IWC Poetic Moon On The Wrist
Over the past few years, IWC has done a very good job upon the marketing strategies at the watch fairs, effective and consistent. You would probably know the highlights of the year once you visit their booth. In 2012’s SIHH, we saw the Pilot’s Watches inside an aircraft carrier. One year later, we were brought to a Formula 1 technical lab to see the Ingenieur. At this year’s SIHH, the Aquatimer were shown in an Aquarium. And in this year Watches&Wonders, IWC took us to an Italian coastal resort and presented their subtle and understated Portofino collection.
Perhaps the Pilot’s Watches are one of the most desired watches around the globe, while the Portuguese complications are just so captivating. These two collections have caught our attention. Nevertheless, we also understand that simple is beautiful. In 2011, the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days impressed us together with its automatic and chronograph models. Pilot’s Watches, Ingenieur and Aquatimer are already the pillars of the brand’s collection. IWC seems to make the Portofino the next. Today they respond to the current market trend, noticing a need for a slightly smaller and more luxurious timepiece with practical functions. And here comes the latest Portofino Midsize collection.
The Portofino line first appeared in 1984 and took inspiration from a pocket watch in 1950s style. Its pure and simple face make it different from the other members of the brand. Pleasantly clean, the first model Ref. 5251 housed also a moonphase indicator and small seconds dial. Regarding its name, Portofino was inspired by the picturesque Italian coastal resort of the same name, where the celebrities such as Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, plus many more, strolled around in this idyllic town.
The Ref. 5251 was best known as the ‘Giant Portofino’. It was considered a bold design of its times. Later in 1988, a Portofino chronograph in 35mm was produced, followed by a 32mm ultra-thin Portofino in 1993. The Ref. 3513 released in the mid-2000s was equipped with a automatic movement and date display and then evolved to a larger model Ref 3533 at 38mm. This model more recently became Ref. 3565 and enlarged to 40mm. The case size of Ref. 3910 and Ref. 5161 is gradually increased to 42mm and 45mm, keeping pace with the watch size trend. The Portofino has witnessed how the trend goes and changes – the small case size in the 80s and 90s was getting bigger in the 2000s. Now many are too fed up with large size watches. And various brands have responded to them. The IWC new Portofino Midsize collection successfully strikes a balance. Scores of new watches in 37mm come in automatic, moonphase and day/night indicator models, all carrying a refined and timeless look.
Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date
PortofinoMidsize Automatic Moon Phase
The New Moon
The words ‘New Moon’ in the subheading don’t literally mean one of the phases of the moon. Instead, it marks a new achievement on the Portofino collection. For the first time ever, they have depicted the entire moonphase display as a star-studded night sky, with the moon and stars appearing to float in infinite space.
Moonphase indicator means a lot to the Portofino family. When it debuted in 1984, it was born with a moonphase indicator at 3 o’clock. And it helped to balance the dial with the small seconds dial at 9 o’clock. This latest moonphase watch has aptly set the moon aperture at 12 o’clock, bringing the moon scene up at the dial now.
The Aquatimer and Pilot’s Watches probably are men’s collections. Yet, this year the Portofino brings the ladies some good news, even though there are Portofino watches created for them in the 80s and 90s. This luxurious new moonphase watch is classically sized at 37mm and comes in red gold, white gold and stainless steel case. The red gold and stainless steel versions are coupled with black or white mother of pearl dial and feature the classic feuille hands and the Roman numerals, while the white gold version boasts a lacquer dial and 174 diamonds on the dial, bezel and lugs. It is worth mentioning that all the new members of the Portofino family are complemented by fine alligator leather straps, produced by the renowned Italian shoe manufacturer Santoni. It won’t help to improve the accuracy, but would definitely give the wearer a sense of superiority.
Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night
The Italian coastal resort Portofino has for decades been a popular destination for the international tycoons and celebrities. You don’t have to live in this peaceful village to own a Portofino watch. If you are a frequent traveller, this watch equipped with a second time zone and day/night indicator would be your perfect companion.
Basically, watches are created to tell time. With more and more unconventional designs today, many are still fond of the classic and practical watches. IWC has shown a prime example by this Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night, which gives you a 24-hour day/night display and a second time zone. To make reading the time in the second location easier, the lower half of the ring is white, while the top half is blue, allowing the wearer to easily differentiate between day and night. In fact, IWC is no stranger to the function of second time zone. Date back to 1887, IWC produced the pocket watch Magique with a 24-hour display and convertible case. A century after the Magique, the brand introduced a watch with a 24-hour ring in colours that clearly divided it into day and night, followed by the Pilot’s Watch UTC with a separate second time zone in 1998.
The piece comes in two references offering a choice of steel or red gold cases, each adorned with 66 diamonds around the bezel and a mother of pearl dial.
The Dazzling StarKnown for its minimalist style, the Portofino is appealing by its simple three-hander with a date display. The 40mm Ref. 3565 released in 2011 still looks pretty good today. Need no complex functions, the newly released Portofino Automatic is bestowed a simple yet elegant look by embedding 72 diamonds around the bezel.
This puristic three-hand watch with date display is available in 3 versions: red gold case with silver-plated or slate-coloured dial and white gold case with silver-plated dial. These year, quite a few brands create such unisex design. 40mm is big enough for ladies and a diamond set bezel is widely accepted by men. So don’t put that this watch is exclusively for men. It will feel right at home on the wrist of either gender. Just a gentle suggestion: men could seek this 40mm handsome piece, while ladies could choose the 37mm Automatic that we are going to introduce.
Portofino Midsize Automatic
Back in 1984, the brand introduced also a small wristwatch in 34mm. It was widely recognised since its debut and sold successfully until 2007. The 37mm Portofino Midsize Automatic features a sleek design with a slightly smaller case in the Portofino line-up. This year, 17 new references are added to the Portofino Midsize family. Among the novelties, 10 are automatic(4 in red gold and 6 in stainless steel), each one either with or without a diamond set bezel.
A Moment of Love……
To take the promotional photos for the Ingenieur collection, a Mercedes-Benz sports car is a perfect foil, and likewise a fighter aircraft for the Pilot’s Watches. In the case of Portofino collection, it needs further efforts to show its simplicity and beauty. 4 years ago, the brand came up with a great idea of hiring the famed photographer Peter Lindbergh to take a series of photos of the watches in Portofino. This year, it is the second time Peter Lindbergh has created a shoot(with a star-studded line-up of supermodels) at the same harbour town for IWC to promote the Portofino.
Peter Lindbergh is one of the most sought-after fashion photographers and best known for his evocative black-and-white photographs. He once shot the world’s most famous supermodels including Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen, just to name a few. During this year’s photo shoot in Portofino, the figures in front of his lens are the winner of Best Actress Oscar Cate Blanchett, supermodel Karolina Kurkova, Hollywood star Ewan McGregor. This time we also see a familiar face, Zhou Xun – the new ambassador of IWC.
The curtain just fell on the Watches&Wonders held in our very own Hong Kong. IWC had took this chance to host a gala dinner and photography exhibition ‘Timeless Portofino’. Zhou Xun was unsurprisingly in the spotlight in the events. Her strong and neutral personality marks a distinctive statement, while the 37mm Portofino watches also blur the line between men’s and ladies’ watch in terms of size, which might be more welcomed by modern women.