GENTLEMAN SAILOR
Watch Time|February 2021
IWC launched the Portugieser Yacht Club 10 years ago into the sporty yet elegant world of sailing. For 2020, the nautical chronograph model has a classic look and a steel bracelet upgrade.
Alexander Krupp
The new IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph is a watch you can wear with confidence anywhere at the marina. A first glance shows that the third generation of the sportiest Portugieser model, our test watch, is designed to be both a nautical timepiece and a luxury accessory. The first impression is confirmed upon closer inspection of its polished and satin-finish case, sunburst blue dial and brightly polished hands. Every component is flawlessly finished and worthy to be part of the supremely elegant Portugieser collection.

For the first time in its 10-year history, this Portugieser Yacht Club boasts a steel bracelet rather than a rubber or leather strap — a sturdy but elegant IWC steel bracelet with brushed outer links and polished inner links. Shortening the bracelet involves simply pressing a button on the back of each row of sturdy links to remove it. Unlike simpler bracelet designs, using screws or hammering is not needed.

Inside the safety folding clasp, there is also a quick extension piece that quickly and easily lengthens the bracelet by up to 7 mm. Pressing the polished “IWC” button on the outer bar of the clasp extends the bracelet in seven increments — without ever removing the watch from your wrist. Two safety buttons round out the sturdy and well-designed folding clasp.

Detailed Modifications

In addition to the bracelet, the dial has also been updated. The central chronograph hand is now steel-gray instead of red, and the date window has been shifted from the 3 o’clock position to the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. Both changes enhance the elegance of the Yacht Club and were well received by our editorial staff.

The elegant impression is diminished, however, by the enlargement of the already considerable stainless-steel case from 43.5 mm to 44.6 mm. Our editorial staff admitted that no one among them had a wrist to match its substantial dimensions.

Even so, the large, heavy watch is quite comfortable to wear thanks to ergonomically shaped sloping lugs and a supple steel bracelet. Unfortunately, the flexibility and adjustability of the IWC’s bracelet results in relatively large gaps between the links, which can catch and pull hair.

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