Choosing a favorite timepiece from the IWC Vintage Collection is a
very pleasant problem, indeed–each of these ticking IWC treasures have
unique charm, along with their own historical background and story.
 One that I’m particularly fond of is the Portofino Hand- Wound, an
homage to IWC Schaffhausen’s much-revered Ref. 5251–a wristwatch with a
vintage pocket watch caliber that the brand produced in small series
through the late 1990s.  Collectors still rave about the IWC 5251
Portofino; it was impressively large–even by modern standards–and
presented a delightful horizontally-aligned moon phase indicator and
subsidiary seconds subdial.  Classical yet slightly idiosyncratic, this
watch was a veritable dream for lovers of elegance and fine mechanical

When the new Vintage Portofino Hand-Wound watch made its debut in
2008, IWC press material claimed the “charming flaw” of the 5251’s moon
phase and sub seconds horizontal layout had been corrected.  While I
never understood where IWC was going with this (since I and many others
consider the Ref. 5251 as an amazing and unforgettably lovely watch), I
will nonetheless concede that the vertical layout is certainly
attractive–even if it does lack the distinctiveness its predecessor

The in-house manufactured IWC caliber with the historical “Jones”
fine adjustment index is another delight of the IWC Vintage Portofino
Hand-Wound watch, and will keep owners undecided about whether the
front or back of their timepiece is more appealing.  Any way you cut
it, this Vintage Portofino provides an intoxicating mixture of elegance
and fine watchmaking skill, all the while shining a bright light on
past IWC horological achievements.