IWC in a Nutshell
- founded in 1868 by Florentine Ariosto Jones
- member of the Richemont Group, located in Geneva (Switzerland)
- + 800 Employees
- price range + CHF 4'000
- worldwide presence
- focus on men's watches, recent revival of ladies' watches (DaVinci, Portofino)
- ETA, Sellita, own mechanical manufacture movements
What does the brand IWC stand for?
Living the American Dream in Switzerland. IWC was founded by an American in Schaffhausen – the only major Swiss watch manufacturer located in the eastern parts of Switzerland. Not the most typical circumstances for the founding of a watch brand. The idea behind the founding of IWC was combining the power of the nearby RHine river, the cheap labour and craftsmanship of the Swiss work force with modern engineering from the U.S. t the time. There have been many ups and downs in the past, and it is not certain how much Jones enjoyed his time in Switzerland. One thing is certain though: IWC lives according to their founders philosophy and proved probus scafusia – which means good, solid craftsmanship from Schaffhausen – is a force to be reckoned with. A wealth of historic and current manufacture movements, a long standing tradition to upgrade and modify ETA movements (would you believe that at the heart of the Grande Complication movement IWC79079 there was a Valjoux chronograph movement?), and the ability to bring innovation to the watch case as well - be it ceramics or titanium - make IWC the "Engineering" brand of watchmaking.
But don't be fooled. The engineers of IWC also master the art of marketing. You might remember a time when the focus on men's watches went over board and resulted in slogans like "Der Uhr" or "Cleaning windows is a man's job. Up to 42mm diameter." This - naturally - resulted in some controversy but also in the Portuguese Chronograph - due to its slender built - developing into a favorite for the ladies. Go figure.
Watches from IWC mostly come in 6 flavours: the iconic Portuguese watches, the pilot's watches, the diver's watches from the Aquatimer family, the robust Ingenieur collection, the elegant DaVinci and the classic Portofino. And every once in a while, IWC launches special editions to commemorate a special occasion, most recently the Palweber watch with digital display. It is said that the shortcomings of the original design (no accuracy at all due to the ever-changing forces the movement required to move the digits) have been taken care of with modern movement design in the current version.
If you have a dream, buy an IWC and every time you tell the time it will remind you that dreams come true.