The International Watch Company or the IWC Schaffhausen has been around since the 19th century. It was Florentine Ariosto Jones, an American watchmaker who laid out the watch manufacturing foundations that the company would be renowned. Today, the headquarters for IWC watches is located in eastern Switzerland. It’s considered to be the only high-end Swiss watch manufacturer based in that part of Switzerland.
Jones had the ambition to make watches in Switzerland alongside the watching making greats of the region, although he brought his unique perspective and experience to the endeavor. He was inspired by the quality of watches made in Switzerland but also tempted by the cheaper labor that could be found in Europe at the time compared to in the United States of America.
One aspect of Jones’ vision that was unique was the idea to produce watches in one central facility, rather than follow the traditional family and small Atelier production methods that the Swiss conventionally adhered. As a result, when Jones initially proposed his plans for this unusual type of production, his ideas were met with skepticism.
However, Jones was eventually successful in establishing is won matchmaking facility in 1868 in Schaffhausen – hence the name IWC Schaffhausen – and the company has remained here ever since its inception.
In establishing this centralized watch making facility, Jones was fortunate to meet Heinrich Moser, who was a fellow entrepreneur and watchmaker. Moser himself was the founder of another famous luxury watch brand, H. Moser & Cie. It was Moser’s inspired ideas to take advantage of resources in Schaffhausen that encouraged Jones to do the same with IWC.
Moser had the idea of using hydroelectric power generated by Schaffhausen’s Rhine Falls, which was crucial to provide a sufficient power supply for the machinery in the watch factories of his company. Furthermore, the city itself had excellent rail links, making it ideally situated for transporting goods around Europe and beyond.
Since its inception, IWC Schaffhausen has also distinguished itself by the style of its watches as well as its production methods. The tagline of the brand is “Engineered for men,” and this company has predominantly focused on styling its products to meet typically masculine tastes.
This has meant that the brand has consistently favored functionality over form, and has avoided adornments such as enameling and gem-set cases that other Haute Horlogerie brands from Geneva typically feature. Instead, the company has focused on creating practical and robust watches that have become successful with a particular clientele.
In fact, this innovation and originality have helped IWC Schaffhausen win over its clear client base, and many of its watches have become well-loved classics. Watch making is both an art and science. The pieces that IWC has put out over the years have consistently been superbly crafted. The pieces are divided up into families, and each family has a different theme. Men and women’s collections are available for this brand as they continue in innovating, however, as can be seen with its mid-size Portofino models of a watch. Differing significantly from the typical IWC style, these surprised the industry upon their launch.
Featuring diamond-set bezels and mother of pearl dials, these models are a step away from the staunchly masculine traits of typical IWC watches. However, many consider this move to be one of commercial genius and continuing innovation by the brand.
Models of IWC Schaffhausen watches can currently be found on the brand new and used watch markets for varying prices, with second-hand models often being a very affordable option for those on a budget who are keen to own a timepiece from this timeless and unique luxury watch brand.
These days, the most famous collection of IWC watches is the Da Vinci. The designs are based on drawings that Leonardo Da Vinci produced of clockworks throughout the Renaissance period. This family of timepieces is a mixture of Renaissance art and early engineering concepts, as well as modern technology.
If you wear one of these, it will stand out. In addition to having intricate designs, they also have leather crocodile straps and Barrel Tonneau cases. The cases tend to have polished and brushed metal such as stainless steel or 18k white gold. There are a few different finishes and strap colors to choose.
Another excellent collection is the Pilot series. These have an aviation theme that is inspired by the instruments and equipment found in cockpits. The Spitfire watch, in particular, is popular in men. It displays the date and month digitally to a high, precise numbers. During a leap year, the cycle is shown digitally. The satin-finished surface on the rose gold case adds a lot of class to the watch. The brown leather strap completes the overall look of the Spitfire beautifully.
The Worldtimer watch in the Pilot family is ideal for the businessman who is always traveling. It keeps track of the time in different time zones. It also has a nice look with its stainless steel case and black dial.
Also, the Aquatimer series should be mentioned. These watches are designed to resemble the controls of a submarine. They are good choices for divers since they are highly water resistant. The Chronograph has a fascinating look out of the Aquatimer timepieces. It has bright colors on the dial that give it a striking appearance.
These are just overviews of some of the themes offered by this company. There are so many colorful and stunning IWC watches available that you should be able to find one that you like.