While IWC is not as prominent as Rolex watches in the United States, they are a high quality brand with detailed finishing and extremely comfortable bracelets. IWC watches typically have a high amount of hand-done work and sophisticated complications.
IWC is also a driver of innovation in the fine watch market. Many credit IWC with the trend of larger watch diameters, perpetual calendars, military watch models, and Rattrapantes (double chronographs).
If you are looking for a high quality Swiss watch that stands out with a luxurious, distinguished look – an IWC watch may be right for you.
The History of IWC
Creation and early days
As surprising as it may sound, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC actually found its beginnings in 1800’s America. Florentine Ariosto Jones of the Boston based E. Howard Watch and Clock Co. saw a rare opportunity to build a watch company overseas in Switzerland when all of the other American watch manufacturers were focusing their efforts on expanding to the West.
He took his talent and understanding of the newest watch making technology, and combined it with the old-school craftsmanship of Swiss watchmakers to create the IWC Schaffhausen brand.
Florentine’s goal was simple: He wanted to produce high quality, Swiss-made watches for the American public. To do this, he opened his factory on the banks of River Rhine in Switzerland and the rest was history.
Read also: IWC – The Davinci Family Collection
Florentine’s factory combined the use of highly skilled workers with the innovation of hydropower from the river along with newest technology to produce IWC pocket watches.
Eventually, Florentine moved back to the United States, and the company was taken over by the Rauschenbachs family in 1880. The company stayed within the Rauschenbachs family and their heirs (named the Homberger’s) until 1978, when the company was taken over by VDO Adolf Schindling AG.
In 2000, IWC was acquired by a luxury goods group named Richemont which maintains ownership of the company today.
Failed technological innovation
Early on, one of the biggest technological innovations that IWC implemented in an attempt to stand out was the use of a digital hours and minutes display called the “Pallweber” on the face of their pocket watches.
While the design was certainly ahead of its time for 1885, it never caught on and was eventually replaced with the more common analog designs that are still popular today.
Even after their initial design failure, IWC strived to push the envelope with their complex watch complications and designs.
Most popular IWC watch designs
- Da Vinci ref. 3758
- Porsche Design Titan Chrono ref. 3700
- GST Deep One
- Original Portuguese
- The Yacht Club
- Grande Complication
- The Belle Epoque
- Mark XI
- Ingenieur SL
- The Tonneau
IWC watches are high quality, unique Swiss-made watches that can be found in multiple styles and feature many complications and functionality. While IWC is not as common as Rolex in the United States, the watches are considered equal quality with an abundant amount of class and style.
If you are interested in purchasing your own IWC watch, give us a call or fill out our contact form. Check out our Facebook page for box openings and watch reviews by our in-house watch expert Sergio Nuncio!
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