WatchAdvisor.com is glad to introduce you a new series of articles aiming at improving your understanding and knowledge of the watch industry. Each week, we will have the pleasure to present in detail a brand and its collections, and in order for you to pick the watch of your dream, we will also provide a selection of our 10 favorite watches. This week, we have the pleasure to cover one of the few manufactures of East Switzerland – IWC.
IWC in a Nutshell
Founded: 1868 – in Schaffhausen, by Florentine Ariosto Jones
Corporate: Member of Richemont Group
CEO: Christoph Grainger-Herr (Since 2017)
Revenue: CHF 800’000’000
Price Range: CHF 4’000 – 750’000
Units: 95’000 per year
Employees: + 1’000
Collection: Men's & ladies'
What does the brand IWC stand for?
Living the American Dream in Switzerland. Founded by an American, Florentine Ariosto Jones, in Schaffhausen in 1868, IWC is the only major watch manufacturer of the eastern part of Switzerland.
The idea behind the brand’s foundation was to combine the power of the Rhine river, the cheap labor and craftsmanship of the Swiss workforce, and modern US engineering. The brand has had its ups and downs but today, it is certain that it lives according to its founder’s philosophy and proves to be a force to reckon with.
The manufacture had a long tradition of upgrading and modifying ETA movements. For instance, would you have believed that at the heart of the Grande Complication IWC79079 was a Valjoux chronograph movement? It is this peculiar heritage that makes IWC the real “engineering” brand of the watchmaking industry.
If you like engineering and to overcome the limits of mechanics, then choose IWC, you will not regret it!
About the Models
Named after Leonardo Da Vinci, who mastered innovation and craftsmanship, the collection represents IWC’s philosophy at its best. The brand refreshed it in 2007 by introducing its new in-house chronograph movement and in 2009 with a perpetual calendar model.
After having created such a unique model like the Da Vinci, IWC tried to reach new shores. The Portofino is an elegant, timeless and very sensual timepiece. It is a model that you will love to wear every day, at any events and under any circumstances.
Created originally for two Portuguese merchants looking for a large wristwatch with the precision of a pocket one, the Portugieser quickly became one of the most iconic collections of the brand. Today, its models still are some of the most popular of the whole watch industry.
This collection dates back from 1940 when IWC created a watch for the German air force. Over the years, almost no other pilot`s watch has gained such a great recognition factor. Today, the Pilot’s Watch collection is composed of manly and sporty models which will definitely never go out of style.
The Ingenieur collection possesses a totally different style than the other IWC watches. As its name suggests, and due to its high antimagnetic resistance, it was originally designated to be a robust tool watch for scientists. Designed by Gerald Genta and James Pellaton, the Ingenieur is definitely another iconic model of IWC.
IWC launched the Aquatimer in 1967, a period where diver watches were becoming more and more popular. The first model was back then already remarkably water resistant to a depth of 200m. In 2017, IWC celebrated the 50th anniversary of the collection by adding a perpetual calendar variation to its emblematic diver watch.
After having created analog watches for decades, IWC decided to present its first watch with a digital display, inspired by the historical Pallweber pocket watches. The Jubilee collection shows you that even 150 years after IWC’s creation, there is still something new to discover about the brand.
WatchAdvisor`s 10 Favorites
CHF 5’700 (recommended retail price)
CHF 6’600 (recommended retail price)
CHF 4’900 (recommended retail price)
CHF 12’500 (recommended retail price)
CHF 5'600 (recommended retail price)
CHF 7'900 (recommended retail price)
CHF 8'100 (recommended retail price)
CHF 6'700 (recommended retail price)
Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days 45mm (Ref. IW510115)
CHF 9'700 (recommended retail price)
CHF 5'600 (recommended retail price)