During the late 1970s and early 1980s most designers were pushing the boundaries and creating increasingly bold designs. However, IWC continued to recognize the demand for classic models that were stylish without being part of a trend. In 1984 IWC launched the Portofino line. The original Portofino is a coveted rarity among collectors. One feature that makes the pioneer design so special is the unusual placement of the small seconds and the moon phase display in positions of '9 o'clock' and '3 o'clock' respectively.
In 2008 IWC celebrated its 140th anniversary with the release of the Portofino Hand-Wound (5448) from the IWC Vintage Collection. The Portofino Hand-Wound paid homage to the original Portofino by featuring a front glass with a predominant arched edge, which was made of sapphire glass in place of Plexiglas. For IWC 2011 marked 'the year of the Portofino' in which two revised and one newly developed model were released in the Portofino family. The Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days (5101) is the flagship of the collection. It features recently cultivated, IWC-manufactured 59210-calibre movement and, of course, a power reserve that runs precisely and reliably for eight days. An added detail to IWC's pristine construction of the timepiece is the fine alligator leather straps from the world-renowned shoe manufacturer Santoni. Each strap is finished by hand and distinctive for its exclusive patina-like shimmer that produces unique nuances of color. The sportier models in the collection are the Portofino Chronograph (3910) and the Portofino Automatic (3565). Both of these timepieces draw from the style of the 1960s with stainless steel Milanese mesh bracelets, which combine the strength of a metal bracelet with the comfort and suppleness of a leather strap.
Lastly, IWC has created a limited edition version of the Portofino Chronograph for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation harnesses the positive power of sport to support children and adolescents facing challenging conditions on every continent. The Portofino Chronograph Edition Laureus Sport for Good Foundation (3910) is in characteristic Laureus blue as a symbol of hope for a better future.
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