Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The all new IWC Portofino Chronograph 39 in Three Colours

A new size and new colours for the classic Portofino.

| By Robin Nooy | 2 min read |
iwc portofino chronograph 39

First introduced in 1984, the Portofino has been one of IWC’s most popular collections, catering to both men and women. The design is timeless with an elegant round case and discreet dials. Available in several styles, from a classic three-hander to a complex monopusher chronograph, the Portofino came in several sizes. And today, seemingly out of nowhere and in the middle of the summer holidays, IWC launches a new diameter and new colours for the Portofino Chronograph. 

The IWC Portofino collection has always revolved around clean, classically styled dress watches with uncluttered, simple yet handsome designs. The style of the Portofino has always been quite restrained. Sizes run from a petite 34mm to a quite masculine 45mm diameter, with the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days, for instance.

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Today IWC brings a new case size to the Portofino family and simultaneously introduces three variants. The 39mm diameter case comes in stainless steel and is a classic two-register chronograph. As mentioned there’s a choice of three specific references. The two most classical Portofino Chronograph 39’s have a black sunray-brushed or a silver-plated dial, both with gold hour markers and hands. The final novelty has a luscious green dial with again a sunray-brushed finish and paired with what we assume are rhodium-plated hands and markings.

iwc portofino chronograph 39

All three dials are clean, very legible and feature details such as a 30-minute chronograph counter and small seconds subdial with a subtle contrasting ring and slender hour markers. Time is indicated with leaf-shaped hands for the hours and minutes, and both subdials. The central chronograph seconds hand is shaped like a needle. In typical Portofino style, the 12 and 6 o’clock hour markers are Roman numerals, although here they’re cut away due to the sub-registers.

iwc portofino chronograph 39

Inside the new Portofino Chronograph 39 is IWC’s 79530 automatic chronograph calibre, which is based on the Valjoux 7750. This is a familiar movement, as it was THE movement for the Portugieser Chronograph for more than two decades! It runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4Hz) and has 44 hours of power reserve. Although not visible due to the closed caseback, the movement features perlage and Côtes de Genève decorations. The chronograph starts, stops, and resets with traditional mushroom-shaped pushers, a classical element for the Portofino.

The new IWC Portofino is fitted with black leather straps with a stainless steel pin buckle. All three references are priced at USD 5,900 and are available through retailers and boutiques now. As soon as we can get our hands on these, we’ll be back with our hands-on review!

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7 responses

  1. How come?! IWC should make another pilot watch maybe in polka dot case…

  2. a new model with more bad accuracy. They quote 0 to +7 seconds a day. Thats horrible when you can buy tudor and other brands that source ETA movements with better accuracy for halft the

  3. I do not get it! Mechanical watches should aim for mechanical perfection. So why do most manufacturers, or who think of themselves as being one, not offer 5Hz movements (or 50Hz, if you want to go crazy) for their chronographs? I only know Zenith and Blancpain following that route. I personally would never spend money for something that by design cannot be accurate because of the wrong frequency.

  4. Accuracy is not only about frequency, if i follow the lasts posts, my modest Baltic watch take 1s/day which is amazing for the price ( Myota inside).
    I think « So why do most manufacturers, or who think of themselves as being one, not offer 5Hz movements » might not be the right question but rather «  why proper manufacturers don’t manage to adjust properly their movements ? » .
    I haven’t the answer but i do agree on one point, it’s pretty ridiculous at this kind of price !!!!
    Lately ( last ten years) Omega and Rolex ( Tudor) started to communicate about precision, which should be obvious for companies like them !!!
    An Eta 7750 well adjusted can take 1s/day, but i would expect a sleemer column wheel chronograph from IWC. It’s time after 30 years of iwc chhrono housing 7750 Eta movements…..even mofified ( very cleverly for the dopple).

  5. Pierre, you are right, when it comes to accuracy. The movement has to be adjusted either way correctly. My ETA based TagHeuer Aquaracer, which I took on a bumpy bicycle trip years ago, just to know how it would fare, kept time perfectly and still does. My point is simply technical design. If I know, 5Hz theoretically enables me to stop the tenth of a second with a mechanical watch (no point in discussing whether anyone would do that), then I should build/set my chronograph movement with exactly that frequency. For me it is equal to putting the hands at the back of the watch, which touches my wrist, so I would not see them and could not tell the time. Would not buy the watch, plain and simple, because of a faulty design.

  6. CT 79, i missed your point in your initial post, but now i got it ( i can be a bit slow sometimes),it unarguably does make sens 🙂

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