Mechanical and hand-wound watches IWC was founded by an American, not a Swiss person.

■ History

IWC is one of the leading Swiss luxury watch brands.
The company name IWC comes from the initials of "International Watch Company". It is currently part of the Swiss Richemont Group, which also includes Dunhill.

If you're a watch enthusiast, you probably know about IWC.

I guess the general recognition would be at the level of Rolex and Omega.
A major factor in this is that, like many other companies, IWC was severely affected during the quartz crisis, and had to temporarily halt production of its own movements and rely on an external company, ETA, for its movements.

However, they have now overcome those times and it can be said that their outstanding technical capabilities are in no way inferior to those of other manufacturers.

This is because they have the ability to manufacture watches with extremely complicated mechanisms such as tourbillons, minute repeaters, and moon faces, and have released grand complication watches to the world. In this respect, their technical capabilities are unmatched among luxury watches.

Watches equipped with tourbillons and other features are particularly expensive among luxury watches, but IWC also offers a wide range of relatively affordable products starting from around 300,000 yen, making them easy for the average person to obtain and enjoy, which is one of the brand's charms.
IWC was founded by an American, not a Swiss person.

Watchmaker Florentine Arion Jones initially worked as vice president and production manager for the E. Howard Watch & Clock Company in Boston.

At the time, there was a high demand for high-quality watches in the American market, but there was a shortage of skilled workers in the United States, which resulted in high labor costs and the inability to set up production lines.

So Jones turned his attention to Switzerland.

This was because labor costs were low, watchmakers' guilds had been established there for a long time, and productivity was high.

Jones, then just 27 years old, crossed the sea and headed for Schaffhausen in northeastern Switzerland.

In this region of the Rhine, he built a hydraulic factory that harnessed the current of the water, and at a time when craftsmen were making watches individually, he brought them together, promoted the fusion of traditional craftsmanship with modern industry, and established a luxury watch brand made in Switzerland for the American market. And so, at last, in 1868, IWC was born.


In 1939, IWC was visited by two Portuguese watch dealers.
Their requirement was to create a wristwatch with the same accuracy as a marine chronometer.

Pocket watch movements were used because a large balance was important for maintaining precision.

However, because it was pocket watch-sized, it did not keep up with the times until the 1980s, and very few were produced. However, the Portuguese was revived in 1993, and is now a popular series that is one of IWC's signature works.

The alligator straps used on the Portuguese model are made by Santoni, a famous Italian manufacturer of luxury shoes. Santoni is a brand that is extremely particular about the quality of its shoes and uses leather that is at least as good as Annonay.

It would be so cool to pair the Santoni strappy Portuguese with Santoni shoes!

The Portofino collection was launched in 1984. It is a series that has been loved for nearly 30 years.

Facing the Gulf of Tigullio in Italy, Portofino is a resort destination visited by celebrities, stars, wealthy people and other famous people from all over the world. They come to Portofino to experience the leisurely lifestyle of southern Europe.

The Portofino collection is inspired by the area of ​​Portofino. In recent years, the Portofino has been equipped with the company's own caliber 59000 series, and a collection boasting an 8-day power reserve has been released.
Why not wear this watch and enjoy the leisurely passage of time?

The "Aquatimer" collection was released in 1967.
As the name suggests, it is a diving watch.
It was also much talked about when it was completely renovated in 2009.

The glow of the Superminorva applied in multiple layers makes it possible to read the time even in the dark world of the deep sea. The Aquatimer Deep Three series also has a depth gauge that can measure depths up to 50m, making it even more practical for divers.

The Ocean 2000 series, which is suitable for deep sea depths of 2000 meters, has also earned the trust of professional divers as a watch that can withstand harsh environments.
In 1955, due to economic growth, the number of electrical appliances in homes was increasing, and magnetism was being used to affect watches. In response to this situation, we developed and released a highly antimagnetic watch.

This was the beginning of the Ingenieur.
Albert Pellaton, technical director at the time, equipped the Ingenieur with the watch's first bidirectional automatic winding rotor, commonly known as the Pellaton automatic winding system.
This Pellaton automatic winding system is still being refined and forms the core of the in-house calibers.
In the early 1970s, watch designer Gerald Genta developed a watch with exposed screws on the watch case, which had a major influence on the Ingenieur design that continues to this day.

-Pilot Watches When man reached for the sky, in the early aviation age, pilots all used pocket watches to keep time.
However, when flying, a pocket watch, which was not worn, was difficult to use compared to a wristwatch.
The "Pilot's Watch" was developed there in 1936.

To withstand the harsh environments that can be encountered during flight, the watch is equipped with a sturdy windshield, a rotating bezel that can measure time in short periods of time, and an antimagnetic escapement. In the 1940s, the "Pilot's Watch" was increasingly used by the military, and a fairly large model with a diameter of 46 mm, the "Big Pilot's Watch," was released. The collection named after the British fighter plane "Spitfire" is also famous.

・Da Vinci “Da Vinci”…Naturally, the name of this collection is taken from Leonardo da Vinci.
Since the late 1960s, the company has been releasing watches bearing its name.

In 1985, Brandt released its first chronograph, the Da Vinci, which could be programmed with a calendar up to 500 years in the future, displayed the year in four digits, and had the ability to advance the calendar by turning the crown. It has since become a standard model.

Inspired by the revolutionary inventions of Leonardo da Vinci, the "Da Vinci" models have one thing in common: they are always at the forefront of the times. The Da Vinci collection is always the first to adopt cutting-edge technology developed by IWC.
■Collaboration with a masterpiece
IWC has been involved in various collaborations. In collaboration with the world-famous "The Little Prince," they released the "Le Petit Prince" series of "Pilot Watches," which is named after the book, and the back of the case is shaped like the Little Prince.

The Pilot's Watch collection also includes a model called "Top Gun Miramar," named after the Miramar naval base that is closely related to Tom Cruise's breakthrough film "Top Gun," and the case back also features the "Top Gun" logo.

■The appeal of IWC is that it comes in a wide range of prices, allowing you to choose a watch that suits your lifestyle.

As mentioned at the beginning, they are particular about using in-house calibers, so maintenance is also easy to receive.

This is one of those brands that we recommend you carefully consider and purchase from an official store, rather than buying through parallel imports.

And because it's not a brand that many people have in common, it's a choice that only watch lovers can make, and it feels like a watch that only those in the know will enjoy.