IWC Introduces New Perpetual Calendar within Portofino Collection

A surprising release from IWC this month reminds us that the brand is more than just Big Pilots these days. Something new in the formal Portofino collection may not get the big splashy headlines of their tool watches, but this Perpetual Calendar certainly caught our attention nonetheless. This watch marks the return of a perpetual calendar complication to the Portofino family for the first time in decades, and at 40mm, represents the smallest such example across the brand’s catalog. IWC has always had a knack for their unique perpetual calendar presentations, and this Portofino may just represent the most compelling execution to date. 

Mechanical full calendar watches are, of course, quite complex. Not only in their construction but also in the amount of information they’re charged with presenting to the end wearer in an easily consumable fashion. All the more when attempting to create a svelte formal watch. IWC perpetual calendars may look chaotic at a glance, but are generally quite straightforward in presentation. The new Portofino Perpetual Calendar takes it a step further, reducing the components to only essential information, creating enough space to be easily understood and read at a glance. This level of restraint has paid dividends not just in the practicality department, but also in the overall aesthetic of the watch.


The new complicated Portofino presents a trio of subdials containing all relevant information, and doesn’t let a whole lot else get in the way of that experience. The sub dial at 3 o’clock gives us the date while the sub dial at its opposite provides the day of the week. Each push the information to the edge of the sub dial, keeping a sterile center save for the leap year indication tucked neatly into an aperture at the bottom of the sub dial at 9 o’clock. At 6 o’clock we find the month, and within a perpetual moon phase display. The leap year indication will display an “L” each four years, and make the requisite adjustments at the end of February in those years. 

IWC is using their automatic 82650 caliber with a calendar module developed by the man himself, Kurt Klaus back in the ‘80s known for how easy it is to set and use. The displays are synchronized, with a single impulse to the module changing the displays nightly. The whole thing can be adjusted through the crown, meaning no hidden pushers in sight. A month cam sits at the heart of the perpetual calendar mechanism, with a 4 year cycle, or 48 teeth, and a single deviation that activates February 29th once each cycle. 

Despite the use of a module here, the case measures under 13mm in total thickness (12.7mm), which speaks volumes to the efficiency of the design. The movement is visible through the caseback and provides a satisfying view to the components sitting atop the movement. 

The Portofino Perpetual Calendar is offered in both steel and 18 c yellow gold, with prices ranging from $24,000 to $33,500 respectively. These watches are available now from IWC boutiques, including online, as well as authorized retailers. More from IWC.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.