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Although one of the famous watchmakers of Switzerland. The foundation stones of watch manufacture in the northern Swiss city of Schaffhausen. Were actually laid in 1868 by an American watchmaker from Boston, named Florentine Ariosto Jones.
Jones founded the International Watch Co Or IWC as it is more commonly known today. To accomplish his dream of merging together. Technologically advanced and progressive, American production techniques. With the highly skilled craftsmanship. For which Swiss artisan watchmakers were famous. Jones chose medieval Schaffhausen, as the site for his fledgling business. Because he was lucky enough to find modern factory premises. And knew that he could harness the power, of the mighty River Rhine. To drive a hydropower plant, which would in turn run his machinery. On top of this, Schaffhausen already boasted a history of watchmaking and horology. Having by that point, been home to other clock and watch makers for a couple of centuries.
Florentine Jones’ first factory, was located in a building known as ‘Moser’s Industrial Complex’. However success came quickly for IWC. And the company soon expanded, making it necessary to lease additional rooms. These rooms were in the ‘Oberhaus’. Which has the distinction, of being one of the oldest buildings in Schaffhausen. But after garnering even more praise, for their accurately crafted timepieces. Further company expansion, created a need for even more room. Thus between 1874 and 1875, an entire new factory was purpose built. At the ‘Baumgarten’ to house the company. To this day the International Watch Co. headquarters. Are still in the same location. Now with more than 180 highly qualified watchmakers. And hundreds of other staff. Dedicate their working lives to creating new technologies. And mechanisms enclosed in stylish and desirable watch casings. All from the banks of the River Rhine.
A reputation for innovation
The reputation for innovation at IWC. Was established right from the word go. When in 1885, the Pallweber pocket watches made their debut. These had a digital display, which displayed hours and minutes. And were far advanced of their time. By the end of the 19th century. IWC’s very first wristwatches, which featured the 64 calibre pocket watch movement. Had been released, much to the delight of discerning watch wearers everywhere.
The ‘product families’, have always been a big part of the IWC ethos. Each one is designed to appeal to different tastes and temperaments. Each family represents a different theme, within the world of IWC Schaffhausen. Today you can choose from the IWC Vintage Collection. The Pilot’s watches and the Portuguese. The Da Vinci, the Portofino, the Aquatimer and the Ingenieur families. Each family features a small range of watches. Helping to preserve the feeling of exclusivity.
From the classic lines of the Vintage Collection. To the technologically advanced Pilot’s watches and all the families in between. No matter which one you choose. You can guarantee, that they have been lovingly assembled. Rigorously tested and finished. With the care and attention. Only found in the watchmaking workshops. Of the world’s finest haute horologists.