Some history before I get into the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Day & Date Watch. When IWC re-launched the Portofino collection a few years ago, I welcomed it with muted acceptance. Sure, IWC needed a slightly original yet highly conservative entry-level to mid-range casual dress watch that was missing from its collection. The IWC Portofino made a lot of sense from a marketing perspective but I, as an aficionado, want to be impressed with refined designs, new movements, tough sport watches, and cool technology stories. I change watches so much, something simple and understated just doesn’t appeal to me.
Inside of the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Day & Date watch (I know, the name leaves so much to be desired) is a new and really nice-looking in-house made IWC movement that should be really desirable for anyone who thinks of a watch movement as a cool little engine. While I am not usually interested in hand-wound watches, the presence of a power reserve indicator with a very long power reserve and modern operating frequency does tend to get my attention. Especially when it is packaged so nicely.
IWC has sort of over-shadowed their Portofino collection for men by releasing a 37mm-wide model intended for women. While the 40mm-wide IWC Portofino Automatic is a slim classic for men, the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Day & Date comes in a large 45mm-wide case that is 13mm thick. The best part is that the movement appears to take up a large amount of the case which makes it feel like it isn’t any larger than it needs to be.
The movement has a long 192 hours of power reserve (that is eight days) while operating at a respectable 4Hz (28,800 bph). Watch lovers will appreciate a lot of the minor quality details that went into the movement engineering such as gold screws on the balance wheel, a Breguet overcoil on the balance spring, and hacking seconds. The movement also really looks nice and, as a package, just works really well for me. I am OK that it is not an automatic, and that is a rare thing for me to say.