Before the end of the year, the IWC collection will be enriched with 17 new references in a 37mm case diameter that clearly aims to capture the hearts – and wrists – of the lady. The new Portofino Midsize collection offers a variety of case materials, as well as different dial and strap colours and diamond settings to meet what the brand’s CEO Georges Kern describes as “an increasing worldwide demand for watches set with diamonds.”
But despite the brand’s testosterone-filled recent past, the Portofino collection, which traces its origins to the large 46 millimetre “grande dame” watch of 1981 (Ref. 5251) already included a much smaller 34 mm version launched in 1984, when the Portofino name was first introduced.
The quaint fishing village on the Ligurian coast of Italy from which the Portofino takes its name was used to set the scene for the Midsize line in spectacular style with the help of renowned photographer Peter Lindbergh and a cast of award-winning Hollywood actors. Some of the best photos from among the 21,000 images taken during this three-day shoot were on display at an exhibition unveiled by Peter Lindbergh and Cate Blanchett, one of the stars of the shoot, at the Zurich Film Festival last weekend. The exhibition will travel to Hong Kong, London and Miami before ending its journey in Dubai.
The flagship in IWC’s Portofino Midsize line is a moonphase complication using the Calibre 35800 self-winding movement with a 42-hour power reserve and its headline model has a 37mm red-gold case set with 90 diamonds, with a further 84 diamonds on the black lacquer dial. Other red-gold models are available with 66 diamonds set on the case and 12 on a black or white mother-of-pearl dial. There is also a stainless-steel version with the same diamond setting. All but two models in the new collection feature Santoni alligator leather bracelets that are produced exclusively for IWC by the famous shoe manufacturer. Two models with an equally Italian touch in the form of refined Milanese straps complete the collection.
Two additional models in the same 37mm case diameter offer a practical day and night display on a 24-hour scale around the interior of the mother-of-pearl dial with its 12 diamond hour markers. Available in stainless steel or 18-carat red gold, these are powered by the IWC Calibre 35700 movement, which offers a 42-hour power reserve.
Although lacking in romanticism, the infix Midsize at least wears its heart on its sleeve. The core of the collection, these ten references have the same 37mm case after which they are named and are powered by the IWC self-winding Calibre 35111, again with a 42-hour power reserve. They are available in stainless steel or 18-carat red gold with diamonds either on the case or the dial and alligator leather straps in a wide variety of colours: black, light brown, dark brown, grey, red, lilac and orange.
The new range is completed by three Portofino Automatic models in the slightly larger 40mm case diameter with cases in 18-carat red or white gold set with 72 diamonds, slate or silver-plated dials and black or dark brown alligator leather straps.
Click on the photo at the top of this article to see a slideshow of the full IWC Portofino Midsize collection.