Postcard from Portofino

Inspired by the classic beauty of the Italian fishing village with the same name, Swiss watchmakers IWC’s new Portofino collection stands the test of time.

Amongst a backdrop of vines and boxwood hedges stand two of the world’s most beautiful women. In the background, two yachts sail across the sparkling blue waters. Not too far away is an ancient former abbey, with sprawling gardens and what seems like endless views over the Golfo del Tiguillo. What may seem like a scene from a classic Hollywood film is actually just another day at the office for the team behind Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen’s latest collection of watches.

Standing tall in figure-hugging black dresses, supermodels Adriana Lima and Karolina Kurkova sashay across a terrace, sitting down at wrought-iron chairs and small chased tables, posing gracefully with watches from IWC’s latest Portofino Midsize line.


Designed to be worn by both men and women, the collection explores contrasts between masculinity and femininity. Inspired by the glamorous history of Portofino during the 1950s and 1960s, a number of the watches also feature diamonds and mother-of-pearl. Widely popular at the time, the jewellery-style accessories are reminiscent of a bygone era when film stars clamoured to the coastal resort of Portofino in the mid-20th century, bringing class, elegance and style to the coastal village.


The standout piece from this collection and also IWC’s flagship piece is the Automatic Moon Phase in white gold. Featuring 174 pure white diamonds on the dial, bezel and horns, the watch, which can display the phase of the moon, is the ultimate luxury timepiece. The jet-black dial, which has been meticulously coated in several layers of lacquer contrasts perfectly against the gleaming precious stones – and for the first time ever, designers have created the entire moon phase display as a star-studded night sky.

IWC’s latest Portofino collection exudes an aura of timelessness. You need only take a look at the final images from the Portofino shoot. Shot by famed photographer Peter Lindbergh, the black and white photographs have an air of classic Hollywood glamour about them – sans the heavy Photoshop and props often seen in many modern fashion campaigns. Much like the understated beauty of Portofino itself, the beauty of IWC’s watches lies in their simplicity.