IWC Lures the Ladies with Portofino Midsize Watch

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IWC has long used the motto “Engineered for Men,” but recently the Swiss watch brand has been actively courting the ladies with modish advertising and more feminine styles. Who says you can’t please everybody?

IWC Portofino Midsize

The IWC name has always been associated with big, bold, masculine styles like the Da Vinci, the Portuguese and the Aquatimer, but a smaller companion called the Portofino Midsize has joined that lineup of watches aimed at the guys. This more petite timepiece is 37MM wide, considerably less bulky than the traditional IWC men’s’ styles that can be as large as 49mm.

In addition to being sized for more feminine wrists, the 27 watches in the Portofino Midsize collection come with a variety of case materials, complications, straps and dazzling jewels. Prices range from $6.050 for the stainless steel model with twelve diamonds marking the hours all the way up to $42,700 for the high-end style with red-gold dial, 66 diamonds surrounding the bezel, 42-hour power reserve and moon-phase display.

One major hint that IWC is making a big play for the female market is the current ad campaign starring cool, classy actress Cate Blanchett and sizzling supermodel Adriana Lima. The ads show both the smart and sexy side of the Portofino Midsize line. In addition to fashionable ladies, Asian customers are becoming fond of the smaller size watches.

IWC Portofino Midsize

One would expect IWC CEO Georges Kern to be thrilled by acquiring a new market for his company’s products, but he was noticeably annoyed when a reporter broached the subject. He replied, “We were always worn by men and women even before [the Midsize launch],” and estimated that women already make up 20% to 25% of the brand’s watch sales.

The Portofino Midsize collection has an understated elegance that’s certain to appeal to the more sophisticated female customer. While some watch brands appeal to the flashy fashionista with styles so laden with bling that they practically glow in the dark, these new models from IWC carry a classically upscale air rather than depending on temporary fads.

Smaller watches are also attracting the rapidly growing Asian market for luxury goods. Research by the Digital Luxury Group revealed that Chinese consumer interest in fine Swiss watches grew an impressive 59% last year even as that of other markets including the U.S. declined. Appealing to this lucrative market is a must for manufacturers of high-end items who wish to stay in the game.

IWC Portofino Midsize

Maybe Kern should just relax and enjoy the new influx of female buyers for IWC watches, since faithful male fans of the brand are likely to remain loyal to those more macho styles that have made the Swiss luxury watchmaker so legendary. Some aficionados may even be forced to buy a Portofino Midsize or two for their ladies just to keep them from borrowing that king-size Da Vinci or Aquatimer.

2 Comments

  1. Very good watch. Super design! 😀

    Reply
  2. very nice.

    Reply

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