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International Watch Company (IWC), was founded in 1868 in eastern Switzerland by Florentine Ariosto Jones. This company is famous for being the only large-scale Swiss watch manufacturer in eastern Switzerland, while most watchmakers are located in western Switzerland. Jones was an American who saw opportunity to build a business in Switzerland. Wages were low and the demand for work was high. He also saw the potential for a watch-making powerhouse. He envisioned integrating the Swiss style and technique of watch making with American engineering strategies. He wanted to make a stylish watch, but also one that was highly efficient. In 1875, Jones built a factory and the company continued to grow and succeed. He sold the factory and its assets to IWC not long after.
The new owner, Johannes Rauschenbach-Schenk, continued to run the company until his death in 1905. The company then passed into the hands of Urs Haenggi. Haenggi used his expertise to stabilize factory operations and acquire new customers, causing the business to boom. The company created the first diver watch, The Aquatimer, in the 1960s. The company is also famous for its line of Portuguese watches including the Portuguese Regulator, the Portuguese Perpetual Calendar, the Portuguese Perpetual Calendar II, the Portuguese Automatic, the Portuguese Automatic Chronograph, the Portuguese Minute Repeater, the F.A Jones Limited Edition, and the Portuguese Tourbillon Mystere.
IWC has been a pioneer in watchmaking. In 1885, IWC manufactured the first digital watch. It was based on a patent granted to Pallweber. IWC also released the first titanium bracelets, developed in 1978.
Along with innovative technology and quality craftsmanship, IWC can offer their customers detailed records of their watches. To this day, IWC has kept a record for every single watch that has left the factory doors. Therefore, the owner of a current watch can contact the IWC factory and find out specific information about their watch. This certainly adds historical value to each piece.
IWC is also a philanthropic group, aiding with social works since before the World Wars. In 1997, IWC began online auctions of some of their best watches with the proceeds from the sales being donated to a school in Mali.
IWC watches are a great investment because they have always retained their value over the years. This is due to the efficiency and reputation that IWC has maintained since its founding. If you are looking for a reliable, quality and well-respected watchmaking company, be sure to consider IWC.