Introducing the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph
Monday - 07 September 2020
The IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph sets sail once again with a new iteration of the popular model from the Portugieser watch collection. To appreciate just how special the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph is, it makes sense to touch on the roots of the watch’s design and how the Yacht Club has changed over the years.
The chronograph models from the Portugieser family are renowned for their elegant style and the complexity of their functions. The designs are based on classic marine chronometers. The story began when two Portuguese businessmen commissioned a wristwatch that would house an engine as accurate as a marine chronometer, but with all the style and charismatic charm of an on-the-go wristwatch. The Portugieser was indeed powered by a pocket watch movement to start with and soon became one of the company’s most universally loved designs of all time.
Adding to the desirability of a Portugieser watch, IWC Schaffhausen equips the chronographs from the collection with an innovative flyback function, enabling the wearer to stop, reset and start a new timing with the simple push of a button without having to interfere with valuable seconds. Other timepieces from the line come fitted with a mechanical movement that promises up to a 7-day power reserve, while tourbillons and perpetual calendars appeal to collectors with a preference for complication watches.
Where elegance meets resilience…
From the Portugieser collection comes the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph with 60-meter water resistance. It is one of the sportier members of the family and takes residence upon the wrist at 44.6mm in diameter. You can find this Yacht Club Chronograph in a stainless steel model or an 18ct rose gold version. Regardless of your choice, this IWC Portugieser communicates a sense of luxury on so many levels. The Maison intended the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph to bridge the gap between a dressy-come-elegant timepiece and an accomplished, proficient instrument for sailing. Whether you plan to wear the watch out on the water or dry land, its filigree bezel combined with a flat case makes it a remarkably comfortable and stylish timepiece to wear for all eventualities.
What do the new configurations of the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph offer?
When the Yacht Club was revived a decade ago it fitted in line with the classic look of the Portugieser watch. Having now received a third redesign, fans of the Yacht Club can now enjoy the timepiece on a bracelet. Two of the models are crafted from stainless steel and the other offers a bi-colour option developed from polished stainless steel and 18ct rose gold. One of the all-stainless steel models presents the time on a rich blue colour that mirrors the deep shades of the ocean. The other steel and bi-colour options are offered on silver dials with blue and rose gold accents respectively.
The IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph comes in a larger case than it has done in the past, yet somehow the bezel and case work together to share out its broad width, creating a sleeker and more streamlined look on the wrist. To recall the models of the past, the size of the case has fluctuated, starting with a 45.4mm, then reducing to a 43.5mm. The large case measurements do, however, make sense considering the Portugieser was a remarkably large-sized watch to start with.
Subtle changes in the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph such as the layout of the dial allow extra room for functions like the chronograph counters, the date aperture at 6 o’clock and the repositioning of the brand lettering and the “Yacht Club” references at 3 and 6 o’clock respectively. Interestingly, instead of two separate sub-counters displaying elapsed chronograph hours and minutes, these are combined at the north of the dial. The 60-second counter and date window independently sit at 6 o’clock.
One obvious change in the design of the dial is the substitution of the red chronograph hand. This hand now reflects the colours used for the hour and minute hands. Some red, however, does remain. The small seconds counter stands out with a vivid injection of red, reiterating that some loyalty to the original design of the Yacht Club remains an important backbone feature of the design.
The movement powering the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph is developed in its entirety in Schaffhausen. The 89361 Manufacture Calibre is a combined effort of 299 individual hand-assembled and meticulously arranged components – each one working in harmony with the other. The beating heart performs at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour and is housed behind a transparent caseback which grants an exclusive glimpse into the level of work involved in IWC Schaffhausen’s manufacturing facilities. A 68-hour power reserve takes the guesswork out of judging how long the watch will keep accurate time for whilst off the wrist. Côtes de Genève, perlage decoration can be admired through this viewing window also.
The bracelet is one feature that avid Portugieser Yacht Club fans have been anticipating for some time. This metal link bracelet, whether the all-steel version or the two-tone version, is a novelty integrated with a micro-adjusting system. Similar in style to those seen on the IWC Ingenieur, alternating brushed links and polished central links now make the Yacht Club Chronograph suitably styled for pairing with elegant attire by night.
Both the steel and rose gold bi-colour variations of the Yacht Club Chronograph will hold good value over time, making thefacem great as an investment timepiece. A combination of its maritime-inspired aesthetic, superb performance, practical flyback function and dressier steel bracelet now make this Portugieser watch an easy-to-wear timekeeping companion for every possible occasion.
More information on the IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph can be found here.