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WATCH REVIEW IWC Portofino Hand-Wound 8 Days (Santoni bracelet)

Editor's opinion
74.5 / 100
The Portofino range from IWC is prominently featured this year with 4 new models! Here is the review for its flagship model, the Hand-Wound 8 Days, with the first of IWC's 8-day manual movement.
Straight to the Point

IWC Portofino Hand-Wound 8 Days (Santoni bracelet)

Ref.: IW510104
$15,600.00 US retail price April 4th, 2011
  • esthetically well-executed
  • its movement
  • its gorgeous Santoni strap
  • some perfectible details on the finish of the movement
  • a deployment clasp would have been preferable to a pin-buckle
Brand IWC
Model name
Portofino Hand-Wound 8 Days (Santoni bracelet)
Case material
Red gold
Case diameter (without crown)
45 mm
Case diameter (crown included)
48.38 mm
Calibre 59210
Base Caliber
Power reserve
Dual-face crystal with anti-reflective coating
Power reserve
192h (8 days)
Transparent back
Lug width
22.02 mm
Length from lug to lug
51.05 mm
Case thickness
11.79 mm
Strap material
Clasp type
Pin buckle
Clasp material
Red gold
Total weight
103 grams
Retail price USA at April 4th, 2011
Comfort (/15) 14
Movement (/20) 13
Movement Optimisation / Garnishment (/5) 4
Ease of handling and adjustment (/5) 5
Movement control proceeded by the Manufacture / horlogical awards (/3) 1
Power reserve (/2) 2
Complications (/5) 1
Finishing (/20) 16.5
Dial finishing (/6) 5
Case finishing (/6) 4.5
Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2) 2
Crystal quality (/4) 3
Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2) 2
Functionality (/20) 12
Diurnal legibility (/5) 5
Night legibility (/4) 0
Water resistance (/3) 0
Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4) 3
Clasp : quality and safety (/4) 4
Additional items (/10) 4
Limited edition (/3) 0
Watch delivered with several straps (/2) 0
Quality of the watch box (/1) 1
Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2) 2
Goodies included (/1) 0
Understandability of the brochure (/1) 1
Value for money (/15) 15
When to wear it ? The day you order your first made-to-measure pair of Santoni shoes!
Users opinion
like this watch
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IWC Portofino Hand-Wound 8 Days

An integral part of the catalog for several years now (the first model was introduced in 1984), the Portofino range is the product line with the most classic design from IWC.
Until now, it was only available in 39mm with an ETA movement and a starting price of
at least 3,000 Euros.

2011 is a breakthrough year with the arrival of much more ambitious models.

A dial with magnificent finish for the
IWC Portofino Hand-Wound 8 Days

The Portofino Hand-Wound 8 Days reviewed today is the flagship model of this new line.

We notice right away the principle characteristics of the line, such as the magnificent leaf-shaped hands and the solid gold baton hour markers.

The new red gold case’s diameter has been increased to 45mm.
Its roundness is reminiscent of a pocket watch to which minimalist lugs have been added.
This feeling is reinforced by the presence of the small seconds hand at 6 o’clock.

As for it, the slate-colored dial has a gorgeous satin sunray finish, creating sumptuous lighting effects.

The color varies greatly depending on the angle of the watch: one could easily spend hours playing with it, watching it go from light grey to black.

The 45mm diameter of this IWC still looks comfortable on the wrist thanks to its short lugs and its reasonable thickness (less than 12mm).

While the large diameter can initially be surprising for a dress watch, once you put it on, you actually realize that its size greatly contributes to its character, and that it does not negatively impact the excellent comfort for daily wear.

A sumptuous Santoni bracelet for this IWC

Another strong characteristic of this 2011 collection is that the Portofino Dual-Time and
Hand-Wound 8 Days’ alligator straps are designed by Santoni, an Italian bootmaker well-known amongst fans of shoes with flamboyant sheen.

With a very shiny look, this wristband possesses colors of incredible depth, each scale looking like it’s been worked on individually!
The result is quite spectacular, especially since the color of the sheen goes so well with the red gold of the case.

Finally, this strap provides a very pleasant Latin touch to this watch with an otherwise strong German feel to it.
It’s entirely not out of the question that some enthusiasts may very well purchase this watch simply for its Santoni strap!

Movement: IWC 59210 caliber

The generous dimensions of the watch case were not an esthetic choice. Those 45mm of diameter are simply a necessary requirement in order to contain the new 59210 caliber.

This is the first caliber with manual winding with an 8-day power reserve produced by IWC, with itself a diameter of 37.8mm.

While the large diameter can initially be surprising for a dress watch, once you put it on, you actually realize that its size greatly contributes to its character!

It’s equipped with a Breguet hairspring and a large-diameter single barrel.
While the theoretical power reserve for this caliber is 9 days, a device automatically stops the movement after 8 days to preserve a constant force in the barrel and ensure the best possible precision of the watch – similar to the automatic movements of the 5,000 series.

The solid bridges and the large diameter are themselves also reminiscent of pocket watches.

This 59210 caliber oozes with German-made reliability: without any bells and whistles, it really looks like it’s made to last.
The quality of the finish is quite good, even maybe a step above what we would see from IWC‘s other 5,000 calibers.

Indeed, the only criticism we can find is the absence of any bevelling on the bridges and bottom plates…

And since there are very few cuts on this 59210, it allows us to concentrate on the Côtes de Genève and the main “Probus Scafusia” seal, both very well executed.

There is still, however, some room for improvement: the balance cock is covered with a solid stamped plate where one would have expected a muti-faceted mirror…
Furthermore, the legs linking the movement to the case are quite visible and lack some refinement…

Finally, given the large barrel allowing the 8-day power reserve, the winding of this Portofino is expectedly a little tough, though still pleasant.

To watch the video of this IWC Hand-Wound 8 Days(or go HERE if you cannot watch the video):


What to remember

This new model is a complete success.

IWC is able to surf this “back-to-classic” wave, without falling into the pitfall of going down the easy road by simply releasing an identical piece from the old catalog.
This Portifino Hand-Wound 8 Days is thus classic, but first and foremost, also contemporary.
This is a watch that you will purchase for its pleasing looks and excellent value for the money, not for the “glorious 30″nostalgia!

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