Florentine Ariosto Jones, a watchmaker from Boston, founded the International Watch Company in 1868 with an aim to produce high quality pocket watches for the American market. With the help of Swiss watchmakers, modern technology, and hydropower sourced from the nearby River Rhine he manufactured pocket watch movements of the highest possible quality. Following Jones’ return to the United States and the demise of Johannes Rauschenbach-Schenk (the next owner), Schaffhausen industrialist Ernst Jakob Homberger took over the company in an era that witnessed the birth of two iconic watch families – the first “Spezialuhr für Flieger” (Pilot’s Watches in Schaffhausen) and the Portugieser on the demand of Portuguese importers who ordered a series of large wristwatches with high-precision pocket watch calibres.
IWC resonates with numerous innovations like the Pellaton winding system, the first ever Swiss-made quartz movement “Beta 21”, the first wrist watch with a built in compass and an unparalleled expertise in the area of materials. In 1993, to mark their 125th anniversary, IWC introduced ‘The Warhorse of Schaffhausen’, the then most complicated mechanical wristwatch in the world. Now a part of Richemont, the company continuously focuses and expands its six watch families – Pilots, Portugieser, Portofino, Da Vinci, Ingenieur and the Aquatimer.