Dubai, 04 November 2014 - The new Midsize collection now makes the Portofino line from IWC Schaffhausen attractive to watch lovers who prefer a slightly smaller timepiece. With the Portofino Midsize AutomaticMoon Phase and the Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night, two radiant 37-millimetre beauties availablein seven different versions designed to reflect the timeless elegance of the Italian coastal resortjoin the Swiss company’s watch family. Ten different Portofino Midsize Automatic models with 37-millimetre cases will be launched in 2014, available with or without a diamond-set bezel. Three Portofino Automatic versionsfeaturing 40-millimetre cases set with precious stones round off the dazzling display.
The Portofino collection has been an expression of under¬statement and good taste for 30 years. Thanks to its puristic, timeless design, the watch family has established itself as one of IWC Schaffhausen’s most successful families and is equally popular with both men and women. GeorgesKern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, explains the thinking be¬hind the new 2014 Portofino collection: “IWC has estab¬lished itself as a global brand, and therefore keeps a close eye on what people are wearing when it comes to watchesand jewellery, on what trends are developing. What we are currently observing is an increasing worldwide demand for watches set with diamonds.” IWC has reacted to this with a subtle development of its classic Portofino watch family, whose brand core remains unchanged: extravagant beautyand timeless elegance. “With the Midsize collection, we are making this successful, classic watch line more interesting for customers with slimmer wrists,” explains Georges Kern. “The diamond-set models will appeal to anyone with a pref-erence for wristwatches that combine understated design with a touch of the exquisite.”
The 2014 Portofino Midsize collection includes three new 37-millimetre models in 17 different versions: the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase (Ref. 4590), the Porto¬fino Midsize Automatic Day & Night (Ref. 4591) and the Portofino Midsize Automatic (Ref. 4581). In addition to the Midsize collection, IWC is also unveiling three new Portofino Automatic (Ref. 3565) models featuring 40-millimetre cases.
CONTINUING A LONG TRADITION
“The Portofino Midsize collection responds to a current market trend, but at the same time draws on our past,” says Goris Verburg, Director Marketing & Communication IWC Schaffhausen, referring to IWC’s history. “Numerous different variations of watches with smaller cases, diamond-set bezels and mother-of-pearl dials have been a feature of our company’s 146-year history. For 20 years, most of the Portofino watches we sold were midsize models, and the manufacture of watches set with precious stones goes all the way back to IWC’s very beginning. The new Portofino Midsize models reflect a long tradition and open up a widerinternational market for the Portofino collection.” From the moment the watch family was launched in 1984, the im¬pressive “pocket-watch-style wristwatch” (Ref. 5251) was accompanied by a smaller version with a case measuring just 34 millimetres in diameter. To mark its introduction, IWC created the slogan “The Portofino series by IWC. The daily enjoyment of wearing a little gold.” With the benefit of hindsight, the statement pointed to what to this day is one of the lasting reasons for the watch’s success –the tasteful combination of luxurious materials with a puristic design.
PETER LINDBERGH’S GALLERY
In 2014, celebrated photographer Peter Lindbergh created an impressive series of pictures exclusively to mark the launch of the new Portofino Midsize collection, featuring well-known celebrities in the picturesque Italian harbour town of Portofino. It is the second time Lindbergh has created a shoot for IWC Schaffhausen to promote the Portofino, and he has once more managed to brilliantly convey in his work the spirit of timeless elegance that the town embodies. Remaining true to his artistic credo, Lindbergh chose to do the shoot in black and white. The leading roles were filled by esteemed Friends of the Brand Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Zhou Xun, Ewan McGregor and Christoph Waltz. Supermodels Karolina Kurkova and Adriana Lima added a touch of allure to the event in some breathtaking fashion shots. The exclusive collection of photographs will travel the world as an exhibition entitled “Timeless Portofino” to mark the launch of the Portofino Midsize watches. First stops in 2014 are the IWC events scheduled for the Zurich Film Festival, the Watches & Wonderswatch fair in Hong Kong, the London Film Festival,Art Basel in Miami and an exclusive occasion in Dubai.
THE NEW PORTOFINO WATCHES FOR 2014: AN OVERVIEW
The flagship of the new Midsize collection is the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase in white gold (Ref. IW459004). The dial, bezel and horns are decorated with a total of 174 pure white diamonds. The jet-black dial has several meticulously applied coats of lacquer and is the perfect backdrop to truly bring out the sparkle of the pre¬cious stones. For the first time ever, the designers have depicted the entire moon phase display as a star-studded night sky, with the moon and stars appearing to float in infinite space. For the dials of the red-gold and stainless-steel versions of the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase, flawless, gently shimmering mother-of-pearl in white (Ref. IW459001/IW459002/IW459005) and black (Ref. IW459003) was chosen. The bezels, encrusted with 66 sparkling diamonds,are magnificent. “The use of dia¬monds and mother-of-pearl represents something of a renaissance in the history of our Portofino family,” explains Christian Knoop, Creative Director at IWC Schaffhausen. “But our take on luxury is a modern one. For us, it is discreetand unpretentious. The Portofino from IWC has retained the clean lines for which it has become so well known and so popular. It is underscored by the mother-of-pearl dials, as well as those with a sun-pattern finish, both of which give the watches a wonderful depth and life of their own.”
The new Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night fea¬turing a red-gold (Ref. IW459102) or stainless-steel case (Ref. IW459101) combines the luxury of diamonds and mother-of-pearl with the nonchalance of a new and more mobile generation. It is the perfect companion for people who do business globally, jet-setters and night owls – after all, Portofino has for decades been a popular destination for the international rich and famous. Thanks to a second time zone and 24-hour day/night display, the Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night ensures that even those whose parties turn night into day never lose track of the time.
The Portofino Midsize Automatic (Ref. 4581) featuring a 37-millimetre case comes in four red-gold and six stainless-steel versions, each one either with or without a diamond-set bezel. This puristic three-hand watch with date display has been the silent star of the IWC range for many years, so the fact that this classic is now available in a more opulentdesign with a slightly smaller case will no doubt come as good news to devotees of timeless wristwatches. The sun-pattern finish on the dial and the meticulously finished case lend these timepieces a real air of luxury and exclusivity.
The Portofino Automatic (Ref. 3565) featuring a 40-milli¬metre case and date display has three additional models in the new collection, each featuring a bezel set with pre¬cious stones. With the red-gold model, the buyer has the choice between a silver-plated (Ref. IW356515) or slate-coloured (Ref. IW356516) dial. The Portofino Automatic in white gold (Ref. IW356514) is available exclusively with a silver-plated dial.
EXCLUSIVE STRAPS FROM SANTONI
With the exception of two models, all the new members of the Portofino watch family are perfectly complemented by their fine alligator leather straps, produced exclusively for IWC by well-known Italian shoe manufacturers Santoni.These elegant leather straps from Santoni are among the finest work of their artisan craftsmen. The secret of Santoni’ssuccess is the nuanced shading of the leather. Elaborately finished by hand, each strap has an exclusive patina-like shimmer with its own individual colour tones. To achieve this effect, the surface of the leather is polished with various different pastes until the desired shading and a perfect sheen are achieved. The wide choice of colours for the straps used with this year’s Portofino collection was inspired by the brightly coloured facades of the houses in Portofino, which lend the port its distinctive character.
Two of the new Portofino watches feature an exquisite Milanaise mesh bracelet: the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase (Ref. IW459005) and the Portofino Midsize Automatic (Ref. IW458110). The other Portofino Midsize models in the new collection are also available with stainless-steel or 18-carat red-gold Milanaise mesh bracelets in an elegant sixties-inspired style. Milanaisemesh bracelets are made of a wire mesh weave and, as well as being ex¬tremely robust, fit snugly around the wrist. A slightly finer weave was chosen for the Midsize collection.As the name suggests, Milanaise bracelets were invented in Milan and are thus ideally suited to watchesthat embody the Italian lifestyle.
EXISTING PORTOFINO WATCHES KEEP ON TICKING
All the models in the current Portofino collection from IWC Schaffhausen remain in the range, including the Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date (Ref. 5161), whose digital date display goes back all the way to the Pallweber system first used in the mid-1880s. The Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days (Ref. 5101) joined the Portofino family in 2011. Its IWC-manufactured 59210-calibre movement runs preciselyand reliably for a full 192 hours, or 8 days, before it auto¬matically stops. The Portofino Chronograph (Ref. 3910) brings a touch of sporting flair to the Portofino family. Its striking chronograph push-buttons are reminiscent of the cockpit of 1960s Italian sports cars. Three hands and a discreet day display – as the watch of choice for the dis¬cerning purist, the Portofino Automatic (Ref. 3565) needs no more. Thanks to its timeless design, it has been one of the most successful models in the Portofino line for many years.
A SUCCESS STORY FOUNDED ON A POCKET-WATCH-STYLE WRISTWATCH
The history of the Portofino watch family from Schaffhausenbegan in the late 1970s, when mass-produced quartz watches and ever more daring designer timepieces dominated the market. Despite this, IWC noted a steady demand for simple, classic models. These watches had to be reliable, retain their value and, above all, remain time¬less. The model that immediately sprung to mind was the elegant IWC Lépine pocket watch (Ref. 5201). With its puristic design, slim Roman numerals and small seconds at “6 o’clock”, it already had the potential to become a classic.Taking this as their inspiration, IWC’s watchmakers and casemakers succeeded in manufacturing a new pocket-watch-style wristwatch (Ref. 5251) in record time. As yet without a name, the “grande dame” appeared in the IWC collection for the first time in 1981 and created a furore, not only on account of the imposing 46-millimetre case diameter. For a wristwatch, the position of the sec¬onds displayat “9 o’clock” was unusual to say the least. This positioning came about as the small seconds display was positioned in a straight line with the winding crown in the open-face pocket watch movement. Providing an aesthetic balance on the opposite side is a spectacular moon phase display made of genuine goldstone, an ornate feature crafted on the island of Murano, the centre of arti¬san glassmaking in Italy. In 1984, IWC Schaffhausen presented the first Portofino watch family, with Reference 5251 as the flagship of the collection. The launch, of course, took place in Portofino. The small, picturesque village on the Ligurian coast, which became the meeting point of the international jet set and epitome of Italian elegance in the 1950s, was virtually predestined to give the new watch its name. Its clear-cut proportions, original design and, not least of all, its impressive dimensions have helped to ensurethat the original Portofino (Ref. 5251) is a much sought-after rarity among collectors to this day.
THE PORTOFINO FAMILY’S CLASSIC STATUS
To mark its 120th jubilee in 1988, IWC unveiled the Porto¬fino Reference 2532, an elegant, consummately designed timepiece featuring a gold case with Roman numerals and a hand-wound IWC calibre. The same year saw the launch of the Portofino Reference 3731 with the hybrid 631-calibre movement. Although the chronograph con¬sisted of 233 parts, the height of the movement was just 3.8 millimetres – an outstanding achievement. In 1993, IWC launched the Portofino Hand-Wound (Ref. 2010) with a movement measuring just 1.85 millimetres in height. The slimmest of all IWC watches, it sold successfully until 2005. In 2004, IWC increased the case diameter of the Portofino Automatic (Ref. 3533) to 38 millimetres. The family wel¬comed its first purely mechanical chronograph (Ref. 3783) in 2007. Marking the company’s 140th anniversary in 2008, the Portofino Hand-Wound from the IWC Vintage Collection(Ref. 5448) invoked the success of the original Portofino.The choice of a hunter movement meant that the moon phase and seconds display reverted to their traditional positions of “12 o’clock” and “6 o’clock”, respectively.
In 2011, the Year of the Portofino, fans of this classic watch family enthusiastically welcomed many redesigned and newly developed models. Equipped with the IWC-manu¬factured 59210-calibre movement, the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days (Ref. 5101) effortlessly scaled the peak of haute horlogerie. In 2013, it was the turn of the 8-day in-house 59000-calibre family to welcome new members. Thanks to the new 59230 calibre, the Portofino watch familycould now also boast a timepiece with a big date – the Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date (Ref. 5161).
With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment,IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design. As an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports institutions around the globe in their work with children and young people, and maintains partnerships with organizations dedicated to climate and environmental protection.
DIAMONDS, MOON AND STARS - PORTOFINO MIDSIZE AUTOMATIC MOON PHASE
In creating the new Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase, IWC’s designers have taken inspirationfrom the elegance and flair of the 1950s and ’60s and combined this with a distinctly modern take on luxury. The moon phase display – a feature which harks back to the original Portofino from 1984 – sees the moon imaginatively set in a classic cloud scene or hovering in space in a star-studdednight sky.
To the delight of many watch lovers, the 2014 Portofino collection sees the return of the most beautiful of all func¬tions – the moon phase display. No fewer than five ver¬sions of the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase models glitter with a combination of diamonds, moon and stars: one in white gold (Ref. IW459004), three in red gold (Ref. IW459002/IW459003/IW459005) and one in stainlesssteel (Ref. IW459001). Much like the Roman numerals, feuille hands and convex front glass, the moon phase dis¬play is an integral part of the Portofino watch line’s identity. It featured in the very first Portofino unveiled in 1984. This model was produced in very small series until the late 1990s, with no change in the design during this time. The Portofino Hand-Wound from the 2008 IWC Vintage Collection delighted connoisseurs with a display showing the moon in its various phases.
The celestial bodies are not the only stars on the dial – every single model features an exquisite collection of dia¬monds and the finest materials. With a moderately sized 37-millimetre case, water-resistant to 3 bar, the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase also has the ideal dimen¬sions for a more slender wrist. The hands and moon phase display are powered by the 35800-calibre automatic move¬ment. The phase of the moon shown in the display can be adjusted using a correction button at “2 o’clock”. The centralseconds hand is stopped using the crown and the sapphire glass has an antireflective coating on both sides.
BLACK AS NIGHT, BRIGHT AS DAY
The Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase in white gold (Ref. IW459004) is the flagship of the new Midsize collec¬tion. The dial is the first in IWC’s history to feature several meticulously applied coats of lacquer. The jet-black colour provides a striking backdrop to the pure white diamonds. For the first time ever, Schaffhausen’s watch designers have set the complete moon phase display against a star-studdednight sky, making the stars appear to float in infinite space. It is an evocative image that is further enhanced by the diamond-encrusted inner circle of the dial and in the case, which is set with 90 precious stones. The baton-style indices, set with precious stones, radiate like a starburst from the centreof the dial, while the dots of the minute markers move round the edge like distant planets in orbit. Each one of the 174 stones on the dial, bezel and horns appears perfectly positioned, allowing the opulence of the decoration to blend seamlessly into the timepiece’s luxurious style. The watch is fitted with a black alligator leather strap made by Santoni.
SHIMMERING MOTHER-OF-PEARL WITH THE FLAIR OF PORTOFINO
Those who come to Portofino want to see and be seen. It has been that way since the days of stars like Maria Callas, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren holding court in the cafés around the cobblestoned Piazzetta at the harbour, happily posing for the paparazzi and in the process estab¬lishing the fashion tastes of an entire generation. Diamond and pearl jewellery was a must in those days, and mother-of-pearl was a popular decorative element on the exquisite accessories and watches of the time. It was this that in¬spired IWC’s watch designers to use flawless, gently shim¬mering mother-of-pearl in white (Ref. IW459001/IW459002/ IW459005) and black (Ref. IW459003) for the dials of the red-gold and stainless-steel versions of the Portofino MidsizeAutomaticMoon Phase. The subtle, smooth lustre of the mother-of-pearl underscores the clean design of the watches and gives the dials a magnificent sense of depth, bringing them to life. A bezel set with 66 diamonds com¬pletes each piece with a fitting elegance.
The colours for the dial, case and strap have been care¬fully selected to give a sense of balance to each timepiece. The white mother-of-pearl on the stainless-steel model provides a wonderful counterpoint to the blue of the moon phase display, making it appear even larger. This colour is also perfectly complemented by the dark blue of the Santonialligator leather strap. A classic moon phase dis¬play features on the three red-gold versions, with the moon rising and setting behind the clouds. The red-gold model with white mother-of-pearl dial is paired either with a black Santonialligator leather strap or a red-gold Milanaise mesh bracelet to match the case. The black mother-of-pearl dial truly brings out the sparkle of the diamonds on the hour indices of Reference IW459003. This model is supplied with a dark brown strap. A Milanaise mesh bracelet is also available as an option for the stainless-steel and the other red-gold versions.
THIS PORTOFINO TURNS NIGHT INTO DAY - PORTOFINO MIDSIZE AUTOMATIC DAY & NIGHT
The new Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night with a 24-hour day/night display and a second time zone combines discreet luxury with the suave urbanity of a modern, mobile generation. It is not only the diamonds and mother-of-pearl that shine on this watch; the beautiful and practical complication is also a wonder to behold. It is the perfect timepiece for people who do business or travel worldwide,for jet-setters and for night owls.
The former fishing village of Portofino on the Golfo del Tigullio near Genoa in Italy has for decades been a popular destination for the international rich and famous. Globaliza¬tion was celebrated here at a time when the concept was still known only to the very few. To this day the Mediterranean flair of the coastal town still exerts a magical attractionon well-known actors, artists and people in the fashion industry from all over the world. When the international jet set party, turning night into day, the new Portofino MidsizeAutomatic Day & Night with a second time zone and day/ night display helps them to keep track of the time. Thanks to its elegant design with a diamond-set bezel and white mother-of-pearl dial, this exceptional watch ensures that its wearer cuts a fine figure no matter what the time. Its timeless elegance is as much at home on festive occasions as for everyday use. The watch features a sumptuous red-gold (Ref. IW459102) or stainless-steel (Ref. IW459101) case, combined with a black or dark blue alligator leather strap made by Santoni. It is also available with a Milanaise mesh bracelet in stainless steel or 18-carat red gold. Supplying the power is the 35700-calibre mechanical movement with a 42-hour power reserve.
A SECOND TIME ZONE – AS BEAUTIFUL AS I T IS PRACTICAL
A second time zone is a beautiful and practical complicationthat is enjoying increasing popularity around the globe. While the hour, minute and seconds hands display local time, the blue hand on the inner 24-hour ring shows the time at a second location of the wearer’s choice. It could just as easily be the time back home or in a city on the other side of the globe where a business partner resides – after all, the last thing you want to do is call at an inconvenient time. To make reading the time in the second location easier, the lower half of the ring, from “6 a.m.” to “6 p.m.”, is white, while the top half, from “6 p.m.” to “6 a.m.”, is blue, allowing the wearer to easily differentiate between day and night. This dark blue, which is also used for the fourth hand, is wonderfully accentuated against the shimmering white mother-of-pearl dial. The crown provides a fast, simple means of setting the time separately on the dial and in the inner 24-hour ring. Pulling the crown out to a spe¬cific position allows the user to set the hour and minute hands after arriving in a new time zone. The small blue hand remains in position and continues to show the time back home. When required, the crown can be pulled out to a second position that allows the hand to be adjusted backwards and forwards in one-hour steps.
THE LONG TRADITION OF THE 24-HOUR DISPLAY
The new Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night unites three watchmaking inventions from over a century of IWC history on a single dial. When the 24-hour day was intro¬ duced in the late Middle Ages, people were a little per¬turbed by the fact that every point on the 12-hour dial showed a time that could be either day or night. In the absence of daylight or other natural indicators, it is, for instance, hard to determine whether it is 10 o’clock in the morning or in the evening, a.m. or p.m. The 12-hour dial prevailed due to practical considerations. One of the rea¬sons was that a small watch is easier to manufacture and has a longer service life. For the ambitious watchmakers of modernity, it meant a greater incentive to find elegant solutions for a large watch. Dividing the day into 24 hours enjoyed a surge of popularity towards the end of the 19th century after the world was separated into 24 time zones at the 1884 International Meridian Conference in Washington. IWC Schaffhausen latched onto this trend and in 1887 produced a pocket watch with a convertible case and 24-hour display: the “Magique”. Although more pocket watches with oversize displays appeared in subse¬quent years – destined mainly for the Italian market – they remained watchmaking rarities. A century after the Magique,IWC introduced a watch with a 24-hour ring in colours that clearly divided it into day and night. In 1998, IWC’s designersspawned the Pilot’s Watch UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) with a separate, second time zone. By then, all the watchmaking features that were needed to provide the face of the new Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night already existed.
RADIANT BEAUTIES PORTOFINO MIDSIZE AUTOMATIC PORTOFINO AUTOMATIC
For 30 years, the classic elegance of the Portofino Automatic with three hands has held its own in times of ever-changing, short-lived fashion trends. With its new 37-millimetre Portofino Midsize Automatic, IWC Schaffhausen has made the company’s silent star more attractive to watch lovers with slimmer wrists. The ten models with their diamond-set bezels or dials will appeal to buyers seeking puristic design combined with timeless elegance. Three slightly larger Portofino Automaticmodels, also set with precious stones, perfectly complement the current collection.
When in 1984 a smaller version of the Portofino was presented to the public alongside the impressive “pocket-watch-style wristwatch” (Ref. 5251), it had what by today’s standards could certainly be described as modest dimen¬sions, with a case diameter of just 34 millimetres. The Mid¬size models were highly sought after, especially in Latin Europe, and sold successfully until 2007. Seen in this light, the new 37-millimetre Portofino Midsize Automatic models(Ref. 4581) launched in 2014 mark a return to a fine tradition for the Swiss watch manufacturer. The much-coveted three-hand timepiece now looks perfect on a slimmerwrist – all the more so when it is set with precious stones.
TEN MODELS TO CATER TO EVERY TASTE
The Portofino Midsize Automatic comes in four red-gold and six stainless-steel versions, each of which is available with a diamond-set bezel or a slightly more understated variation with 12 jewels on the dial. The sparkling stones are of remarkable clarity and give the watches an exquisite feel, while the design remains sleek and simple. The meticulously finished mirror-polished case surfaces also lend these timepieces a real air of exclusivity, as does the sun-pattern finish on the dials, which makes the light ap¬pear to move around in circles when the watch is tilted from side to side. Another eye-catching feature on the new Midsize models is the slightly raised inner circle on the dial – as seen on some members of the Ingenieur family – which adds structure and depth to the watch face. In addition to the hour, minute and seconds hands, the Portofino Midsize Automatic also features a rapid-advance date display.All of these functions are powered by the 35111-calibremechanical automatic movement. Pulling out the crown stops the central hacking seconds hand, and the sapphire glass has antireflective coating on both sides to guarantee a clear view of the display. All Portofino watches are tested for water-resistance to 3 bar. Alligator leather straps from Santoni in delicate nuances of colour comple¬ment the dial and case of nine of the models perfectly, while reference IW458110 features a Milanaise mesh bracelet. Each timepiece is also available with an elegant 1960s style Milanaise bracelet in high-quality stainless steel or 18-caratred gold. “Milanaise” is the name used to de¬scribe braceletswoven from fine wire that fit snugly around the wearer’s wrist.
DIAMONDS FOR THE BIG PORTOFINO AUTOMATIC
Launched in 2011, the Portofino Automatic (Ref. 3565) with a 40-millimetre case and date display will now be joined by three additional models in the new collection, each one featuring a bezel set with precious stones and an alligator leather strap from Santoni. With the red-gold model, the buyer has the choice between a silver-plated (Ref. IW356515) or slate-coloured (Ref. IW356516) dial. The Portofino Automatic in white gold (Ref. IW356514) is available exclusively with a silver-plated dial. The mechanical 35111-calibre automatic movement has a power reserve of 42 hours. The case, which is water-resistant to 3 bar, is decorated on the back with an exquisite engraving showing a view of the harbour at Portofino.