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IWC Watches&Wonders
Watches&Wonders 2014

Order your invitation to the first unique Asian Haute Horlogerie exhibition, Watches&Wonders 2014.

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“September 17, 1835. As I was walking along I met two large tortoises, each of which must have weighed at least 200 pounds. One was eating a piece of cactus, and as I approached, it stared at me and slowly stalked away; the other gave a deep hiss, and drew in its head."

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Experiences

Guiding Light

Inside IWC

Text — Medard Meier Photos — David Willen Date — 1 April, 2010

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Experience - Guiding Light - Hero
—Christine Schlatter trained as a watchmaker with IWC. For the past ten years, she has been showing visitors around the factory in Schaffhausen

Let’s not beat about the bush: IWC makes watches for men. Despite that, some of the brand’s best ambassadors are women who wear its watches with pride and make the question as to whether they were designed for men or women redundant. Women like actress Cate Blanchett, for example. But the group of women who believe firmly in IWC includes Schaffhausen-born Christine Schlatter. And in more respects than one.

To the many hundreds of guests who follow her through the factory every year it is clear that watches made in Schaffhausen are very close to her heart. Christine Schlatter is one of six guides at the service of hundreds of devotees from all over the world who visit the watch centre on the banks of the Rhine each year. She not only has a winning personality but is also a highly persuasive ambassador because she knows and understands all there is to know about the company. After all, she learned watchmaking from the bottom up. At IWC, needless to say.

She finished her apprenticeship just as battery-powered watches came into their own. It was a shock to learn that the ultra-complicated high-precision mechanical movements she had learned to make in the four long years of her apprenticeship were suddenly old hat. Back then, she had no other choice but to turn the tiny spools of fine copper wire that were destined to drive the watches of a new age. Fortunately, after the biggest crisis in the industry’s history, the renaissance of mechanical timepieces was not long coming. Since then, handmade mechanical watches have become more attractive and fascinating than ever.

It is no great surprise to learn that for Christine Schlatter, the inner workings of a watch are always more important than its form, although, as she laughingly admits, the packaging has to be right, too. But her focus on the soul aspect probably comes from the realization that without it she might be superfluous: after all, her guests, who usually have to wait for over a year before they can join one of the tours, are highly demanding. “They want to know everything, and are very well informed before they come to IWC.”

The highlight of every tour is the moment at the end when watch lovers are able to make hands-on acquaintance with the collection themselves. “Just seeing their pleasure and enthusiasm is always a source of immense satisfaction for me.” IWC’s ambassador, who was born in Neuhausen just outside the town boundary, is also delighted that Schaffhausen’s pride and joy has remained true to its hometown for over 140 years and continues to grow. And with a strong sense of environmental consciousness, as the mother of two grown-up daughters is quick to point out.

Watches remain her passion. Her first IWC was a Yacht Club – a gift – but her avowed favourite is the Portofino Romana with its perpetual calendar, along with many another. Is there any model in particular she’d like? “One with a tuning fork,” she laughs. The choice there is very small and exclusive: a Portuguese Minute Repeater. It is probably only a question of time before Christine Schlatter is able to take one of those precious watches home with her to Hemmental on the outskirts of Schaffhausen, where she lives and is in charge of the local ladies’ gymnastics club. To which she no doubt brings the same enthusiasm as to her job with IWC.

Just seeing their pleasure and enthusiasm is always a source of immense satisfaction for me

—Christine Schlatter

Explore More Articles
IWC Watches&Wonders
Watches&Wonders 2014

Order your invitation to the first unique Asian Haute Horlogerie exhibition, Watches&Wonders 2014.

GIVING A FUTURE TO THE GALAPAGOS

“September 17, 1835. As I was walking along I met two large tortoises, each of which must have weighed at least 200 pounds. One was eating a piece of cactus, and as I approached, it stared at me and slowly stalked away; the other gave a deep hiss, and drew in its head."

Aquatimer
DISCOVER THE NEW AQUATIMER COLLECTION

Christian Knoop, Creative Director at IWC, explains the design of the new Aquatimer watches.

SIHH 2014 Booth
BEHIND THE SCENES AT IWC'S SIHH 2014 BOOTH

Take the wave to Geneva. For the 24th edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), IWC invites visitors to take a plunge into deep water and discover the fascinating species that define the new Aquatimer collection.

Watches and Wonders
WATCHES&WONDERS

IWC Schaffhausen cordially invites you and guest to WATCHES&WONDERS, the first Asian Haute Horlogerie exhibition at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre from September 25th-28th, 2013. To mark this event, IWC Schaffhausen will offer a chance to win an exclusive trip for two people to visit IWC’s manufacture in Schaffhausen, the home of IWC and will be whisked away to Portofino in Italy, where they will experience the inspiration behind one of IWC’s most famous collections.

NYC Skyline
IWC Schaffhausen Makes a Home on Madison Avenue

An epicenter of business and culture, New York City is one of the world’s most iconic cities. Both locals and tourists take advantage of the arts and theatres, renowned chefs and restaurants, and the constant flux of activity that makes the city one of a kind. So it makes sense that it is also home to IWC Schaffhausen’s North American flagship boutique, opened in April 2012 on the famous luxury shopping destination of Madison Avenue.

Beverly Hills
Schaffhausen and the World's Most Famous Zip Code 90210

As the first IWC boutique to open its doors in the United States, IWC Schaffhausen has been serving American watch aficionados since 2008.

Ingenieur 2013 Collection
Discover the new Ingenieur Collection

Learn more about the new Ingenieur timepieces from IWC Creative Director, Christian Knoop.