Since its first launch in 1984, the Portofino watch family has been one of IWC's most popular watches. The story is that Kurt Klaus, a true living legend who was then chief watchmaker, and Hanno Burtscher, director of design, would have imagined a simple and elegant watch, inspired by the classic round designs of the 1950s and 1960s, around a glass of wine.
Named after the picturesque Italian village where the jet-set flows in the summer, the line was - and still is - imbued with a casual glamor. Designed for men and women, day and night, a Portofino watch is both subtle and sophisticated. Some signature elements, including a refined style and a sleek dial, are still a hit with customers today.
The new 2019 Portofino ladies watches are among the smallest models in the entire IWC portfolio. With a diameter of just 34 millimeters, the five new timepieces are reminiscent of the very first Portofino collection that featured similar-sized models for the finest wrists. These novelties are offered with a case in 18-carat red gold or stainless steel associated with a silver dial, blue or green - the case or the dial being set with diamonds.
This versatility also applies to the ingenious design of the bracelet that allows its owner to adapt his watch to his outfit. Thanks to a small tool provided, it is indeed possible to easily mount one of the 12 different bracelet options made by Santoni leather goods house and offered in a wide range of hand-made colors. A Milanese mesh bracelet in stainless steel is also available.
"For these five new models, we were inspired by the origins of the Portofino family. We wanted to continue the tradition of the 1980s by offering IWC watches with a diameter particularly suitable for women. The new bracelet change system is another highlight of the collection: everyone can change the look of their watch in the blink of an eye, which introduces a playful and trendy element on the wrist. "
Christian Knoop, Creative Director of IWC Schaffhausen.
The men's Portofino line has also been revisited this year and is enriched with six new models. The Portofino Automatic Phase de Lune is undoubtedly the most popular: this watch combines for the first time a 40 mm case and a moon phase complication. Reserved until now for models 37 or 45 mm in diameter, this complication is offered in two stainless steel variants: one with a silver dial, gold-plated hands and appliques and a brown Santoni alligator strap. , the other with a blue dial, rhodium-plated hands and appliques and a black Santoni alligator strap.
This 2019 launch also includes new variants of the Portofino Chronograph and the Portofino Automatic, which adopt a blue dial. Both designs are available in 18K red gold or stainless steel with gold sconces, gold hands and a black Santoni alligator strap.
"Since 1984, the Portofino range has become one of the most popular watch families. Both men and women are seduced by the classic design of this collection which features a minimalist round case, Roman numerals and refined indexes. That's why we are delighted to enrich this family with eleven new attractive models, "explains Christian Knoop.
The five new Portofino references for men are now available worldwide. The six women's references are on sale exclusively in IWC stores and IWC dealers in China and Hong Kong. They will be offered worldwide in October 2019.