Hands-On With The New IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase

Last month, we introduced the new IWC Portofino Midsize collection. Now, we finally get our hands on one of our favorites from the new line, the IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase Reference IW459002:

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase

The Portofino line of watches takes inspiration from the same named former fishing village on the Gulf of Tigullio near Genoa. Laid back, relaxing and picturesque, the Mediterranean coastal town of Portofino has for decades been a getaway destination for the rich and famous.

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase

In the 1970’s IWC noticed that simple, classic watches were becoming a trend and the Portofino was born. Unveiled in 1984, the original, Reference 5251, was reworked from an IWC Lépine open-face pocket watch, Reference 5201, whose dial was turned 90 agrees and added a moonphase display. Since this watch was based on a pocket watch movement it was rather large. For the past several decades the Portofino has retained its elegance while being modernized with different styles and sizes.

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase

Still on trend IWC has introduced a mid-sized Portofino in 2014 foreseeing another demand, this time for less brashly sized watches. The new Portofino hearkens back to its roots and incorporates a stunning moonphase. It has 12 different iterations of case metals, dials and straps. In my opinion watches shouldn’t be categorized into men and women’s slots. Marketers don’t do that with cars or blenders, so why with watches? The new smaller size of the Portofino at 37mm hits the marketer’s sweet spot as either appropriate for a woman who likes a large (but not too large) dial and a man who is seeking a dress watch.

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase

The Portofino Reference IW459002 comes in a lovely hued 18k red gold case, providing a perfect frame for the opalescent mother-of-pearl dial. 18k gold hands and an 18k gold second hand circle the applied red gold baton indices topped with diamonds. And then there’s the moonphase, the true star of the show. Here IWC came up with a new rendition of its depiction, setting the complete moonphase against a star-studded night sky. The effect is ethereal and quietly mysterious. The diamond-encrusted bezel adds even more distinction and a dressed up quality to the already classy composition.

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase

Powered by automatic calibre 35800, which has hacking seconds, Portofino Reference IW459002 straps to the wrist with an alligator strap by luxury Italian shoe company Santoni. The Portofino was always a chic watch, but IWC’s reimagining of it, especially by adding diamonds, is a winner whether you’re a man or of the fairer sex.

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase
IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase

Photo Credit: Marion May for Haute Time. For more information, please visit the official IWC website. 

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