The Portofino Chronograph (Ref. 3910) is a perfect example of a design that works. The cumulative stopwatch elements have been so skilfully integrated that the simplicity, so typical of the Portofino family, is guaranteed. But unlike a car with ultra-wide tyres and big spoilers, the Portofino Chronograph doesn’t make an exhibition exhibition of its sports pedigree. If anything, it has the same exciting but, somehow, understated dynamism of an Italian sports car from the 1960s.
Simply being able to stop time: it’s something most of us would like to do occasionally, including the fans of the Portofino watch family. It was for these fans and all other devotees of elegant sports watches that IWC Schaffhausen launched the Portofino Chronograph in 2007.
In 2011, the Portofino Chronograph is even more finely balanced, with softer lines than ever before. The diameter has increased minimally by one millimetre to 42, while the more rounded contours of the case and gently flowing strap horns are very pleasing on the eye. They are complemented by slim chronograph pushbuttons with eye-catching heads of the type you might find in the cockpit of an Italian sports car. The chronograph dial, too, looks equally restrained but is likewise perfectly functional.
The cumulative stopwatch displays are joined by small seconds at “9 o’clock”, which elegantly counterbalances the day and date displays on the opposite side of the dial. Although equally restrained, the chronograph dial is perfectly functional too.
The cumulative stopwatch displays are aligned vertically, with the 30-minute counter at “12 o’clock” and the 12-hour counter at “6”. IWC’s designers permitted themselves one tiny optical extravagance and made the figure 30 in the minute counter, and the 12 in the hour counter, stand out in red. By contrast, the small seconds at “9 o’clock” is decidedly low key and elegantly counterbalances the day and date displays on the opposite side of the dial.
The colour of the displays matches the colour of the dial in question. The buyer has a choice of a silver-plated or black dial in a stainless-steel case. The appliquéd Roman numerals and indices look almost as if one could reach out and touch them, thanks also to the sapphire glass, which has an antireflective coating on both sides.
The Portofino Chronograph is powered by the tried-and-tested 79320 calibre with a 44-hour power reserve and automatic winding with a ball-bearing rotor.
Apart from the classical alligator leather straps, the Portofino Chronograph is also available with a cool but snug-fitting Milanese mesh bracelet, which underscores the watch’s elegant character. The new bracelets can be ordered in three different lengths and adjusted in five-millimetre increments to ensure a perfect fit on any wrist.
Model: IWC Schaffhausen Portofino Chronograph Ref. 3910
Frequency: 28,800 A/ h / 4 Hz
Jewels : 25
Power reserve: 44 h
Case, Dial and Strap
– Stainless-steel case, black dial, Milanese mesh bracelet in stainless steel or black alligator leather strap with pin buckle in stainless steel
– Stainless-steel case, silver-plated dial, Milanese mesh bracelet in stainless steel or dark brown alligator leather strap with pin buckle in stainless steel
Glass: sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant: 3 bar
Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 13.5 mm