The Portofino Automatic From IWC
Conspicuous by Its Inconspicuousness
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, a quiet little place that I enjoyed my first encounter with female species...... Not entirely true thou... I had a crush on my monitor in primary school, had an intense feeling for a sweet girl on the same school bus, had an infatuation for my secondary school teacher........
So I was living at Overell Street, and would always walk down to Sandy Bay for groceries. Holding hands, caressing sweet little talks, with my first official girlfriend, Miss Green Green...... As we walked by this little white house on King Street, an old gentlemen inside would smile and wave at us. As usual he would have his magnifying loupe on his left eyes......
He was my watchmaker during my college years. He was the one that sparked my interest on IWC (International Watch Company).... He told me, Rolex is an overpriced commodity... I was a naive and ignorant young man who think Rolex is the best..... He educated me and told me IWC is a superb Swiss watchmaker with no nonsense attitude. Their production are always above pars........ I can still vividly hear him saying, "You have one IWC, that is enough"........
Many years later, when I wanted to buy my first luxurious watch, IWC became the only choice. April 2004, I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for my Master graduation...... I took the liberty of window shopping for IWC watches.... Boy, I was freaking nervous visiting watch boutiques as lacking of confidence.... hahahaaaaaaaaaa mostly I didn't have a deep pocket......
So we (me, my one year old son, and my wife.... no, no, NO.... no longer Green Green or Red Red) were at this KL's landmark, the twin towers shopping centre; Suria KLCC.....
I was randomly walking into watch galleries and boutiques.... before setting foot in the Sincere Fine Watches. I was greeted by a serious face, tall, slim gentleman with old fashioned, black framed glasses. His name is Henry.
I was pretty bold..... I straightly asked him, "What is the cheapest price you can give me on IWC Portofino?" He puzzled a bit and started pressing his calculator. He showed me a number that was by far the friendliest in the market...... Ever since, he has been one of the few, I will consult before hunting for an exotic watch.
Being a poor man, this is the cheapest IWC around and the entry level that I can afford. This is my first brand new luxury watch; IWC Portofino Automatic Ref 3533. Consistently popular since its launch in the 1980's, the plain, simple Portofino line furnishes conclusive proof that the essence of being touch with the times is timelessness itself.
The name Potofino also stands for hand-crafted perfection in an elegant guise. This 38mm diameter Portofino is a classic with a clean and simple line. The thickness of the stainless steel case is only 8.6mm.
The watch has a convex sapphire glass and it is water resistant to 30 meters. The sapphire glass is anti-reflective coated. It is a dress and everyday office watch.
Three hands and a discreet date display-the epitome of good taste, it needs no more. This watch is all about functionality; that is to tell time. Nothing complicated, everything just for you to know the time accurately.
A portofino on your wrist gives you the reassuring feeling of having chosen a wristwatch that rises above all pretension.
There is no locking mechanism on its crown. Is just the plain pull and adjust. The crown is signed with Probus, IWC, SCAFUSIA.... Probus from Probare; Scafusia is the Latin name for Schaffhausen. It means Good Thing from Schaffhausen. There is somewhat like a fish symbol in the middle encapsulating IWC wordings to signify that this watch is water resistance.
This one I bought is with the Milanese mesh bracelet in stainless steel. It is made of a fine wire mesh weave and, as well as being extremely robust, fit snugly around the wrist.
The fine stainless-steel Milanese bracelet gives this Portofino Automatic a very special appeal. Portofino Automatic does come in leather strap as well.
The mesh bracelet is very well constructed and is very comfortable in wearing. It does not add too much weight on your wrist.......
The bracelet used hidden clasp that is signed.
Inside the clasp, it is stated Stainless Steel and Swiss Made.
The case back is plain and simple with 4 tiny screws. It has a serial number at one end. I have not wore this watch much, so you can still see the original IWC sticker there.
Individuals who choose to wear a Portofino do so in the knowledge that its discreetly simple exterior contains a mechanical, automatic movement in which they can have complete confidence at all times.
The IWC Portofino Automatic is powered by Calibre 30110. This 23 jewels movement is based on ETA 2892-A2 and enhanced by IWC. Back then, IWC bought only the best breed of ETA 2892; the so-called Chronometer grade. IWC only bought the incomplete movements and assembled it in house with better and more expensive components.
Nearly all critical components along the path from the escapement to the mainspring are replaced with corresponding components from IWC own manufacture. These included the mainspring, the barrel, the escape wheel, the pallet fork and the complete balance including the balance spring. It is a total revision of the movement. The movement is also nickle plated.
Calibre 30110 besides being used in Portofino, it is also used in Ingenieur, Pilot watch like Marks and Aquatimer. Calibre 30110 has a power reserve of 42 hours and beating at a frequency of 28,800 bph.
After early 2000's IWC started using ETA 2892 that is made to IWC specs; i.e. they no longer modified in-house. Lately, the ETA 2892 is replaced with the generic Sellita SW-300.
IWC Portofino Automatic Ref 3533 is a very fine watch. What's more, the clear, simple lines of the case conceal a mechanical, self-winding movement in which you can have implicit trust. I guess my Hobart's senior watchmaker (who had retired in 1996) is right.... IWC is a good watch... and now I set eyes for the more refined IWC watches with its in-housed movements....