Replica Buying Guide IWC Introduces Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde


IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon 2

Starting with the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Heritage, the new piece is fairly similar to previous Big Pilot’s Watches with the exception of case material, that can be currently either ceramic or bronze, and the addition of the very impressive IWC 52110 in-house manufacture standard. IWC’s automatic winding 52110 features a staggering 168 hour (seven day) power reserve, Côtes de Genève and perlage completing, and 31 stones, all ticking along at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) interior of a soft iron inner case to withstand magnetic fields located in aviation environments. The standard Big Pilot’s 51111 caliber features more jewels at 42 but defeats in a significantly slower 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz). The 46.2mm instance, signature crown, and classic inspired leather strap stay similar in fashion to previous major Pilot’s. For anyone with more routine wrists and bank accounts, IWC have also generated the Mark XVIII in a special Heritage edition. The brand new IWC Pilot’s Mark XVIII Heritage retains the aviation fashion dial and hands in addition to the small 40mm case size from previous models. New is using titanium as a case substance which gives the piece a utilitarian feel in addition to a much lighter overall weight. The addition of IWC’s 35111 caliber also differentiates this new version from it’s forebears and although it isn’t a totally in-house caliber like those in the Heritage Big Pilot’s, it’s still a competent 25-jewel movement dependent on the Sellita SW300 instead of the 21-jewel, ETA 2892 base motion located in the standard IWC Mark XVIII. A marginally less striking caliber like the 35111 with a more approachable 42-hour power book also helps keep the cost somewhat reasonable.

The Portofino line is mostly made up of simple, affordable watches, but IWC just made it a bit fancier with the addition of the Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde, the very first tourbillon in the collection named after the Italian resort town.

A large 45mm in diameter and available only in 18k red gold, the tourbillon is powered by the cal. 59900. Related to the cal. 89900 found inside the Da Vinci Tourbillon Retrograde Chronograph launched earlier this year, the new calibre is hand-wound movement with an eight-day power reserve, thanks to an extremely large barrel visible through the display back. The bridges have been open-worked to reveal some of the mechanics, including the gear train and keyless works.

IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon 2

Just like the movement inside the more complex Da Vinci, this is equipped with an unusual hacking tourbillon. When the crown is pulled to set the time, a pair of levers stop the balance wheel, allowing for more precise time-setting. Having been invented by A. Lange & Söhne, the stop-second tourbillon is still a novelty for IWC.

IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon 3

Additionally, the pallet fork and escape wheel are made of diamond-coated silicon (the diamond coating hardens the surface and reduces silicon’s sensitivity to temperature changes), significantly improving their efficiency by reducing friction and mass.

On the front the flying tourbillon is visible at six o’clock, with the retrograde to its left and a power reserve on the right.

IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon 1

Price and availability

The Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde (ref. IW516501) is priced at S$87,800 in Singapore, equivalent to about US$64,000. It’s available at IWC boutiques and retailers.



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