Australian actor Daniel MacPherson fell in love with Croatia’s Dalmatian coastline while filming the HBO series Strike Back in 2019. “It quickly became one of my absolute favourite spots on the planet,” he says. The island of Hvar – an hour-long ferry ride from Split – turned into his regular weekend getaway during the summer months. “I’ll never forget that first time arriving on the ferry, laying eyes on Hvar’s sandstone architecture, all the boats zipping in and out of the port and the perfect little islands speckled around.” Here, the Poker Face star and IWC friend of the brand shares his guide to the island.
Lounge on a private beach
When in Hvar, MacPherson stays at Hotel Podstine. “It’s a little gem, just a 20-minute walk out of Hvar town.” The 50- room hotel is the only one on the island with access to a private beach, where you can kick back on a sun lounger with a strawberry Mojito in hand or enjoy a spot of stand-up paddleboarding. “Come nightfall, the hotel deck transforms into a candlelit restaurant overlooking the water, where fresh seafood is cooked on an open fire.”
Dine on freshly caught fish
While exploring the cobblestoned streets of Hvar’s Old Town, MacPherson stumbled upon Macondo, a charming sandstone-walled restaurant that combines Dalmatian specialties with traditional seafood. “I always go for freshly caught whole fish with olive oil and lemon juice, served with local vegetables and salad.” His other tip? Order a chilled bottle of Pošip, “a Croatian white wine native to the nearby island of Korcula”.
Sip cocktails at a swanky beach club
A 10-minute boat ride from Hvar, on its own private island, is the famous beach club Carpe Diem. In summer, it’s the local glamour spot for cocktails in the sun. “All you can hear is the lapping water of the Adriatic and the deep pulsing of the latest chill house hits.” Spend a lazy day swimming, snorkelling, snoozing or snacking on sashimi between sips of an Aperol Spritz. “The people-watching throughout the day is also first rate.”
MacPherson acquired the IWC Portugieser Chronograph (Ref. IW371610) after wearing it in the 2022 film Poker Face. “I remember thinking it was a breathtaking watch with its 18-carat gold case, black face and matching alligator-leather strap.” It’s the flexibility of the Portugieser Chronograph and IWC’s EasX-CHANGE system – which enables you to easily switch watch straps – that works for his busy lifestyle juggling fatherhood, travelling and acting. $27,500 RRP
Image credit: Photograph of Daniel MacPherson, Photographer Justin Aveling