This year at IWC has been all about the refreshed Portugieser line of nautically inspired timepieces, which harken back to an important wristwatch made by IWC that used a large and accurate pocket watch movement. Today, we have a special edition of the sporty Portugieser Yacht Club to mark a new partnership between IWC and the British swimwear brand Orlebar Brown.
Orlebar Brown was founded after its Creative Director, Adam Brown, detected a disconnect between what typically well-dressed guys wear socializing and what they tend to put on when they go to the pool. While changing from a pair of swim trunks into something more appropriate for lunch, a light went on, and Brown realized he wanted a pair that would look great away from the pool too. When you look at a pair of Orlebar Brown swim trunks, you can see how traditional tailoring influences their construction. Side tab adjusters and a four-part shaped waistband keep things refined, fresh, and stylish when heading from an afternoon at the pool out to drinks with friends. Though the company’s swimwear collections are regularly refreshed on a seasonal basis, each suit comes with a five-year guarantee. They’re swim trunks made to look great and to last.
Earlier this year, IWC dropped three main line models as part of its 2020 focus on the Portugieser line. Aesthetically, the new special edition version bridges the designs of the blue dial and silver-plated dial variations that we covered back in April. It does this while dispensing with the stainless steel bracelet in favor of the rubber strap with co-branded buckle seen above.
The Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Orlebar Brown” is being launched right in time for summer, alongside Orlebar Brown’s new nine-piece resort wear capsule collection, designed with IWC. With its nautically influenced design, rubber strap, and custom co-branded buckle (which is fashioned after an Orlebar Brown side tab adjuster), this feels like a fun twist on a perennial favorite from the IWC Portugieser collection.
One of my favorite things about IWC’s cal. 89361 flyback chronograph movement is its impact on the display. It allows for a clean and symmetrical two sub-dial layout while integrating chronograph hours and minutes into the upper sub-dial and reserving the lower one for a small hacking seconds. Usually, a chronograph would need three subdials to convey this much information.
The Portugieser is, of course, a watch whose formidable size is one of its most distinctive design elements, and this watch is certainly a Portugieser in that regard. At nearly 45mm in diameter, it could be a bit overwhelming to those who only wear watches on the smaller end of the spectrum. Still, it has a very classic design, and the fact that it’s a sporty chronograph on a rubber strap makes me think that this could be a pretty killer watch for these current warmer months.
Model: Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Orlebar Brown”
Reference Number: IW390704
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Color: Blue and silver-plated dial
Indexes: Rhodium-plated appliques
Water Resistance: 6 bar
Strap/Bracelet: Blue rubber strap with textile inlay
Caliber: IWC 89361
Functions: Hours, minutes, small hacking seconds, flyback chronograph with chronograph hours and minutes in sub-dial at 12 o’clock, date
Power Reserve: 68 hours
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Pricing & Availability
Price: $ 12,500
Availability: July 2020