IWC

International Watch Co., also known as IWC, is a luxury Swiss watch manufacturer located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and founded by American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones in 1868.

IWC Schaffhausen is notable for being the only major Swiss watch factory located in eastern Switzerland, as the majority of the well-known Swiss watch manufacturers are located in western Switzerland. The lingua franca of IWC is German.

In 1868, an American engineer and watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones (1841–1916) who had been a director of E. Howard & Co., in Boston, then America’s leading watchmaking company, founded the International Watch Company with the intention of combining the craftsmanship of the Swiss with the modern engineering technology from the U.S. to manufacture movements and watch parts for the American market.” At the time, wages in Switzerland were relatively low although there was a ready supply of skilled watchmaking labor” mainly carried out by people in their homes. Jones encountered opposition to his plans in French-speaking Switzerland because people feared for their jobs” and the work they did at home because Jones wanted to open a factory.

In 1850 the town of Schaffhausen was in danger of being left behind in the Industrial Age. At this stage, watch manufacturer and industrialist Johann Heinrich Moser built Schaffhausen’s first hydroelectric plant and laid the cornerstone for future industrialization.” He probably met F.A. Jones in Le Locle and showed great interest in his plans. Together, they laid the foundations for the only watch manufacturers in north-eastern Switzerland: The International Watch Company in Schaffhausen.

Movements

Movements in the bulk of IWC’s lower range watches and chronographs (including the Portuguese Chronograph) use movements delivered directly from Swatch-owned ETA, previously in line with industry practice IWC purchased ebauche kits from ETA and its subsidiary Valjoux which it heavily modified but due to ETA’s decision to stop selling ebauche kits to its competitors it now delivers the movements fully completed. Despite ETA/Swatch’s decision to stop selling ebauche kits to its competitors beginning in 2007, significant modifications are made to the completed ETA 2892 by IWC at the manufacture to create the Caliber 30110, as is the case with Calibers 79230/79320/79350 which are modified ETA/Valjoux 7750 movements.

Movements not based on ETA movements include the Caliber 5000 and the Caliber 8000, which use the Pellaton winding system, and the pocket watch movements used in the Portuguese F.A. Jones and other IWC pocket watches. IWC also used a JLC meca-quartz movement in their older Portugieser chronographs.

Models:

Aquatimer
Big Pilots
Da Vinci
Ingenieur
Pilots
Portofino
Portofino Midsize
Portugieser
Portugieser Chronograph
Portugieser Complications
Portugieser Perpetual / Annual Calendar

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