International Watch Company (IWC)

The International Watch Company was founded on the vision of an American watch executive that knew he could establish a profitable business by incorporating Swiss quality and workmanship with American technology in the watch making industry for the American public.

In 1869 Florentine Ariosto Jones rented out the fist workshop for IWC in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen. This was when the first IWC pocket watches were produced and sold to the American market. By 1875 due to problems with the stockholders and the high tariffs the American government imposed in the importation of Swiss watches the company filed for bankruptcy. A number of Swiss investors took control of the company placed Johannes Raschenbach-Vogel in charge. He promptly bought out all of the other stockholders and took total control of the business..

By 1885 IWC was producing pocket watches with digital time display along with the now famous caliber 52 movement.  The first wrist watch was created 1899. This was accomplished by taking the movement of a ladies 63 caliber pocket watch and placing lugs on the casing so a strap could be attached that would hold the watch to a person’s wrist.

The year 1936 brought about the introduction of the Mark X pilot’s watch. It had a rotating bezel and d an antimagnetic escapement.  In 1944 the British army ordered the new military watch from IWC which had the initials W.W.W. on it which stood for watch, wrist, waterproof.

In introduction of the Beta 21 quartz movement was the first quartz write watch introduced to the public in 1969. The last IWC remarkable feet to the watch making world was the introduction of the Destriero in 1993. It is said to be the most complicated wrist watch in history.

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