Although IWC from Schaffhausen is mostly known for its pilots’ and divers’ timepieces, one of the companies’ masterpieces is Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph which has all the precision that a navigation tool needs.
At the same time, the Yacht Club is the first model to bring a sporting note into the Portuguese family. Each watch from this family is elegantly styled, but Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph, apart from its luxurious form, managed to bring sporty elegance to a higher level.
This Portuguese owes its name to the legendary Yacht Club Automatic from the 1960s and ‘70s. This iconic timepiece was simply perfect for nautical activities and this is why it has become one of IWC’s most successful watches ever.
Advanced Technical Features
The impressive Yacht Club Chronograph is housed in a round case crafted either from splendid 18-karat red gold or from the top-grade stainless steel. The 45.4 mm round case is 14.5 mm thick and incorporates a thin fixed bezel. On the right side of the case, there is a screw-in crown with the crown protection and two originally designed push-buttons. Interestingly, this watch is the only one in its family that has a protected crown.
The face of the watch, as well as its case back, are protected by convex sapphire crystals with antireflective coatings. The sporty looking men’s wristwatch is constructed to resist water pressure up to decent 60 meters (200 feet) which is quite enough to sail with it across the rough waters. Uncommonly for the Portuguese watches, it is accessorized with a black textured rubber strap that feels great on the wearer’s wrist and looks good in a port, as well as at sea.
IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph has a see-through sapphire-glass case back which allows an unimpeded view at the mechanical movement.
The watch is equipped with the IWC-in-house manufactured Caliber 89361 mechanical chronograph movement that features a significantly improved self-winding system and sets the watchmaking standards.
The self-winding movement provides sufficient 68 hours of power reserve and produces 28,800 vibrations per hour. The robust chronograph makes no secret of its sporting character with a flyback function and an additional flange with quarter-second calibration for recording short periods of time and an analogue display for longer stop times on a sub-dial.
The Legible Dial that Leaves Strong Impression
A clean-looking dial with applied Arabic numerals comprises two sub-dials. A 12-Hour and 60-minute chronograph counters are combined in a single totalizer situated at the 12 o’clock position (the larger ring for counting the minutes, and the smaller one for the hours). This sub-dial has two hands and while the chronograph is not in use, one is hidden under the other. On the opposite side, at the 6 o’clock position, there is a small hacking seconds counter. The dial also has a small date window located at the 3 o’clock position. The leaf-styled hour and minute hands, as well as indices are filled with luminous materials which provide perfect legibility even in the extremely dark environments. A thin chronograph seconds hand is colored in bright red to increase the sportiness of this timekeeper. A raised counter for the seconds and minutes nicely rounds the surface of the dial.
There is a choice among three models of Portuguese Yacht Club Chrono. The exceptional version with the referent number IW390209 comes in an 18-karat red gold case and boasts an ardoise dial with red gold appliqués. For this luxurious model, you will have to pay approximately $27,000. Luckily, two other variants are more affordable. They are both housed in stainless steel cases and you can choose between the model IW390210 with a black dial and the model IW390211 with a silver-plated dial. Each of these two models can be purchased for about $14,000.
I also recommend the new watch in this line – Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Watch Edition “Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012” which comes with the price tag of $15,800.