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'Engineering is one of our key values and we believe in technique'IWC CEO Georges Kern

Founded by an engineer and made with precision engineering, it's no question that IWC are the engineer's choice. Their motto, 'Probus Scafusia,' meaning, 'good, solid workmanship from Schaffhausen,' is evident in the quality of their work and rigors of their development and testing, making each IWC a solid, reliable timepiece.

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IWC History

The History of IWC Watches

Some watch brands have a certain inimitable style, and IWC, or the'International Watch Company', is one of those brands. Distinguished by their striking designs and unmatchable quality, IWC watches have held a special place in the hearts of all watch enthusiasts since their inception in 1868.

Fresh from his directorship at the American watch company 'E. Howard and Co,' engineer and watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones set about opening a factory in Switzerland with the intention of combining American engineering with Swiss precision for his new company, IWC. He immediately hit a snag when the ready supply of low paid watchmakers in the French speaking areas of Switzerland, who traditionally worked from home, opposed his decision to open the IWC factory.

White coal pioneer Johann Heinrich Moser began discussions with Florentine to open the IWC factory in the German speaking area of Switzerland instead, in Schaffhausen. Johann had brought industrialisation to Schaffhausen with his hydro-electric plant, and the power it produced was perfect for the machines Florentine needed to make IWC watches with. In 1868, under the power of the River Rhine, IWC was born.

IWC came on to the watchmaking scene with a bang, introducing the world's first digital mechanical pocket watches in 1885. The IWC 'Pallweber' utilised small windows cut into the dial, through which a number of rotating discs displayed the hours and minutes. The public began to take notice of IWC straight away.

IWC continued developing pocket watch movements to make them smaller and more compact for use in ladies pocket watches. These movements ended up in the first IWC watches that could be worn on the wrist, produced towards the end of the 19th Century. The IWC Calibre 64 movement was particularly favoured for its crown and sub-seconds arrangement.

It wasn't until 1944 that the next significant advancement occurred at IWC; Albert Pellaton started his career as IWC Technical Director. The first of his developments was a soft iron core in the case of the IWC pilot's watch, which protected the movement from magnetic fields. Next came the 'Pellaton' automatic winding system, an ingenious pawl-operated design that allowed the IWC movement to be wound in both directions, whilst simultaneously providing exceptional shock resistance. It remains a patented feature in IWC watches to this day.

But it's not just the final product that demonstrates IWC's level of quality; it's the journey it takes to get there. Modern IWC watches undergo advanced and rogorous development and testing using advanced electric discharge machines and computer aided design. IWC parts can be made with tolerances as little as 0.001 millimetres; one hundredth the width of a human hair.

It would be safe to assume that components manufactured to this level of detail would be delicate, but IWC watches refuse to obey the laws of physics. Each IWC development watch undergoes a rigorous set of tests, one of which being the 'chapuis extreme,' which involves the watch being shaken 264,000 times in a box at forces of up 500g.

So it is quite befitting for IWC, whose quality and technology are unmatched by others, to have the motto 'Probus Scafusia,' meaning 'good, solid craftsmanship from Schaffhausen'. Perhaps that is an understatement...

IWC Series

IWC Aquatimer

A latecomer to the diving watch scene, the IWC Aquatimer originally used the technologically advanced compressor case and an internal rotating... read more

IWC Ingenieur

IWC's Technical Director Albert Pellaton wanted to devise a method to protect the delicate movements from the crippling effects of magnetism... read more

IWC Pilot's Chrono

IWC have been producing pilot's watches since 1936, which were used by pilots and navigators throughout WWII. The largest ones were 55mm... read more

IWC Pilot's Double Chrono

The double chronograph, or rattrapante, is a function that allows two events to be timed simultaneously using twin seconds hands. They run... read more

IWC Pilot's UTC

IWC recognises the need for pilots to be tuned into UTC, or Coordinated Universal Time, the global standard for time. Having a twenty-four... read more

IWC Portofino

The IWC Portofino is IWC's most recent addition to its lineup, even though it was first introduced in 1984. Whilst the build quality is undoubtedly... read more

IWC Portuguese

The IWC mentality is to provide engineering solutions to practical problems. In the late 1930's, two Portuguese businessmen requested a watch be... read more

IWC Big Pilot

Designed specifically for German war-time navigators, the Beobachtungsuhr - or B-Uhr for short - was a simply designed, yet incredibly large... read more

IWC Da Vinci

In 1969, IWC introduced its first design-led piece, the avant-garde IWC Da Vinci, and there's no mistaking the six-sided case and elongated... read more

IWC Pilot Mark XVI

The IWC Mark XVI is based on a design that has barely changed over the past three quarters of a century, strictly adhering to the principle of... read more

IWC Vintage Collection

As a respectful salute to the watches that gave IWC the status of world-renowned watchmaker that it enjoys today, the IWC Vintage Collection... read more

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