While IWC is not as prominent as Rolex watches in the UK, they are a very high quality brand with detailed finishing and extremely comfortable bracelets. IWC, the abbreviation for International Watch Company watches are reknown for their hand-done work and sophisticated complications.
IWC is also a driver of innovation in the luxury watch market. Many credit IWC with the trend of larger watch diameters, perpetual calendars, military watch models, and Rattrapantes (double chronographs).
If you are looking for a high quality Swiss watch that stands out with a luxurious, distinguished look – an IWC watch may be right for you.
Creation and early days
As surprising as it may sound, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC actually found its beginnings in 1800’s America. Florentine Ariosto Jones of the Boston based E. Howard Watch and Clock Co. saw a rare opportunity to build a watch company overseas in Switzerland when all of the other American watch manufacturers were focusing their efforts on expanding to the West.
He took his talent and understanding of the newest watch making technology and combined it with the old-school craftsmanship of Swiss watchmakers to create the IWC Schaffhausen brand.
Florentine’s goal was simple: He wanted to produce high quality, Swiss-made watches for the American public. To do this, he opened his factory on the banks of the River Rhine in Switzerland and the rest was history.
Florentine’s factory combined the use of highly skilled workers with the innovation of hydropower from the river along with newest technology to produce IWC pocket watches.
Eventually, Florentine moved back to the United States, and the company was taken over by the Rauschenbachs family in 1880. The company stayed within the Rauschenbachs family and their heirs (named the Homberger’s) until 1978, when the company was taken over by VDO Adolf Schindling AG.
In 2000, IWC was acquired by a luxury goods group named Richemont which maintains ownership of the company today.
IWC Grande Complication
The IWC Grande Complication has 659 mechanical pieces, among them 71 rubies. It counts with 17 functions and 12 patents, a perpetual calendar that will indicate the date for the next 500 years and the perpetual moon-phase display in polished gold. In the IWC Grande Complication, a chronograph and a highly complex minute repeater with an all-or-nothing piece slide work inside. This IWC’S wonderful invention chimes the time out the time in crystal-clear tones that are activated by the slide on the left-hand side on the case. The case is finished in solid platinum with a fineness of 95 percent or 18ct.yellow gold, is first class. Despite the complex design of the case, the IWC Grande Complication is unaffected by superficial water splashes.
The audacious Portuguese sailors and conquerors reached their greatest time thanks to their extraordinary knowledge on ocean navigation. The Portuguese clearly surpassed the other sailing nations. Every IWC Portuguese watch is a friendly reminder of this marvellous epoch of discovery. After the 30s Portuguese watch, IWC introduced a new limited-edition Portuguese in 1993. Since then, other Portuguese models came with numerous watch achievements and always with the characteristic feature of not only being elegant but also especially big and eye-catching.
IWC Da Vinci
Concrete source of inspiration for the watch was Leonardo’s sketch for a circular bastion based on concentric fortification rings, with moats of water between the rings. But not only is it unique the unmistakable design of these IWC watches, but also their interior: with perpetual calendar with moon phases, the IWC Da Vinci watches have been created in a way that the 5 indicators (day, day of the week, month, four-digit year and moon phase) go on with a single synchronized movement. IWC launched their new Da Vinci collection in 2017
IWC Pilot’s Watches Classic
The Big Pilot’s Watch of IWC should actually be called Pilot’s Superwatch. This Pilot model gives quite an impression not only for its big case, but also the interior of this watch, made in Schaffhausen, is an authentic technical wonder with its automatic mechanism for 7 days and the automatic Pellaton winding system, that together with its imperturbable strength, has no equal.
IWC Pilot’s Watches Spitfire
This IWC Pilot’s Watches collection is composed by several variants with seductive aesthetic and technique just as the plane the watches have been named after: Spitfire. The current Spitfire series of IWC – the Double Chronograph, the Chronograph Automatic, the UTC and the Mark XVI – honors the extraordinary technique and the elegance of the mythical plane: the digits and the pointers are placed as props on the dial. The surfaces of the dial, refined in a galvanic bath that therefore emit a glossy matte shine, confer a powerful elegance. Available in black or silver color. The hour hand and the minute hand, as well as the dial, are covered with a luminescent mixture to facilitate a night vision. And, of course, the protection against magnetic fields is present in every IWC model.
This name does not only gather the word “water” and “time”, two of the essential concepts in diving, but also conveys the best of the diving watches IWC has created. In this way the invaluable experiences of the IWC engineers converge in their manufacture. The famous internal ring is a common feature in the entire family of IWC sport watches. Also, several new developments have been integrated according to each model. For instance, the patented “memory” function of the minutes especially designed for diving or the new revolutionary self-winding system. IWC has paid special attention to functionality and clear vision under water. That is why the dial, the hands and the crowns are easy to see, as all of them are covered with an orange, yellow or white luminescent substance. Certainly, a watch ready for immersion.
The austere yet beautiful Portofino watch seduces for its timeless elegance. The robust mechanism with self-winding has a 42-hour reserve running and the case is impermeable to 30 meters. For this, the IWC Portofino is and will be a stylized, discreet and reliable companion. The new Portofino Chronograph with stop function also fits perfectly in this philosophy.
The central piece of every GST watch is the mechanism that could not be more perfect, robust or reliable. Connoisseurs will also find, depending on each IWC model, other technical refinements such as patented mechanical chronograph movement system, three chronograph buttons, date and day-of-the-week indicator and a self-winding crown. The expression of a life feeling that seeks to show itself throughout sports and adventure.
Here at Edinburgh Watch Company we love IWC’s and are always on the look out for ones to buy in as stock. At the moment we have two very beautiful IWC’s available, one being the 18ct Pilot’s Chrono (Picture at top of page) and another stunning Portuguiser Chrono. Please get in touch for more information.