IWC Schaffhausen have unveiled reinterpreted editions of their signature Portofino line for 2019. The women’s collection welcomes five smaller models, with an innovative strap change system, whilst six additional watches join the men’s line.
Portofino has been one of IWC’s most high-profile families ever since its first launch back in 1984. As legend has it, then-head watchmaker and living legend Kurt Klaus and head designer Hanno Burtscher put pen to paper over a glass of wine, devising a simple and elegant watch inspired by the classic rounded designs of the fifties and sixties.
Named after the idyllic Italian village where the jet set summers, the line was – and remains – imbued with a spirit of casual glamour. For men and women, and by day and by night, a Portofino watch is at once sophisticated and subtle. Signature elements, like the sleek style and uncluttered dial, remain just as popular with consumers today.
2019’s new Portofino watches for women are some of the smallest across IWC’s entire portfolio. With a reduced diameter of 34 millimetres, the five new models hark back to the very first Portofino collection which had similarly-sized timepieces for slender wrists, and are available in either in 18-carat 5N gold or stainless steel cases, with silver- plated, blue, or green dials, all of which feature diamonds on the case or dial.
This versatility extends to the inventive strap design, which allows the wearer to customise their watch to their look. A small tool accompanying each product makes it easy to swap between different 12 different strap options – crafted by leather goods maker Santoni – offered in an array of vibrant, hand-coloured shades, in addition to a Milanese stainless steel mesh bracelet.
“With these five new models, we were inspired by the origins of the Portofino family, and wanted to continue the tradition of IWC ladies’ watches from the 1980s, offering a very wearable size for women. Another highlight is the new strap changing system, which enables the wearer to change the look of their watch in the blink of an eye, adding a playful and fashionable element to the wrist.” – Christian Knoop, Creative Director of IWC Schaffhausen.
Portofino’s line for men has been refreshed for this year too, and welcomes six new models to its selection. Arguably, one of the most exciting is the Portofino Automatic Moon Phase, which will be the first to combine a 40mm case diameter and a moon phase complication. Thus far only appearing in 37mm or 45mm models, this new size will be available in two stainless steel variations: one with a silver-plated dial, gold-plated hands and appliqués and a brown alligator leather strap by Santoni, the other with a blue dial, rhodium-plated hands and appliqués and a black alligator leather strap by Santoni.
The 2019 launch also includes new versions of the Portofino Chronograph and the Portofino Automatic with blue dials. Both designs will be available in either 18-carat 5N gold or stainless steel, with gold appliqués, gold-plated hands and black alligator leather straps by Santoni.
“Since 1984, the Portofino range has established itself as one of our most successful watch families. Both men and women alike are drawn to the classic appeal of this timepiece, with its minimalistic round case, Roman numerals and simple hour markers that characterise this collection. This is why we are pleased to extend the family with eleven attractive new timepieces,” explained Knoop.
All five of the new Portofino men’s references are now available worldwide. The remaining six women’s references are exclusively available in IWC boutiques and authorised IWC retailers in China and Hong Kong, arriving in boutiques throughout the rest of the world by October 2019.