It’s easy to get cynical about brands making watches for a good cause, since in many cases, it’s difficult to predict the results when business and altruism are mixed together. What makes the difference in many cases is a demonstration of a partnership that is long term, that arises more from a true belief in the fundamentals of the good cause, than from a quick feel-good hit from a one-off collaboration.
This is the difference that makes the new IWC Portugieser Hand Wound Monopusher Edition Laureus Sport truly something that one can feel good about buying, since it is the 14th in a line of watches under the “Laureus Sport for Good” programme. This product was “Founded under the Patronage of Nelson Mandela, Laureus Sport for Good uses sport as a powerful and cost-effective tool to help children and young people overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantage in their lives.”
That’s a cause that is easy to get behind truly and for that IWC has certainly demonstrated their belief in contributing to its mission.The watch itself is quite a horological work of art, carrying the now familiar Laureus blue dial with a sunburst texture. The complication that it carries is something quite special as well, stemming from the calibre 59360, which allows the watch to have a monopusher chronograph.
This is the first time that the calibre 59360 makes an appearance in the Portugieser collection, as it was previously seen in the a Portofino case in 2015 with the IW5151 Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher Chronograph. Although in this watch you will not be able to see the movement since there is a closed caseback that is engraved with the winning design from the annual IWC drawing competition for participants of Laureus projects. This year’s contest, with the theme of “Time to Care”, was won by 15-year old Yi Xin, who is a participant of the “Special Olympics China” programme.Everybody loves a good monopusher chronograph, that has all its chronograph functions – start, stop and reset, all handled by the same pusher that is located in the crown, and activated in sequential order. This one has a power reserve to 8 days or 192 hours shown via a scale at 9 o’clock, a date function at 3 o’clock, running seconds at 6 o’clock and a 60 minute sub-dial at 12 o’clock.Arabic numerals and the placement of elements on the dial that make it balanced and symmetrical are all signature Portugieser, as is the larger case size. There is no question, this is a large watch. At 46mm, it is definitely not something that I would personally wear everyday. For special occasions however, and for the enjoyment of its horological merits, this is definitely something that I would consider.