IWC Schaffhausen Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night (REF. IW459101/IW459102)

The new Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night with a 24-hour day/night display and a second time zone combines discreet luxury with the suave urbanity of a modern, mobile generation. Featuring an elegant design with a diamond set bezel and white mother-of-pearl dial, this exceptional watch is offered in a sumptuous red ­gold (Ref. IW459102) or stainless steel (Ref. IW459101) case, combined with a black or dark blue alligator leather strap made by Santoni. It is also available with a Milanaise mesh bracelet in stainless steel or 18­carat red gold. Supplying the power is the 35700­calibre mechanical movement with a 42 ­hour power reserve.

While the hour, minute and seconds hands display local time, the blue hand on the inner 24­hour ring shows the time at a second location of the wearer’s choice. It could just as easily be the time back home or in a city on the other side of the globe where a business partner resides – after all, the last thing you want to do is call at an inconvenient time. To make reading the time in the second location easier, the lower half of the ring, from “6 a.m.” to “6 p.m.”, is white, while the top half, from “6 p.m.” to “6 a.m.”, is blue, allowing the wearer to easily differentiate between day and night.

This dark blue, which is also used for the fourth hand, is wonderfully accentuated against the shimmering white mother-of-pearl dial. The crown provides a fast, simple means of setting the time separately on the dial and in the inner 24­hour ring. Pulling the crown out to a specific position allows the user to set the hour and minute hands after arriving in a new time zone. The small blue hand remains in position and continues to show the time back home. When required, the crown can be pulled out to a second position that allows the hand to be adjusted backwards and forwards in one­hour steps.

The new Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night unites three watchmaking inventions from over a century of IWC history on a single dial. When the 24­hour day was introduced in the late Middle Ages, people were a little perturbed by the fact that every point on the 12­hour dial showed a time that could be either day or night. In the absence of daylight or other natural indicators, it is, for instance, hard to determine whether it is 10 o’clock in the morning or in the evening, a.m. or p.m.

The 12­hour dial prevailed due to practical considerations. One of the reasons was that a small watch is easier to manufacture and has a longer service life. For the ambitious watchmakers of modernity, it meant a greater incentive to find elegant solutions for a large watch. Dividing the day into 24 hours enjoyed a surge of popularity towards the end of the 19th century after the world was separated into 24 time zones at the 1884 International Meridian Conference in Washington.

IWC Schaffhausen latched onto this trend and in 1887 produced a pocket watch with a convertible case and 24­hour display: the “Magique”. Although more pocket watches with oversize displays appeared in subsequent years – destined mainly for the Italian market – they remained watchmaking rarities. A century after the Magique, IWC introduced a watch with a 24­hour ring in colours that clearly divided it into day and night. In 1998, IWC’s designers spawned the Pilot’s Watch UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) with a separate, second time zone.

Technical details
Movement
Calibre 35700
Frequency: 28,800 A/h / 4 Hz
Jewels: 27
Power reserve: 42 h
Winding: automatic

Case, dial and strap
– Ref. IW459101: case in stainless steel set with 66 diamonds, white mother-of-pearl dial set with 12 diamonds, dark blue alligator leather strap with pin buckle in stainless steel
– Ref. IW459102: case in 18­carat red gold set with 66 diamonds, white mother-of-pearl dial set with 12 diamonds, black alligator leather strap with pin buckle in red gold
Glass: sapphire, convex, anti-reflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant: 3 bar
Diameter: 37 mm
Case height: 11 mm

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