The Watches of Switzerland Pocket Guide to IWC
The International Watch Company or “IWC” has always marched to the beat of its own drum. From its founding by an American – Florentine Ariosto Jones – in 1868, to its unique location in Schaffhausen, directly on the banks of the Rhine, this is a brand that doesn’t follow the crowd. Become an expert on IWC Watches in 5 minutes with The Watches of Switzerland Pocket Guide To: IWC.
Key IWC Facts & Figures
Founder: Florentine Ariosto Jones, American Engineer & Watchmaker
Location: Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Entry level price range: approximately $6,800
IWC’s Best Selling Watches: Portugieser Chronograph, Portugieser Automatic, Big Pilot’s Watch, Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII, Pilot’s Watch Chronograph, Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days, Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph.
What You Need To Know About IWC Watches:
The heritage of the International Watch Company (IWC) is deeply rooted in American pioneering spirit and entrepreneurship and the brand rightfully prides itself on its extensive manufacturing expertise. First with pocket watches featuring the brand’s innovative digital “Pallweber” display at the end of the 19th-century, and then later with wristwatches. The company designed its first calibres specifically for wrist-worn timepieces back in 1915. Twenty years later IWC would go on to create a watch that would change the entire course of the brand.
Unveiled in 1936, IWC’s first “Special Pilot’s Watch” featured a rotating bezel with an arrowhead that can be used to register take-off times. Importantly, it was also fitted with an antimagnetic escapement. This marked the beginning of IWC’s ongoing and deep involvement in the world of aviation watches, it’s various models eventually becoming known and loved by pilot’s and aviation enthusiasts around the globe. Three years later, in 1939, another future icon was born in the Portuguese. Created to fill a special order from two Portuguese importers for large wristwatches with high-precision pocket watch calibres. Today, the Portugieser is IWC’s best-selling collection, beloved for its contemporary yet classic styling, versatility and, of course, accuracy.
A lot has also changed in the last century or so as well, with IWC bringing its coveted expertise into a number of exciting fields. For example, the Swiss luxury watch maker and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing team have been partners since 2004. With IWC officially becoming the racing team’s engineering partner in 2013. The long-lasting collaboration is grounded in many shared values, including the pursuit of technical perfection and uncompromising quality. IWC also enjoys a close collaborative relationship with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team Driver Lewis Hamilton, who became an IWC ambassador in 2013. The Swiss Manufacture has since launched several special editions dedicated to Hamilton, who has had direct input into their design.
Likewise, IWC has worked with various U.S. naval aviation units to engineer watches that are exclusively available to members of these squadrons. Perhaps the most famous of these is the brand’s ongoing collaboration with the U.S. Navy’s Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program. Better known as TOP GUN, this top-tier training programme provides the best Navy pilots with flying and tactical training. To meet the specific and highly demanding requirements of these elite jet pilots, TOP GUN watches must be specially designed with robust materials, such as ceramic, titanium and Ceratanium®. The good news is that these partnerships sometimes result in coveted ‘civilian’ editions of these hi-tech, hi-performance timepieces.
IWC is also renowned for its masterpieces of haute horlogerie (high horology) that combine engineering and precision with exclusive design. The brand’s good name is founded not least on the fact that its highly qualified employees master every step of the production process behind in-house movements and complications such as the minute repeater, the tourbillon and the perpetual calendar. For the designers and construction specialists at IWC, the claim to excellence, “Probus Scafusia” – “Craftsmanship made in Schaffhausen”, first formulated in 1903, is not only an enormous challenge but also their great passion.
We are proud to be an authorized retail partner of IWC in Australia. Visit us in store or online today to discover the full selection of IWC watches available from Watches of Switzerland.