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Watch Compare: The IWC Portofino vs. the Portugieser Chronograph

November 8, 2017

BY Paul Altieri

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IWC has plenty of very famous watch models to their name including the Big Pilot, the Ingenieur, the Da Vinci and others. Today, we take a look at two of their dressier models, the Portofino and the Portugieser Chronograph. Join us as we examine the similarities and differences between these two classic IWC watches. Here are the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days ref. IW510103 and the Portugieser Chronograph ref. IWC371482.

IWC Portofino vs Portugieser

It is the IWC Portofino vs Portugieser. Continue reading to learn more about these two watches.

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Design: IWC Portofino vs. the Portugieser Chronograph

The design of both these watches from the IWC collection, the Portofino and the Portugieser Chronograph, are inspired by pocket watches. In fact, the very first time-only Portugieser (formerly known as the Portuguese) from 1939 was a hunter-style wristwatch powered by a pocket watch movement. While the Portugieser Chronograph version only the joined the lineup in 1998, it kept most of the signature design details of the inaugural model from 1939. The Portofino, on the other hand, made its debut in 1984, drawing inspiration from Lépine pocket watches.

IWC Portofino vs Portugieser

This IWC Portofino has a few special components about it.

In terms of sizing, the case of the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days ref. IW510103 measures a generous 45mm while the Portugieser Chronograph ref. IWC371482 is smaller at 40.9mm. Yet, due to their movements, the 11.7mm thick Portofino is slighter slimmer than the 12.6mm thick Portugieser Chronograph. In our specific examples, the Portofino is crafted in stainless steel while the Portugieser Chronograph is in 18k rose gold. However, both collections offer models in steel and gold.

IWC Portofino vs Portugieser

The Portugieser Chronograph has two subdials that help the user measure time.

When looking at the face of the watches, you’ll notice that they’re both expansive thanks in part to slim bezels. The Portugieser Chronograph ref. IWC371482 has its characteristic duo of registers at the top and bottom of the dials—the minute counter followed by the running seconds, respectively. Furthermore, the slate dial houses Arabic numerals all around in addition to the tachymeter scale on the periphery.

Conversely, the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days ref. IW510103 has its characteristic stick indexes encircling its silver dial joined by a sole Roman numeral at 12 o’clock. There’s also a subtle outer minute track. The well-balanced dial includes a date window at 3 o’clock, a running seconds subdial at 6 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock.

IWC Portofino vs Portugieser

Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days ref. 5101 is powered by the 59210 Caliber movement.

Movements: IWC Portofino vs. the Portugieser Chronograph

Beneath the cases of the IWC Portofino and the Portugieser Chronograph are two very different watch movements.

The Portugieser Chronograph ref. 3714 runs on the automatic IWC 79350 Caliber chronograph movement based on the Valjoux 7750, modified by IWC. It operates at 28,800 beats per hour and offers a power reserve of 44 hours.

IWC Portofino vs Portugieser

The Portugieser Chronograph operates at 28,800 beats per hour and offers a power reserve of 44 hours.

In contrast, the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days ref. 5101 is powered by the hand-wound 59210 Caliber movement. This is an in-house manufacture movement developed and built by IWC. As its name suggests, it offers the wearer an amazing eight days (192 hours) of power reserve, which is indicated on the dial.

IWC Portofino vs Portugieser

The IWC Portofino, on the other hand, is able to keep its power reserve for 8-days.

IWC Portofino or the Portugieser Chronograph?

Both the Portofino and the Portugieser Chronograph are incredibly popular models within the IWC catalog. And given their beautiful designs, that isn’t a surprise at all. The Portofino is larger but slimmer while the Portugieser Chronograph is thicker and includes the duo of pushers for more heft. One is manual while the other is automatic. In our examples, one sports a steel case with a light dial while the other has a rose gold case with a dark dial.

As with any other luxury watch, it really comes down to personal preference since either the IWC Portugieser Chronograph or IWC Portofino would be a fantastic addition to any watch collection.

IWC Portofino vs Portugieser

Which IWC watch do you like better? The Portofino or the Portugieser?

Which do you prefer? The manual-wound Portofino or the automatic Portugieser Chronograph? Leave us your comments below.

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