In 2014 luxury Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen extended the Portofino watch family with a number of models in 37-millimetre cases, making the ever-popular line more attractive to watch lovers who prefer a timepiece with slightly smaller dimensions. The diamond- set Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37 models are now joined by a new version that celebrates understated luxury in a polished stainless-steel case. Apart from this, the Portofino Automatic 37 welcomes another two beautiful watches with diamond-set bezels. Injecting more colour into the collection are a model with a blue dial and blue leather strap and another version featuring a silver- plated dial and raspberry-coloured leather strap.
The moon phase display is not only a thing of striking beauty. It also serves as a reminder that long before the days of mechanical timekeeping it was the moon that dis- played the passage of time for all to see. The moon phase display is integral to the Portofino watch family’s identity, like the Roman numerals, feuille hands and convex front glass. Back in 1984, the original Portofino itself was equipped with a moon phase display. This model was produced un- changed in very small series until the late 1990s. Last year, IWC Schaffhausen reinstated the moon phase display complication in the Portofino collection. Following on from last year’s diamond-set models is a beautiful, purist-in- spired timepiece devoid of diamonds on the case, whose meticulously polished, mirror-finished surface has a special luxury and elegance of its own. The Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37 (Ref. IW459007), with its 37-millimetre case, represents the subtle luxury unique to the popular watch family. The design of the moon phase display is clas- sic: the moon itself rises and sets behind a foreground of clouds. The softly shimmering mother-of-pearl dial with its 12 diamonds creates an attractive sensation of depth and underscores the clear design of the dial. “Iridescent mother- of-pearl enjoyed enormous popularity in the 1950s and 60s,” explains IWC Schaffhausen’s Creative Director Christian Knoop. “The material, which is produced by the pearl oyster, was a firm favourite with the stars who helped to make the resort of Portofino so famous back then. We took our inspiration from their accessories.” The Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37, water-resistant to 3 bar, is powered by the 35800-calibre mechanical automatic movement. The moon phase shown in the display can be set to “2 o’clock” using a correction button. The central seconds hand is stopped using the crown and the sapphire glass has an antireflective coating on both sides. The watch is secured to the wearer’s wrist by a green alligator leather strap by Santoni. Exclusively for IWC, the luxury Italian shoemaker also produces leather straps that take on a wonderful patina with individual nuances of colour.
MORE COLOURS FOR THE AUTOMATIC 37
The rich variety of the Portofino Automatic 37 (Ref. 4581) is now extended to embrace two diamond-set models in stainless steel that bring fresh colour into the collection. The Reference IW458111 has a gorgeous blue dial with an alliga- tor leather strap in the same colour: a clear reference to the Ligurian Sea that the enchanting coastal village looks out onto. With its silver-plated dial and an alligator leather strap in raspberry pink, the Reference IW458112 has an entirely new appeal. Featuring bezels set with 66 diamonds, both models are the embodiment of radiant elegance and sub- tle luxury. The sun pattern guilloche work on the dials is particularly attractive: it creates fascinating patterned re- flections and, when the watch is tilted, causes incident light to wander in circles around the dial. The discreetly re- cessed inner circle provides an additional sense of three- dimensionality. Apart from hour, minute and seconds hands, the Portofino Automatic also has a rapid-advance date display powered by the rugged mechanical 35111 calibre. The central hacking seconds hand is stopped when the crown is pulled out, and the sapphire glass has an antireflective coating on both sides to guarantee a clear view of the dial. Both models are water-resistant to 3 bar. The delicately nuanced alligator leather strap from Santoni underscores the harmony of the overall impression. Both timepieces are also available with a fine-quality Milanese bracelet in stainless steel. Skilfully woven from very fine wire, Milanese bracelets fit snugly around the wrist and are the embodiment of 1960s elegance.