For over 30 years the Portofino has been amongst IWC’s dressiest offerings, with a rounded Lépine-inspired case, and elegant, elongated Roman numerals. So it comes as no surprise that the line has a prominent place in IWC’s 150th anniversary collection. And while there’s simpler offerings, such as the Automatic and the Chronograph, our eyes (and hearts) were drawn to the more complex Hand-Wound Moon Phase Edition “150 Years”. Looking at the watch its easy to see why. 45mm of rich red gold protecting the calibre 59800, with moon phase and power reserve, all topped off with that deep, deep blue dial, with gold details (like that oh-so-romantic moon). It might not be a dress watch in the typical, diminutive sense, but there’s no denying its a showstopper. IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase Edition “150 Years” Australian pricing and availability IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase Edition “150 Years in red gold, limited to 150 pieces, $34,200.
Designing a collection as wide and as important as IWC’s jubilee collection must represent quite the challenge. It needs to be new and innovative, but also remain true to the brand’s deepest roots. I think, by and large, that IWC have done a fine job. Not only does the diverse, 27-watch collection have a clear, unifying theme, thanks to the richly lacquered white and blue dials, but the selection of models is a good balance of their greatest hits and historically significant models. The Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “150 Years” fits into both camps quite neatly. The important reference has enjoyed ever-increasing popularity since it first made its way back into the IWC catalogue in the early ’90s. And just quietly, I think this limited edition hand-wound Portugieser is one of the most attractive takes on the model ever released. Hands down. It’s got everything you need, and nothing you don’t. Offered in either steel (1000 pieces) or red gold (250 pieces) versions — both with white dials — the watch is effortlessly, unashamedly classic. The black printed sans-serif Arabic numerals, railroad-style minute track, seconds dial and IWC logo are crisply printed, and given plenty of space on the… Read More
IWC’s Portugieser line is, in Australia at least, one of their most popular — and, of all the models, one of the perennial favourites is the classically handsome Portugieser Chronograph. Which is why we’re particularly interested in the Portugieser Chronograph Edition “150 Years”. Quick recap in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last week or so: This year, IWC turns 150 (and we don’t mind saying that they’re looking quite good for their age), and one of the ways they’re celebrating the big occasion is with watches. Specifically, 27 special limited editions, released across five key lines. Now, the Portugieser Chronograph may lack the high-end clout of the Constant Force, or the novel display of the Pallweber, but it is, nonetheless, an important model. Like all the models in this jubilee collection, the chrono is offered in two special, heavily lacquered dials in blue or white that do a fine job of evoking the look of enamel. There are not precious metal options; only steel, and both come on a black alligator strap. So, nice dial aside, what makes this watch special? Well, the movement. Typically, Portugieser Chronos have closed caseback, as they’re powered by a Valjoux. Not… Read More
Two nights ago, I fulfilled one of my most bromantic dreams when I shared a steak dinner with the new IWC ambassador, Bradley Cooper. Me, the guy from all those great movies, a bottle of Malbec and some delicious eye fillet. Perfect. The fact that there were at least 500 other people dining, and that my table was several hundred metres from Brad’s was irrelevant. And as to that point that few, in fact no words were spoken between us? Mere details. On paper, it was steak night with Coops, and Aloe Blacc kindly turned up to sing to us. Who is Bradley Cooper to me, really? Well, several sight-challenged people have commented that, after they’ve imbibed several litres of wine, I look a little bit like him. So to people who really want to get on my good side, he’s my doppelgänger. But, jokes and very optimistic squinting aside, Bradley Cooper is the guy that’s been making me want a Big Pilot since I was in short pants. Cooper has been a big fan, and big wearer of the Big Pilot for a very long time and is often spotted wearing his, both on and off the screen. Most recently our professional spotter Andy Green saw what… Read More
It’s IWC’s 150th birthday this year and to celebrate they’ve released 27 watches across five different collections – Portugieser, Portofino, Pilot’s, Da Vinci and Pallweber – that represent some pretty exciting firsts and evolutions for the brand. We’ve chosen one watch from each collection to highlight, as well as two from the Pilot’s Collection, because, well, Pilot’s watches. Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Edition “150 Years” What’s new? This is the first Big Pilot’s Watch from IWC with a big date display. How many of this version are available? Two limited-edition models are available, each restricted to 100 watches, one with a blue lacquer dial and one with a white lacquer dial. Both are in stainless steel, the blue dial with rhodium-plated hands and the white with blued hands. Talking point? The lacquer on the dial is applied in 12 layers, with the last being hand-finished. It gives a glossy depth to the dial that’s a dramatic change up from the standard BP and the Le Petit Prince version. Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition 150 years What’s new? The dial. White lacquer. Arctic. Glossy. Glorious. How many of this version are available? 1000 Talking point? Like on all models in the Jubilee collection,… Read More
By now you’ve likely been beaten over the head with the endless coverage of IWC’s cool Tribute to Pallweber, with its jumping hours and minutes, and seen the additions to the growing Portofino collection. Hiding in the corner of IWC’s presentation, alongside a pair of Big Pilot models rested a lone chronograph – the IWC Pilot’s Chronograph Edition “150 Years”. Limited to only 1000 pieces worldwide, this new version of IWC’s classic 3777 isn’t particularly groundbreaking, though it is one of the cooler interpretations we’ve seen in a while. Though at first glance this may seem like a simple white dial, a closer examination reveals something much more charming. All of the 27 watches in IWC’s new “capsule collection” unveiled for the brand’s 150th anniversary are fitted with either white or blue lacquer dials with printed indices, and either blued or rhodium-plated hands. A total of 12 layers of lacquer are applied to each dial before being finished in order to achieve a rich finish similar to that of the enamel dials from IWC’s rich archives. In the case of the 3777 Pilot Chronograph, its recessed subdials appear a fair bit more three dimensional than they do on the standard black… Read More
Editor’s note: Matt Hranek’s now sold-out book, A Man and His Watch, is one of the real standouts of the watch year, a beautiful and thoughtful text, packed with 76 stories of watches and the people who wear them. So taken were we by this book, we asked Matt if it would be possible to republish a few of his interviews. He kindly said yes. FRANK CASTRONOVO Chef & co-owner, Frankies Spuntino Group IWC Mark XV My grandfather was an amazing guy, a working-class kid made good. He grew up in Brooklyn during the Depression. It was a tough life. He hustled, dropped out of high school, and enlisted in the army. He fought in the war, got a lot of commendations, and came out a lieutenant. He stayed in the reserves and rose all the way up to colonel. A natural leader. And he was a collector — cars, watches, guns from the Civil and Revolutionary wars. He believed that those things stayed with you. They retained value; they were collectibles. My daughter was born in 2000 while I was living in Germany, and my grandfather came to see us. The trip was twofold: he wanted to visit our family,… Read More
Mention the words “digital watch” and most minds instantly fill with images of G-Shocks or the trusty Casio calculator watch. However, long before the invention of those little battery-powered timekeepers, came the Pallweber pocket watch. Patented in 1883 by Salzburg-based watchmaker Josef Pallweber — who then licensed his invention to IWC, and later to other manufacturers — the Pallweber featured jumping numerals in a digital display. And despite a relatively short production run from 1884 to 1890, it’s perhaps the most iconic IWC pocket watch of all time. Next year, with the company celebrating its 150th anniversary, the Schaffhausen manufacturer is launching a tribute to the original digital pocket watch. Only this time it’s made for the wrist. Measuring 45mm across and 12mm high, the case of the Tribute to Pallweber is made from 18-karat red gold, with thin wire style lugs and a black alligator strap. Inside is the all-new IWC-manufactured calibre 94200. This clever hand-wound movement is able to run unaided at 4Hz for 60 hours. The impressive power reserve – almost unheard of in a digital jump hour display, is thanks to the movement’s dual gear-train design, each supplied by their own barrel. The main gear train keeps the… Read More