IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph ‘Summer Edition’ Watch

By Harlan Chapman-Green

It may not seem like it (especially if you live where I do), but summer is pretty much upon us now, so hopefully, the days get warmer, we get more tanned (though not too much) and the parties start rocking. To get the party going this year, IWC announces a new model for the Portugeiser Yacht Club collection. This new model imaginatively named the ‘Summer Edition’ keeps it casual yet sophisticated. Sporty yet relaxed is the new theme for watches, or at least it seems to be at the moment, it’s like the watch is saying “yeah, you could go for that swim, or you can sit back and have a cold beer instead”, I know which I’d choose.

This watch reminds me of the Seamaster Aqua Terra or Seamaster 300m by Omega, it’s not really a diving watch like the latter, but you get the sense that it’s most at home lounging on the deck of a pricey yacht somewhere in the Mediterranean. The water resistance is depth rated to 60m though, so you could swim with it in that ‘clear-as-gin’ seawater, but given that it’s got extra holes for the chronograph it’s probably best left on the boat while a more rugged watch takes the plunge.

To keep this piece ticking in any eventuality us an in-house made IWC calibre 89361. This movement has a 68-hour power reserve and an impressive flyback chronograph system which makes use of an hour and minute double register subdial. Can you imagine this thing as a three-subdial piece? It wouldn’t work at all. This movement has been given an ample amount of finishing, nothing too fancy or spectacular, but it is nevertheless clean and well appointed. It does tie in with the overall relaxed theme of the watch also.

I think what bothers me the most about this watch is the fact that it’s 60 meters water resistant. I mean, of all the places you could possibly want your watch movement to be nice and dry it would be near water. Assuming you don’t fall off the deck of the yacht, even if you jumped into the water with it on it’s still an impact which can really strain the seals. Even Rolex’ dubiously styled YachtMaster II is water resistant into the three digit range at 100 meters. I think this is a bit of an oversight on IWC’s behalf, perhaps they could fill us in?

Furthermore, this watch ain’t cheap, costing $12,100. I think at that price 100m is justified, but 60m isn’t. For more info, visit IWC online.