The fine art of watchmaking from Schaffhausen


As a premium brand in the international luxury watch segment, IWC has committed itself to the manufacture of top-quality products in haute horlogerie. More than 1100 employees, including 120 eminently qualified watchmakers, are involved in the development, manufacture and distribution of perfect mechanical masterpieces. The renowned watch manufacturer in eastern Switzerland has over 900 sales outlets worldwide, including more than 60 IWC boutiques in cities such as New York, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Geneva, Paris and Moscow. Since 2000, the company has been part of the Swiss Richemont Group.

—The historic watch models, clockwise from top: Aquatimer Automatic, 1967; Ingenieur Automatic, 1955; Portuguese, 1939; Da Vinci, Beta 21 calibre, 1969; "IWC Special Pilot’s Watch”, 1936; centre: Portofino, 1984

The family tradition at IWC

IWC’s watch families – the Pilot’s Watches, Portuguese, Ingenieur, Aquatimer, Da Vinci and Portofino – look back on a long tradition. They attest the innovation of the engineers in Schaffhausen through four generations and embrace the broad range of the company’s watchmaking expertise: from robust watches for everyday use to professional sports watches and the complexities of haute horlogerie at its finest. These are joined by watch specialities such as the Grande Complication and the IWC Vintage Collection.

IWC Schaffhausen

—The founder of IWC Schaffhausen, Florentine Ariosto Jones, and his signature

American pioneering spirit meets Swiss tradition

In 1868, Boston watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones founded the “International Watch Co.” in Schaffhausen, far from the watchmaking centres of French-speaking Switzerland. His plan was to bring together progressive American production techniques with the skilled craftsmanship for which Swiss watchmakers were renowned. And it was in Schaffhausen that he found ideal conditions: modern factory premises, a hydropower plant driven by the Rhine to run his machines and, not least, a centuries-old horological tradition. The company’s excellent reputation was established right from the start with the very first Jones calibre named after its founder. In 1885, IWC demonstrated its innovative spirit in the Pallweber pocket watches, with their revolutionary digital display for hours and minutes. The end of the 19th century saw the appearance of IWC’s first wristwatches featuring the 64-calibre pocket watch movement.

—Watch assembly at IWC in about 1900

Expansion on the banks of the Rhine

F.A. Jones rented his first factory premises in premises known as “Moser’s Industrial Complex”. Soon afterwards additional rooms were rented at the “Oberhaus”, one of the oldest buildings in Schaffhausen. In 1874/75, a new IWC factory – and the company’s headquarters to this day – was built at the “Baumgarten”, directly adjacent to the banks of the Rhine. Headquarters were expanded in 2005 and 2008 with the addition of the East and West Wings.

IWC and the sustainability principle

The company takes its economic, social and ecological responsibilities seriously, as borne out by a wide range of internal activities as well as partnerships and joint ventures in every corner of the globe. Its social commitment, for example, is best demonstrated by its support for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which works for physically and socially handicapped children and young people worldwide. In the interests of ecological sustainability, IWC supports the Charles Darwin Foundation – among others – in its struggle to maintain the flora and fauna on the Galapagos Islands. Closer to home, the company uses green energy, recycles waste heat and ensures that its operations are CO²-neutral.