Recently, IWC introduced a unique edition of the Portofino launched at the occasion of the Tribeca Film Festival 2015, a watch that later had been auctioned by Christie’s. Surprisingly, this unique timepiece came with a brand new movement, never seen before in the rest of the Portofino collection: a hand-wound mono-pusher chronograph. However, we knew this was not just a unique attempt, this was a launching piece for IWC’s new in-house Hand-Wound 8-Days Monopusher chronograph movement – and here is now the regular edition. Please welcome the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher.
Basically, this new IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher Chronograph is a mechanical (but not visual) evolution of the actual IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days. Until now, IWC’s Hand-Wound 8-Day calibre, a large movement that can be found for example in the Portuguese Hand-Wound 8 Days – 75th Anniversary Edition, featured a small off-center second display (at 6 o’clock), a power reserve indicator (at 9 o’clock) and a date (or a large date in the Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date). Now IWC uses exactly this movement and adds a chronograph module on the movement side (meaning a visible module) – and not any kind of chronograph, as we’re talking about a column-wheel mechanism with single pusher.
The chronograph functions can be operated by a single pusher, which is integrated in the crown. By pushing this button, you can start and then stop the chronograph. Then with a third push the chronograph counter will be reset to zero. It records up to 60-minute time intervals, which are displayed in the subsidiary counter at 12 o’clock. The chronograph second is classically located on the central axis. The other subsidiary dial at 6 displays the running seconds. Like in the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher keeps the date displayed though a small aperture at 3 o’clock and the power reserve located at 9 o’clock position.
The view from the see-though case back is extremely pleasant due to the large diameter of the movement – that completely fills the case. As said, this new calibre 59360 is based on the classical IWC 8-day manual movement, on the top of which a chronograph module is added. Few parts are visible (almost all the gears and lever from the chronograph are hidden behind a large plate) but the most important is highlighted: the large column-wheel which is used for actuating the various chronograph functions (start/stop/reset). The rest of the movement is known, with a 8 days / 192 hours power reserve obtained from a large single barrel.
Except for its slightly superior thickness (13mm vs. 12mm, which remains quite acceptable for a chronograph), the case of the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher is similar to the rest of the 8-days collection, meaning a large 45mm round and polished central part and short but curved lugs. For the moment, this Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher will only be available in precious metals. A first edition shows a 18k white gold case with a slate-coloured dial and a grey alligator leather strap. The second edition is manufactured in 18k rose gold, with a silver-plated dial and a brown alligator leather strap. Both are featuring the superb Santoni straps.
The result is quite impressive in terms of purity and simplicity of the dial (even more than on the Tribeca edition with its contrasting red sub-counters). Due to the monopusher complication and a clean display, it’s hard to tell that the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher is actually a chronograph. Thus, IWC achieved to keep the vintage design of the collection by adding a complication (the chronograph) that usually burdens a sleek design.
The IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher Chronograph will be officially showed during the 2015 edition of Watches & Wonders (the Honk-Kong based watch fair) and it will be priced at 27.100 USD in white gold and 25.400 USD in rose gold. More details on IWC.com.