WatchesWonders 2014 in Hong Kong: Interview with IWC Schaffhausen CEO Georges Kern and presentation of the new IWC Portofino Midsize new Portofino timepieces.

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  • June 12, 2017
  • Comments Off on WatchesWonders 2014 in Hong Kong: Interview with IWC Schaffhausen CEO Georges Kern and presentation of the new IWC Portofino Midsize new Portofino timepieces.

In Hong Kong I talked to Georges Kern about the new Portofino watches. What many might have forgotten is that IWC always produced ladies watches in the past. Click on “read more” to get the story

Georges and I know each other since he started his career in the watch industry as the head of marketing and communication with TAG Heuer in Germany. At the beginning of our conversation in Hong Kong he immediately shook his head when I talked about ladies watches. He did not want to hear the word ladies watches and he explained me why. Curious? I invite you to listen to our conversation…

 

 

Georges Kern, CEO IWC Schaffhausen, at Watches&Wonders 2014 in Hong Kong.

Georges Kern, CEO IWC Schaffhausen, at Watches&Wonders 2014 in Hong Kong.

 

Now let me  show you the watches we talked about…

This is what IWC officially communicates: “The new Midsize collection now makes the Portofino line from IWC Schaffhausen attractive to watch lovers who prefer a slightly smaller timepiece. With the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase and the Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night, two radiant 37-millimeter beauties available in seven different versions designed to reflect the timeless elegance of the Italian coastal resort join the Swiss company’s watch family. Ten different Portofino Midsize Automatic models with 37-millimeter cases will be launched in 2014, available with or without a diamond-set bezel. Three Portofino Automatic versions featuring 40-millimeter cases set with precious stones round off the dazzling display.”

So we clearly talk about midsize watches and not ladies, even when these new Portofino watches will conquer preferably women’s wrists. I can imagine that some men might buy them, but I would not bet.

 

>>> Discover the new Portofino Midsize & Portofino timepieces on page 2 >>>

 

 

The IWC Portofino Midsize collection responds to a current market trend, but at the same time draws to the past of the in Schaffhausen based manufacturer. Numerous different variations of watches with smaller cases, diamond­ set bezels and mother ­of ­pearl dials have been a feature of the company’s 146 ­year history. For 20 years, most of the Portofino watches sold were midsize models, and the manufacture of watches set with precious stones goes all the way back to IWC’s very beginning. The new Portofino Midsize models reflect a long tradition and open up a wider international market for the Portofino collection. From the moment the watch family was launched in 1984, the impressive “pocket­watch­style wristwatch” (Ref. 5251) was accompanied by a smaller version with a case measuring just 34 millimeters in diameter. To mark its introduction, IWC created the slogan “The Portofino series by IWC. The daily enjoyment of wearing a little gold.”

The 2014 Portofino Midsize collection includes three new 37 ­millimetre models in 17 different versions: the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase (Ref. 4590), the Porto- fino Midsize Automatic Day & Night (Ref. 4591) and the Portofino Midsize Automatic (Ref. 4581). In addition to the Midsize collection, IWC is also unveiling three new Portofino Automatic (Ref. 3565) models featuring 40­ millimeter cases.

 

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase

Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night

Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic

IWC Portofino Automatic

IWC Portofino Automatic

 

With the exception of two models, all the new members of the Portofino watch family are perfectly complemented by their fine alligator leather straps, produced exclusively for IWC by well-known Italian shoe manufacturers Santoni. The secret of Santoni’s success is the nuanced shading of the leather. Elaborately finished by hand, each strap has an exclusive patina­like shimmer with its own individual colour tones. To achieve this effect, the surface of the leather is polished with various different pastes until the desired shading and a perfect sheen are achieved.

Two of the new Portofino watches feature a Milanese mesh bracelet: the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase (Ref. IW459005) and the Portofino Midsize Automatic (Ref. IW458110).

The other Portofino Midsize models in the new collection are also available with stainless-steel or 18­carat red gold Milanese mesh bracelets in an elegant sixties inspired style. Milanese mesh bracelets are made of a wire mesh weave and, as well as being extremely robust, fit snugly around the wrist. A slightly finer weave was chosen for the Midsize collection. As the name suggests, Milanese bracelets were invented in Milan and are thus ideally suited to watches that embody the Italian lifestyle.

 

>>> See more pictures of the IWC Portofino Midsize timepieces on page 3 >>>

 

 

 

 

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night

IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic Day & Night