The Classic IWC Portofino 5251  1 Comments


This huge watch from IWC was produced in small volume from 1981 to probably 1999. Despite the long production life, this watch is quite rare and still being traded well above its retail price today. Probably one of the most daring moonphase watch of its time - having a pocket watch caliber (Cal9521)  housed in a very thin case and featuring a delicate enamel dial. It was only ever made in yellow gold and the recent Vintage series from IWC sought to resurrect some of it's appeal to the lovers of this watch. Unlike the watches with moonphases of the era, the moonphase is located on the right of the dial instead of the more common top or bottom of the dial. Many believe the essence of its success is that with the sub-seconds on the left there is a stronger sense of symmetry.

This particular piece belongs to a renowned collector and friend who was very kind to allow me some time with his watch - to record it for posterity in digital format - while it is in pristine condition. The images do not do justice to the watch in person. It somehow possesses a strong personality despite its apparent delicate appearance - ultra thin hands, almost no bezel, white enamel dial and being a very thin watch overall. It has a presence of its own. It may be the sum of the whole that creates that aura. Something that many fans feel that the vintage series is not able to replicate. Even the simple movement with its alluring curved bridges has the capacity to mesmerize.

Only the fortunate few who have come across this watch will know this. I suspect this watch will continue to be in the wish list of true connoisseurs for a very long time.

 - HT



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  • This is a personal blog of Harry SK Tan on all things pertaining to Horology - from watch collecting, horolography, news and developments from all over the world particularly Singapore.
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Horolography - noun, the art of photographing timepieces

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