Frequently Asked Questions




Service & Repair

Where can I take my IWC watch to get the regularly recommended service or repairs?

Please go to an IWC Boutique or an authorized IWC retailer of your choice.

All IWC Boutiques and authorized IWC retailers can be found on our Retailers Page:

As soon as the watchmaker has thoroughly examined your watch, you will receive a quotation and the anticipated return date. Please note that the work may require some time.

Service & Repair

How often should I take my IWC watch in for servicing?

In everyday use, a wristwatch is subjected to many different strains and stresses, such as vibrations, impacts, dust, water, UV radiation, perspiration or fluctuations in temperature. We should not omit to mention the mechanical strain placed on a movement designed to keep the time with absolute precision for 24 hours every single day, and for periods of many years. In order to combat the wear-and-tear on certain moving parts as well as the natural ageing of oils and lubricants, we recommend owners to have an interim service carried out approximately every two years and a full service approximately every five.

Authenticity of an IWC watch / certificate

How can I order a certificate, and how do I know whether an IWC watch is genuine?

Every watch that leaves IWC today is registered for eternity. Since 1885, full details of the calibre, materials used and the case number have been entered in the records. For more recent models, these details also include the reference number. For a small fee, heirs or subsequent buyers can obtain precise information about their IWC watch. So far, this registration was entered into the records, which contain all the details. From 1 July 2012, certificates will be provided for the first time.

For a certificate to be issued, the watch has to be sent to Schaffhausen, where it is carefully and thoroughly examined by one of our experienced watchmakers. It is not possible for a watch to be sent straight to Schaffhausen; it has to be delivered to an authorized retailer or to an IWC boutique.

The only way to establish a watch’s authenticity is to have it examined by one of our specialists in Schaffhausen. The information on the certificate mainly relates to the type, case and movement. The certificate may also include information about the watch’s features. If the comprehensive examination is to reveal that a part of the watch is not genuine, IWC reserves the right not to issue a certificate for the watch.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide information about the collector’s value of specific models, because this depends on factors such as supply and demand as well as the condition of the movement and case. In the event of a worst-case scenario involving loss or theft, it is advisable to report the incident in writing to the police and IWC. The case number in question is then entered in a special register, which ensures that if the watch does turn up again, it will not go unnoticed.


What do I need to take into account as regards the water-resistance of my IWC watch?

The water-resistance of IWC watches is stated in bar and not in metres. Metres, which are often used elsewhere in the watch industry to indicate water-resistance, cannot be equated with the dive depth because of the test procedures that are requently used. By way of explanation: an IWC watch with an indicated water-resistance of 1 bar is protected against splashing water. With water-resistance of 3 bar, the watch can be worn when swimming or skiing, and at 6 bar it will have no problem with water sports or snorkelling. Diver’s watches with an indicated water-resistance of 12 to 20 bar are professional measuring instruments designed for scuba-diving. Special diver’s watches resistant to 100 bar or, as in the case of the Aquatimer Automatic 2000, 200 bar are suitable even for deep-sea diving. The recommended uses for IWC watches, depending on the degree of water-resistance, are established on this basis and on the basis of empirical data, and are indicated in the following figure.

Remember that temperature fluctuations and external influences, for example solvents, cosmetics and dust, or shocks, impacts and sudden movements, can fundamentally affect the water-resistance. Consequently, before engaging in activities that could be potentially damaging to your watch (team sports, high diving, etc.), you are advised to put it in a safe place. Please also bear in mind that not every strap or bracelet is suitable for use in or under water because of the materials used in its construction. Furthermore, with the exception of diver’s watches, the moving parts of the watch (crown, buttons, etc.) should not be operated under water. Before wearing the watch in or under water, you should ensure that all moving parts are in the “off” position.

It should also be noted that the water-resistance of a watch is not a permanent characteristic. Seals and sealing systems in particular are subject to wear and tear and natural ageing. To care for your IWC watch, please read the operating instructions carefully. After use in or under water, your watch should be rinsed with clear fresh water and then cleaned and dried. The water-resistance should be tested regularly, and at least once a year, by an IWC authorised retailer.

Further instructions for care can be found in the watch’s operating instructions.


Do magnetic fields pose a problem for my IWC watch?

As a matter of principle, avoid exposing your wristwatch to magnetic fields for any length of time. All mechanical movements contain parts that can be magnetised, depending on the strength of the field. The German industrial standard DIN 8309 states that a mechanical watch is antimagnetic if it can be exposed to a magnetic field of strength 4800 A/m (the equivalent of 6 Militesla (mT)) and subsequently shows no major signs of impaired functionality. Certain models from IWC, such as the Ingenieur and the Pilot’s Watches, feature additional protection from magnetic fields in the form of a soft-iron inner case. This provides them with considerably more effective shielding against magnetic fields.
However, if your IWC watch should ever become magnetised and as a result inaccurate, IWC authorised retailers are able to demagnetise the watch quickly and simply.

Leather straps

Can I go swimming with my leather strap?

Leather is a natural, porous material. You should therefore avoid allowing a top-quality leather strap to come into contact with water, oils, solvents and cleaning products or cosmetics. By doing so, you can prevent discolorations or premature ageing of the material.

Leather straps

What kinds of wristbands are suitable for allergies?

For allergy sufferers, we recommend titanium watches with titanium bracelets. On request, we can supply leather straps with antiallergenic linings.

Leather straps

Are straps and bracelets available in different sizes?

For aesthetic reasons and to make them more comfortable in wear, IWC supplies its wristbands in two types (with a pin buckle or folding clasp) and three lengths.

Leather straps

What kinds of materials does IWC use for its leather straps?

The leather straps used by IWC Schaffhausen are made exclusively from calfskin, buffalo or alligator leather. Within living memory, IWC Schaffhausen has always refrained from using leather taken from threatened or protected species. IWC Schaffhausen sources its alligator leather exclusively from licensed farms in the USA. In order to ensure that the leather comes from unquestionable sources and is of continuously high quality, the choice of the supplier is crucial. Generally speaking, every supplier of raw materials used by IWC Schaffhausen is subject to regular and thorough controls.


Why does IWC have no chronometers in its range?

Chronometers are watches with movements whose accuracy has been confirmed by the Swiss COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) testing centre. IWC adjusts and tests its watches using its own in-house criteria. Apart from this, the owner’s habits and lifestyle play a not unimportant role for a watch’s accuracy. Automatic movements behave differently with wearers who are physically very active than with people who lead quieter lives. Any divergence from the tolerances mentioned is not so much a question of function but is primarily one of adjustment and wearing habits.


Can I play sports with my IWC watch?

As a matter of principle, you should avoid strong vibrations and impacts (e.g. when playing golf or tennis, mountain biking etc.). A mechanical wristwatch is a precision instrument whose manufacture involves working to tolerances of hundredths or even thousandths of a millimetre. Repeated sharp impacts can have a negative influence on the movement’s accuracy or even cause damage.


What “jewels” does IWC Schaffhausen use in the manufacture of its movements?

The “jewels” used in wristwatches are not genuine precious stones. Designed to reduce friction as well as mechanical wear and tear, they are made from industrial standard rubies and are used mainly for bearings, levers and detents as well as for the pallet stones of the escapement. Although natural rubies were used in the past, synthetic rubies with practically identical properties and higher homogeneity are used today.