International Watch Company started life in the mid 19th century, in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, where the company continues to have its base today.
Long considered exemplars of the fine art of Swiss watch making, IWC was actually founded by an American engineer, Florentine Ariosto Jones. Jones had come from the American E. Howard & Co. watch-making firm, and his intention in founding IWC was to bring together the technological advancements from his native country and the age old Swiss traditions for excellence in the field, to make something new and exclusive.
One of the most notable developments that took place at IWC was the first digital watch display in 1885, the basis for which had been patented by a Mr Pallweber. The design did not catch on at that time, with the analogue style remaining the favoured format for representing the time.
In the 1930s the company introduced watches made especially for use by pilots, and in the 50s, began to produce automatic watches. A partnership with Ferdinand A. Porsche in the 1970s saw IWC create the compass watch, and around the same time the first titanium bracelet watches. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, IWC introduced mechanisms such as the perpetual calendar and chronograph.
The company marked its 125th anniversary with the Il Destriero model, which featured such specialist components as a tourbillion, and split second measurement.
Moving into the 21st century, the company has continued to produce pioneering developments, and created the Caliber 5000 movement, using the winding system known as Pellaton. The company introduced a series of diving watches called Aquatimer, and went on to enjoy links with Mercedes, reproducing some of their classic collections from times past.
As a company, IWC has always focussed on training and excellence in its workforce. A sense of knowledge being nurtured within the company environment and skills handed down through the generations is one of the things that has made the company so special. It takes a unique pride in its technological and design achievements, and has managed to maintain its reputation as a highly regarded force within the field of watch making engineering.
December 15, 2009 at 12:20 pm | | No comment