A major advantage in locating the firm in Schaffhausen was the topography of the region, which provided ample water power for driving the machinery on which Jones’ manufacturing model was based. Movements that survive from the era are generally high quality, sturdily built machines –many with the long, thin index for precision regulation that is still identified with Jones-era movements today —that exemplify the best of the American watchmaking system: precision engineering combined with skilled hand work in finishing, assembling, and regulating.
Jones himself returned to the United States, in 1876, after a period of what must have been very frustrating conflict with some of his company’s board of directors. In Schaffhausen, among the watch makers of IWC and his good friends, he was still highly appreciated and his vision was highly respected. He would go on to other work in mechanics and engineering, before retiring and finally passing away in 1916.
But perhaps Jones would have taken comfort in the fact that his spirit still survives in the approach IWC takes to making watches in the 21st century. All these decades after the passing of its founder, IWC still emphasizes the values that were part of his vision from the outset: making solid, reliable, highly precise, robust watches that have both the dignity of well-made and functionally irreproachable machines, as well as being shaped by the irreplaceable work of skilled craftspeople. It’s in this combination of functional integrity, and restrained elegance in execution, that the vision of Florentine Ariosto Jones is alive today at IWC.