Meet the 14th watch made by IWC Schaffhausen in support of a good cause, “Laureus Sport for Good” – a charity that relies on sports to help children and young people overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantage in their lives. Following multiple blue-coloured watches, such as this special Mark XVIII or this Chronograph Yacht Club, today the brand unveils a watch that once again will benefit the most vulnerable. And there’s more, horologically speaking, as it is also an unprecedented model in the Portugieser collection. Let’s have a closer look at the new IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Monopusher Edition “Laureus Sport for Good” IW515301.
This new watch follows a long-established tradition for IWC, in support of the social sports projects run by its partner, Laureus Sport for Good. This project, founded under the Patronage of Nelson Mandela, believes that sport, a cost-effective but powerful tool, can help young people to fight all sorts of acts of violence, discriminations and disadvantages. This charity relies on a large portfolio of partners, which includes IWC, participating now for the 14th time in a row, with a usual blue-themed watch. But this year, the watch in question is quite special, since it is not just a new dial on an existing model, but it is an unprecedented version of the classic Portugieser.
The IWC Portugieser is the most iconic model in the brand’s range. It has existed in multiple variations, with 3-hand movements, automatic or hand-wound, with tourbillons, QPs, chronographs and rattrapante. What we have today is a Portugieser Hand-Wound Monopusher. Those who know a bit about IWC will certainly recognize this movement, but it never made it into this collection.
New model, Familiar “Laureus” design
This new model, dubbed IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Monopusher Edition “Laureus Sport for Good” IW515301 (quite a name, indeed), shares its movement with a watch from 2015, the IW5151 Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher Chronograph. Only available in gold, this watch remained something of a secret and is now out of the collection. Still, one can’t deny a certain horological interest in this piece, which goes a few steps beyond the traditional automatic chronograph. But more on the mechanics later.
This new Edition “Laureus Sport for Good” IW515301 is first and foremost a Portugieser. This means that we’ll find all the classic elements of the collection, adapted for the occasion. The case is large and measures 46mm in diameter with the signature design of the Portugieser. The bezel is almost inexistent and combined with the diameter, it makes for a watch with presence. The lugs are relatively short and curved, allowing for comfort. The case is finished with a combination of polished and brushed surfaces. The most striking element is, as excepted, the crown that is used both for winding and setting operations but also to activate or stop the chronograph.
Like all Laureus-themed watches, this IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Monopusher features a blue dial with a sunray-brushed pattern. Other than that, the classic elements of the collection have been included, such as the iconic Arabic numerals and the leaf-shaped hands. Both are rhodium-plated for a nice contrast with the dial. Thanks to the size of the case and the movement, the display is clear and proportioned. The sub-dials or the date window are not “lost” in the middle of the dial but placed where they should. The display consists of a small seconds at 6 o’clock, a 60-minute recorder for the chronograph at 12 o’clock, a date at 3 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock – indispensable given the huge amount of power in this movement.
Turning the watch over, there’s no sapphire crystal to reveal the movement – but it is for a good cause. The caseback is engraved with the winning design from the annual IWC drawing competition for participants of Laureus projects. This year, the jury selected a drawing by 15-year old Yi Xin from China as the winning entry with a moving portrayal of friendship. Yi is a participant in the “Special Olympics China” programme. This Laureus-supported project offers training in Olympic sports disciplines for children and adults with mental disabilities.
So, even though the movement is hidden, it is nevertheless one of the very special engines done by IWC. Although this calibre 59360 was rarely used by the brand – only in the Portofino range – its base is the well-known 8-day power reserve, hand-wound, time-and-date calibre 592xx, which has been used in both Portofino models and in Portugieser hand-wound watches, such as this IWC 150th Anniversary edition or in the superb Portugieser 75th Anniversary model.
On top of this large movement that can store up to 192 hours of energy, a thin chronograph module has been adapted, with a massive column wheel and clearly visible levers and gears. The specificity of this movement is its “monopusher” construction, meaning that only one button is used to execute the start/stop/reset functions of the chronograph.
Price and availability
The new IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Monopusher Edition “Laureus Sport for Good” (reference IW515301) is worn on a Black Santoni alligator leather strap with a steel folding clasp. It will be limited to 500 pieces worldwide. Price will be CHF 17,000.
More details at IWC.com.