взять займ

Throwback Sundays: Six Recommendations for a Titanium Watch from Our Archives
Previous
RANDOM
Spot the Watch: The Sultan of Brunei
Next

Review: IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher Chronograph

by Peter Chong on August 31, 2015

Last week, we were the first to unveil the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher Chronograph right after the embargo was lifted. We now bring you another world’s first and exclusive: the first full hands on review of the Portofino Monopusher Chronograph with our live photographs of the watch. 

 

IWC Portofino Monopusher Chronograph Review

 

We were on-site in Hong Kong as Georges Kern, CEO of IWC unveiled the new chronograph to select press on August 26 (embargo lifted 0000 August 27).

 

IWC CEO Georges Kern proudly showing the Portofino Monopusher Chronograph. Hong Kong, August 27, 2015.

IWC CEO Georges Kern proudly showing the Portofino Monopusher Chronograph. Hong Kong, August 27, 2015.

 

The IWC Portofino Monopusher Chronograph houses the first ever in-house handwound and first in-house monopusher chronograph movement made by IWC. The first in-house caliber was the 89360 which was an automatic movement. However, this is not the first watch the movement has been used. IWC first offered a piece unique with the same monopusher movement for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival in May this year. But this is its first appearance in a series production watch. The series is available in red gold or white gold.

 

The case, dial and hands

 

The case is classic Portofino. Elegant, slim, and a true nod to the luxury lifestyle of the idyllic Italian town. Like the iconic IWC 5251 (affectionately known as the fried egg, a reference to the brilliant moonphase on the dial),

 

The IWC Portofino offers a very elegant, slim case design. Though the case is 45mm, it slips quietly on the wrist and remains comfortable under shirt cuffs, and is equally elegant in a business suit or a casual outfit.

The IWC Portofino offers a very elegant, slim case design. Though the case is 45mm, it slips quietly on the wrist and remains comfortable under shirt cuffs, and is equally elegant in a business suit or a casual outfit.

 

The case is rather large at 45mm but is proportionately slim at only 13mm thickness gives the impression of a thin disk on one’s wrist. The dial opening is wide as the bezel is thin, and shows the beautiful slate grey dial on the white gold piece which we spent a good part of an hour in our hands-on to fully appreciate the watch. The red gold version is offered with an argenté dial which sets off the contrast beautifully with the case.

 

IWC Portofino Monopusher Chronograph.

IWC Portofino Monopusher Chronograph.

A wallpaper sized (1920 x 1200 pixels) image of the movement is available by clicking here. By clicking, you agree to a free to use license only for personal and non commercial use in its original, unmodified condition.

 

The markers on the dial are gold appliqué of the same gold hue as the case. The polished white gold markers setting off a good contrast and makes the dial quite legible. The 60 on the minute totalizer dial, and the continuous seconds subdial is marked in red. As is the last 2 days of the 8 day power reserve also indicated with red markings. The red is quite brilliant, and is the only use of colour on the dial. We think it rather tasteful.

The swallow hands are elegant with their sweeping, sensuous curves make for an especially beautiful face for the watch. We would have wished for the use of the traditional IWC script which says “International Watch Co. Schaffhaussen” instead of the more graphic, monolithic text on the dial proclaiming “IWC”.

 

The movement: IWC Caliber 59360: design, execution and finishing

 

As mentioned, the movement is a new in-house developed caliber featuring a monopusher activating a column wheel chronograph. The movement is quite nicely laid out.

 

The IWC Caliber 59360.

The IWC Caliber 59360.

 

The chronograph works are most hidden behind a massive 3/4 like plate. The plate is perforated at the column wheel, to show the wheel and the lever it activates as the chronograph function is demanded by the user. The column wheel is in stainless steel, as is common for column wheels, as is the lever, and both are brushed finished. The wheel in a circular brushed fashion and the lever is given linear brushed finish. The lever is anglaged. We might have also wished the column wheel to be black polished to show it off even better, but IWC has decided not to do so.

 

IWC-manufactured calibre 59360. A 3/4 like plate covers the chronograph works providing a stable platform for its functions. Visually, we like the levels it creates on the movement.

IWC-manufactured calibre 59360. A 3/4 like plate covers the chronograph works providing a stable platform for its functions. Visually, we like the levels it creates on the movement.

A wallpaper sized (1920 x 1200 pixels) image of the movement is available by clicking here. By clicking, you agree to a free to use license only for personal and non commercial use in its original, unmodified condition.

 

The 3/4 like plate covering the chronograph works give a sense of depth to the movement as it creates a separate level from the base plate for the movement’s wheel train. Both plates are finished quite well, with fausses côte striping on the plates. All edges feature nicely rounded and polished anglage, and is quite beautiful to behold.

 

The column wheel, visible through an opening on the plate covering the chronograph works.

The column wheel, visible through an opening on the plate covering the chronograph works.

 

IWC did not provide details, but it is rather clear that the chronograph operates on a linear clutch system. During our hands-on session, we performed numerous start/stop/reset actions on the single button. The force to start, stop and reset the chronograph remains light and consistent with each function. This one of the hallmarks we count for a well designed chronograph, and though common among column wheel chronographs, is not always the case. Some chronographs, particularly those sourced from Valjoux 7750 and Lemania 5100 movements do not offer the same force to start, stop or reset. And this is also typical in these lever activated chronographs.

 

The anglage visible on the edge of the plate is nicely rounded and polished. Vislbie ar ethe clutch wheels of the chronograph.

The anglage visible on the edge of the plate is nicely rounded and polished. Visible are the clutch wheels of the chronograph.

 

Final Thoughts

 

The IWC Portofino Monopusher Chronograph leaves this reviewer with a slightly mixed feeling. The visual beauty and elegance of the watch is quite inspiring. The new single button chronograph movement ticks so many boxes, that we applaud the step taken by IWC to create in-house manufactured chronographs.

But it also lacks the last bit to make it very special. The use of black polishing on the column wheel and exposed chronograph levers would certainly be a push in that direction, as would the use of the “International Watch Co., Schaffhaussen” script on the dial.

But for us, it stands this is an outstanding chronograph by IWC. Those die hard aficionados who bemoan the “commercialization” of IWC and their purported abandonment of the technical can be put to rest. This is a highly technical in-house developed and manufactured chronograph. Bravo IWC for making this step, and we look forward to more technical and beautiful timepieces from the maison.

The IWC Portofino Hand-wound Monopusher Chronograph is available at S$38,900 in white gold and S$36,900 in red gold

 

On the author's 7.5" diameter wrist, the IWC Portofino Monopusher Chronograph remains svelte and comfortable. It easily slips under the ciffs.

On the author’s 7.5″ diameter wrist, the IWC Portofino Monopusher Chronograph remains svelte and comfortable. It easily slips under the cuffs. For the sartorially inclined, the shirt is a pale blue herringbone bespoke with double cuffs. Note the mother pearl button just above our Deployant logo watermark. The suit is a bespoke commission from Gordon Yao (Hong Kong), and fully hand worked on a limited edition run of a Glenurquhart plaid from Lovat Mills in Scotland. The material is pure new wool with an open weave like fresco, but with a very soft hand feel. Pocket square is a piece unique print by a Japanese artist in cotton.

 

 

What's your reaction?
I Love It
0%
Cool
0%
It's OK
0%
What?
0%
I Hate It
0%
powered by gf