Founded in 1868 by an American, Florentine Jones, in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, The INTERNATIONAL WATCH COMPANY, or IWC is probably best known for its world-beating complicated timepieces. IWC is a fully integrated Watch Manufacture; creating and assembling its own movements, parts and watches all under one roof. The International Watch Company (IWC) continues to contribute significant technical advancements in the world of watchmaking, including anti-gravity and anti-magnetic movements.
The fascination and challenge of manufacturing classical, timeless watches while remaining at the forefront of the industry in design and technology has been the driving force behind numerous impressive watchmaking achievements. IWC's motto, Probus Scafusia, expresses the good and solid watchmaking craft of Schaffhausen and remains true to the IWC promise. Some major achievements and innovations of IWC are listed here:
1936: IWC made the Spezialuhr für Flieger also known as Mark IX, its first watch especially made for pilots.
1938: Demand from the Portuguese market for a large, extremely accurate wristwatch results in the Portuguese with its original pocket watch movement.
1955: The Ingenieur, the first automatic watch with a soft-iron inner watch case, went into production and was a huge watchmaking success.
1978: The first compass watch marked the beginning of 20 years of cooperation between IWC & Designer F.A. Porsche.
1985: With the Da Vinci, IWC introduced the first perpetual calendar which has a four digit year display and can be adjusted exclusively via the watch crown.
1990: After seven years development, IWC presents the first-ever wristwatch-size Grande Complication with a perpetual calendar, chronograph and minute repeating mechanism.
1993: The wristwatch masterpiece, Il Destriero, appeared on the occasion of IWC's 125th anniversary in an edition limited to 125 pieces, fitted with a flying-minute tourbillon and IWC's exclusive split-seconds watch mechanism.
2000: IWC introduces the 5000 watch calibre, a new automatic mechanical watch movement with a seven-day power reserve and the legendary winding mechanism of the patented Pellaton system. The Portuguese Automatic watch, produced in a limited edition, is fitted with this exclusive watch calibre.
2003: The Portuguese Perpetual Calendar, with its new design of perpetual calendar and the world exclusive two-hemisphere display of the moon phase, maintains the IWC tradition of innovation.
2004: IWC launches a whole new generation of diver's watches named Aquatimer.
2005: Relaunch of the Ingenieur collection supported by the partnership with Mercedes AMG.
2006: Relaunch of the Pilot's watch Classics and Spitfire collection.
The manufacture in Schaffhausen produces elegant timepieces with precision engineering and distinctive design. As an engineer among watchmakers, IWC also manufactures its own cases, and as a watchmaker it is keen to ensure that its craft traditions are handed down continuously. The International Watch Company has always trained apprentices, ever since the company was founded, and today 20 young talents are completing their four-year training as horloger complet (all-round watchmaker). This sense of continuity also distinguishes the factory from all others in the industry.