IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days Caliber 59210 (Ref. 5101) Swiss

One of my most favored Swiss watchmakers has revealed a number of new timepieces for the SIHH 2011 event. The IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days Caliber 59210 (Ref. 5101) is among them. Playing on the crowded field of -ahem- “affordable” luxury dress watches, IWC Portofino has always been somewhat of an ugly duck in the family of beautiful swans. Now, however, the model is updated and is moved a tad upmarket.

The new IWC Portofino Hand-Wound 8 Days will be the most expensive model in the line-up, which will also include a Portofino Automatic (Ref. 3565,) Portofino Chronograph (Ref. 3910,) and Portofino Dual Time (Ref. 3610) timekeeper that features a handy GMT complication.

Having successfully absorbed the core DNA of the recently refreshed IWC Portuguese family, the new model features a similar dial layout, is powered by an in-house Caliber 59210 manual-wind movement, and will soon be available both in stainless steel and in rose gold.

IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days Caliber 59210 (Ref. 5101) in stainless steel

The movement in question belongs to the Cal. 50000 family of engines and, being almost 38 millimeters in diameter, is rather large.

Sporting a set of massive bridges and plates, the movement will possibly be especially sturdy and robust compared to calibers built with gentler, thinner, less rigid parts.

Of course, the pocket watch-sized manual-wind mechanical movement has enough room for an oversized mainspring barrel which is capable of powering the watch for up to 192 hours.

IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days Caliber 59210 (Ref. 5101) in stainless steel (sapphire case back)

That is more than enough even if you plan to wear the timepiece only on weekends.

If you, like me, belong to the neurotic part of the population that checks the fuel gauge every three minutes even if the tank is still three-quarters full, then a beautifully executed power reserve indicator located between 8 and 9 o’clock may come extremely handy to you.

The leaf-shaped hour and minute hands, solid gold hour indexes, as well as the small seconds indicator at 6 o’clock, also look extremely elegant.

The Roman numeral at 12 o’clock may raise some eyebrows, but, all in all, this generation of the IWC Portofino family has a good chance of becoming one of the most popular since the line was introduced in 1984.

If the price is right, that is*.

See also: IWC Portuguese F.A Jones Squelette (Ref. 544205 and Ref. 544206)

WWR Verdict

Originality 5/5
Build quality: 5/5
Usability: 4.5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 2/5
Value for money: 3.5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Photos: IWC

*UPDATE ON PRICE: It’s been finally revealed that the watch will go on sale at around $10,000 (depending on taxes and customs duties in your part of the world) for versions in stainless steel. Versions in a lot more imposing rose gold will be almost twice as expensive starting at $19,000 at the time of launch. Although the purpose of this reviews is in no way to try to influence your decision, I would say that this recent batch of Portofino timepieces looks really interesting. This new collection is probably one of the most appealing dress watches on the market that also happen to be priced just about right if you take into account its gorgeous styling and the refined mechanism that animates them.

IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days Caliber 59210 (Ref. 5101) specification

Price: $10,000 (MSRP, version in stainless steel refs. IW510103 & IW510102) / $19,000 (MSRP, version in 18-karat rose gold, refs. IW510104 & IW510107)
Movement: Hand-wound, IWC Caliber 59210, 37.80 mm in diameter, in-house, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds, power reserve indicator, date
Power reserve: 192 hours (8 days)
Case: 18-karat rose gold or Stainless steel
Shape: Round
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Dial: Silver plated or Black (Stainless steel version) or Slate (Rose gold version)
Numerals: Roman
Hands: Gold, polished
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Leather by shoemaker Santoni
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Sapphire

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  1. Ahmed Elnaggar Says: March 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    OH.. MY.. GOD!!! IWC is going through the roof with class!!

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