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IWC Watches

IWC Portofino Watches

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The history of IWC Portofino watches dates back to the early 1980s. In 1981, the first IWC Portofino watch came to the market, and it gained popularity in a short time. Considering the success of the 1981 model, IWC launched a full collection of the IWC Portofino in 1984. Then in 1988, IWC released more Portofino models with references 3730 and 3731. This was the time of the rise of quartz watches, and these models incorporated the updated Jaeger LeCoultre Mechaquartz Calibre 631. The 1988 IWC Portofino chronograph also launched models dedicated to women. The long legacy of IWC Portofino watches continues till the current time, and they have invested heavily in research and development to bring out even better watches.

The Portofino line was introduced in 1984 and the very first model was labeled Reference 5251. Since its launch, the Portofino collection has been one of the most important releases from IWC. It caught attention right after its release for its elegant design.

It brought together the best of bold elements like a large case diameter. It was beautifully balanced by pairing the big case with a slim profile. The long Breguet-style hands and elongated Roman numerals were striking features of the 1984 IWC Portofino. Probably the most interesting element of Ref 5251 was the moon phase complication, which displayed an extra-large aperture at three o’clock, containing a gold moon against a backdrop of blue. The resultant contrast between the white subdial and the golden moon earned the watch its nickname 'The Fried Egg' for a visual resemblance to the same. Ref 5251 established the moon phase as the most praiseworthy complication of the entire Portofino collection.

Throughout the 1970s, IWC maintained its exclusivity in terms of creating watches with oversized dials. This design was not a random coincidence; IWC traces its history back to the 1970s when IWC made a pocket watch based on a large Lepine movement. Though the norm of the 1970s was to not exceed 36mm in diameter for men's watches, IWC never stopped believing in the potential of oversized cases. In this way, they forged a distinct philosophy of watchmaking that the general population started to love and adopt.

In 1978, IWC succeeded in a major innovation in watchmaking. They introduced the world's first titanium watch case and bracelet. In those times, it was thought to be almost impossible because working with titanium required an oxygen-free environment, which was very difficult for watch manufacturers. Their success changed the course of watchmaking, and it can be felt to this day. Currently, IWC creates the world's most sophisticated bracelet system. It uses a solid pin held in each bracelet link by a push-button lock on the underside of each bracelet link. This allows for the pin to be totally locked in, irrespective of any damage.

In the 2011 IWC Portofino collection, timepieces with Hand-Wound Eight Days model were launched. They came with the reference 5101. This amazing watch was powered by a Calibre 59210 movement that could offer a power reserve of up to 8 days.

In 2014, IWC detracted from its existing philosophy of manufacturing larger dials and cases. For the first time, they designed a model to cater to the needs of the customers who had smaller wrists. IWC launched its mid-sized watches, including an IWC Portofino Automatic 37 model, in 2014. These watches had a moderate case size of 37 mm. This collection also opened up the possibilities of a line dedicated to women. Due to their smaller size and chic appeal, these watches were hugely popular with women upon their launch.

The remarkable IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase was first seen in 2017. Its design was a tribute to and celebration of previous Portofino models such as the Ref. 5251. These upgraded editions of the IWC Portofino chronograph watch came packed with the same moon phase complication. Like their previous versions, they were also powered by the latest in-house manufactured calibre 59800. The IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase was one of the most significant recent releases from IWC.

The year 2018 marked 150 years of watchmaking by IWC Schaffhausen. To celebrate this landmark achievement, IWC added new models to their existing collection, including the IWC Portofino collection. The new models came in white or blue lacquer dials and Roman numerals with beautiful, complete leaf-shaped hour-and-minute hands. These IWC Portofino timepieces come in a 40mm stainless steel case and are powered by the calibre 35111 movement. The back case of this IWC limited edition comes with an engraving of the words "150 years". Only 2000 pieces of this limited edition watch were manufactured.

IWC Portofino has made its mark in the world of watches from its very inception. Few other watches have managed to match its success and popularity. Its stunning visual appeal combined with advanced functionalities makes it the watch of choice for thousands of people. In 2018, IWC celebrated its 150th anniversary, and that tells us something about the consistent quality of their watches. This series of timeless watches bring together the best of style and elegance. It remains to be one of the most versatile watches that is fit for any occasion.

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