IWC Schaffhausen developed its flagship dress watch back in 1984 after head watchmaker Kurt Klaus and head designer Hanno Burtscher decided to add lugs to a lépine moon phase pocket watch. The result was the Portofino, named after the popular Italian coastal village, which has seen many iterations throughout the years. Today, IWC has expanded the lineup and made some small, but important improvements.
Along with the Automatic 34 and Automatic 37, each in a variety of colorways, comes the Portofino Chronograph 39, featuring a white dial with a stainless steel case and hashed indices, along with an 18mm beige calfskin strap, which can be swapped out using the new quick-change system for more stylistic versatility. Wearers can also learn about the source of the leather by entering its code into their IWC app. When comparing the 39mm case to previous 39mm models, we can see that the height has increased from 12.7mm to 13mm. This may seem like an innocuous change, however, this helps allow for the 30m of water resistance to increase to 50m.
Unlike the previous chronographs in the Portofino line, this new release houses a Swiss-made IWC-manufactured 69355 caliber movement. The traditional column-wheel design allows for two chronograph totalizers in the front for seconds and minutes, while also increasing the power reserve from 44 hours to 46 hours. This time around, the self-winding movement is also visible through the caseback.
The Portofino Chronograph 39 is available now through IWC Schaffhausen’s website for $7,300.