In creating the new Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase, IWC’s designers have taken inspirationfrom the elegance and flair of the 1950s and ’60s and combined this with a distinctly modern take on luxury. The moon phase display – a feature which harks back to the original Portofino from 1984 – sees the moon imaginatively set in a classic cloud scene or hovering in space in a star-studdednight sky.
To the delight of many watch lovers, the 2014 Portofino collection sees the return of the most beautiful of all functions – the moon phase display. No fewer than five versions of the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase models glitter with a combination of diamonds, moon and stars: one in white gold (Ref. IW459004), three in red gold (Ref. IW459002/IW459003/IW459005) and one in stainlesssteel (Ref. IW459001). Much like the Roman numerals, feuille hands and convex front glass, the moon phase display is an integral part of the Portofino watch line’s identity. It featured in the very first Portofino unveiled in 1984. This model was produced in very small series until the late 1990s, with no change in the design during this time. The Portofino Hand–Wound from the 2008 IWC Vintage Collection delighted connoisseurs with a display showing the moon in its various phases.
The celestial bodies are not the only stars on the dial – every single model features an exquisite collection of diamonds and the finest materials. With a moderately sized 37–millimetre case, water–resistant to 3 bar, the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase also has the ideal dimensions for a more slender wrist. The hands and moon phase display are powered by the 35800–calibre automatic movement. The phase of the moon shown in the display can be adjusted using a correction button at “2 o’clock”. The centralseconds hand is stopped using the crown and the sapphire glass has an antireflective coating on both sides.
BLACK AS NIGHT, BRIGHT AS DAY
The Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase in white gold (Ref. IW459004) is the flagship of the new Midsize collection. The dial is the first in IWC’s history to feature several meticulously applied coats of lacquer. The jet–black colour provides a striking backdrop to the pure white diamonds. For the first time ever, Schaffhausen’s watch designers have set the complete moon phase display against a star-studdednight sky, making the stars appear to float in infinite space. It is an evocative image that is further enhanced by the diamond-encrusted inner circle of the dial and in the case, which is set with 90 precious stones. The baton–style indices, set with precious stones, radiate like a starburst from the centreof the dial, while the dots of the minute markers move round the edge like distant planets in orbit. Each one of the 174 stones on the dial, bezel and horns appears perfectly positioned, allowing the opulence of the decoration to blend seamlessly into the timepiece’s luxurious style. The watch is fitted with a black alligator leather strap made by Santoni.
SHIMMERING MOTHER-OF-PEARL WITH THE FLAIR OF PORTOFINO
Those who come to Portofino want to see and be seen. It has been that way since the days of stars like Maria Callas, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren holding court in the cafés around the cobblestoned Piazzetta at the harbour, happily posing for the paparazzi and in the process establishing the fashion tastes of an entire generation. Diamond and pearl jewellery was a must in those days, and mother-of-pearl was a popular decorative element on the exquisite accessories and watches of the time. It was this that inspired IWC’s watch designers to use flawless, gently shimmering mother–of–pearl in white (Ref. IW459001/IW459002/ IW459005) and black (Ref. IW459003) for the dials of the red–gold and stainless–steel versions of the Portofino MidsizeAutomaticMoon Phase. The subtle, smooth lustre of the mother–of–pearl underscores the clean design of the watches and gives the dials a magnificent sense of depth, bringing them to life. A bezel set with 66 diamonds completes each piece with a fitting elegance.
The colours for the dial, case and strap have been carefully selected to give a sense of balance to each timepiece. The white mother–of–pearl on the stainless–steel model provides a wonderful counterpoint to the blue of the moon phase display, making it appear even larger. This colour is also perfectly complemented by the dark blue of the Santonialligator leather strap. A classic moon phase display features on the three red–gold versions, with the moon rising and setting behind the clouds. The red–gold model with white mother–of–pearl dial is paired either with a black Santonialligator leather strap or a red–gold Milanaise mesh bracelet to match the case. The black mother–of–pearl dial truly brings out the sparkle of the diamonds on the hour indices of Reference IW459003. This model is supplied with a dark brown strap. A Milanaise mesh bracelet is also available as an option for the stainless–steel and the other red–gold versions.
Mechanical movement – Moon phase display – Central hacking seco nds
Frequency 28,800 A/h / 4 Hz
Power reserve 42 h
Materials Ref. IW459001: case in stainless steel set with 66 diamonds, white mother–of–pearl dial set with 12 diamonds, dark blue alligator leather strap with pin buckle in stainless steel
Ref. IW459002: case in 18–carat red gold set with 66 diamonds, white mother–of–pearl dial set with 12 diamonds, black alligator leather strap with pin buckle in red gold
Ref. IW459005: case in 18–carat red gold set with 66 diamonds, white mother-of-pearl dial set with 12 diamonds, Milanaise mesh bracelet in red gold
Ref. IW459003: case in 18–carat red gold set with 66 diamonds, black mother–of–pearl dial set with 12 diamonds, dark brown alligator leather strap with pin buckle in red gold
Ref. IW459004: case in 18–carat white gold set with 90 diamonds, black lacquer dial set with 84 diamonds, black alligator leather strap with pin buckle in white gold
Glass sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water–resistant 3 bar
Diameter 37 mm
Case height 11 mm