IWC releases its latest Portofino, with the Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase. The model is available in stainless steel and red gold. In homage to the first Portofino from 1984, the new model shares a similar size and also bears the moon phase display.
The Case and Dial
The Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase is sized at 45.0 mm in diameter and 13.2 mm in height. Though not the most palatable size for a classic watch, the case size is inherited as a homage to the original Portofino, which was designed in pocket watch dimensions. The larger sized case is also necessary for the big movement; which requires a larger barrel for the 8 days power reserve.
Applied indexes in matching red gold is set on the slate grey dial; finished with a sunburst effect. The dial is well balanced, and suitably complemented with thin swallow hands. A translucent film-like effect is seen on the date wheel, which we believe is a more subtle approach to enhance legibility to the date at certain angles, without adding too much to the dial.
The IWC Portofino is powered by the hand-wound 59800-calibre movement, which has a power reserve of 8 days when fully wound. The in-house movement uses 30 jewels and beats at 28, 800vph. The finishing is better than average, but not anywhere close to superior hand-finished movements, which is understandable given its relatively lower pricing.
The movement is designed reminiscent of old IWC pocket watches. On the plates and bridges, we can see some Côtes de Genève, perlage and dressage. We found the fausses côtes to be done very well, deep slopes have been cut on the bridges making for a more delectable appearance. The anglages on the bridges are also well executed, and we are quite pleased that IWC have chosen to include some very nice outward angles. Interesting to note about the movement, its moonphase mechanism is extremely precise and diverge from the actual phase of the moon by just 1 day in 577.5 years.
The IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase is a well-executed yet arguably unsurprising piece added to the collection. Considering how the watch is based on the original Portofino, it is not in fairness to criticize the large case size. However, some may find issues with the busy dial, even more so when in comparison to the previous moon phase model, the IW544805 with roman numerals and breguet hands.
That said, while we may have a stronger fancy for the earlier model, the current IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase does boast a newer caliber with 8 days power reserve and for some, the important date feature.
The watch in steel is priced at US$13,000, and US$22,900 in gold.
Reference: IW516401 (steel) / IW516403 (18k Red Gold)
Case: 45mm diameter x 13.2mm height – stainless steel or 18k red gold case – sapphire crystal on both sides – water resistant to 3 Bar.
Movement: IWC Cal. H59800 Calibre with moon phase module – manual winding – 4Hz frequency – 192h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date, moon phase, power reserve.
Strap: brown alligator leather strap by Santoni
IWC is becoming ridiculous with their cases sizes. This would had been a great watch at 40mm.