pattern that looks fantastic under the correct lighting. This, called the Midsize Automatic, is a 37mm watch that’s been special to IWC fans for some time. Even better is that it’s now recognised with it’s own collection. You can even get the steel version on a milanese loop bracelet which is rather fetching with diamonds on the dial. Think of this as IWC’s answer to the Rolex DateJust with a diamond dial on the Jubilee bracelet. Good luck choosing between the two!
A special not should be passed to the leather straps that accompany these watches. They’re crafted by the Italian shoemaker Santoni. Each strap is meticulously cut, sewn and polished to perfection by masters of leather.
To mark the launch of the Portofino Midsize collection, photographer Peter Lindbergh and directed by Stephen Kidd created an impressive series of exclusive pictures and commercial, featuring brand ambassadors such as Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Zhou Xun, Ewan McGregor and Christoph Waltz.
Models Karolina Kurkova and Adriana Lima wore the timepieces in a special shoot of the launch:
A truly special new collection from IWC. Don’t worry yourself as all of the other sizes are staying exactly as they are! If there’s something else you like it’s not going to be discontinued so get to your nearest IWC retailer or boutique today! For more info, please visit iwc.com
Harlan Chapman-Green – Contributing Editor
First introduced to horology with the Patek Philippe Calibre 89 by his father two years ago, Harlan enjoys his passion for fine horology. He prefers to spend his time in the boutiques of upmarket brands, trying out new pieces constantly. His preferred 3 brands are A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet and Vacheron Constantin. Although not much for the smaller brands, he still finds the complications intriguing and wishes to own one watch from each of his three favourites. Read his articles here.