The International Watch Co. was founded by an American watchmaker named Florentine Ariosto Jones in Schaffhausen in 1868. Jones’s idea was to combine the latest American production technology with Swiss watchmaking expertise to make timepieces for the American market.
Using hydropower from the River Rhine, his project was a huge success. Key pieces in the collection include the Portugieser, the Ingenieur, the Portofino, and the Da Vinci. IWC has been owned by the Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A since 2000.
Five interesting facts about IWC
- The first Portugieser timepieces were ordered in the late 1930s by two Portuguese businessmen – Rodrigues and Teixeira – who wanted a wristwatch that would be as accurate as a marine chronometer.
- During World War II the brand would engrave W.W.W. on the case back of its military timepieces, which meant “Watch. Wrist. Waterproof.”.
- IWC joined forces with car designer F. A. Porsche in 1978 to make the first wristwatch with a built-in compass.
- IWC’s service department has kept extra components for all of its timepieces since the very beginning to ensure the repair and maintainence all of its models.
- Famous people spotted wearing IWC include Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Ewan McGregor, Dev Patel, Cate Blanchette, Boris Becker, Elle Macpherson, and Eric Dane, among others.
Brand ID Card
Company status: Public limited company of the Richemont group
Senior Management: Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO
Number of employees: 650
– Montres d’Aviateur
– Portugieser Chronograph
– Big Pilot’s Watch
Retail prices in USD: From USD 4,150 to 249,000 (excluding exceptional pieces and limited editions)
Annual production: Undisclosed