American Spirit and Swiss Expertise
The story of IWC began in 1868. Florentine Ariosto Jones, a Boston born watchmaker, headed East to Switzerland to lay the foundations of the International Watch Company. He settled in Schaffhausen, a long way from the watchmaking centre of French speaking Switzerland, and combined modern American technologies with centuries-old Swiss watchmaking know-how.
The IWC factory continued to grow into the new century with the appearance of two ranges that are still in production today. The Portugieser celebrated the Portuguese importers who ordered large quantities of IWC Calibres and the “Spezialuhr für Flieger” is now recognised the world over as the Pilot collection.
The first IWC self-winding movement arrived in 1950 and was the brainchild of Albert Pellaton, the technical director at the time. This ingenious new technology was incorporated into the first Ingenieur model in 1955.
The Longest Flight
IWC began producing timekeepers for aviation during the mid 1930’s. They were robust, highly legible and resistant to substantial temperature changes. Later, in 1948, IWC responded to a tender from the British Government and developed a service watch for Pilots in the Royal Airforce.
Honouring their past links to the RAF and one of the most famous fighter planes in history, in 2003 IWC launched the Spitfire Chronograph. In August 2019, a carefully restored Spitfire with a one of a kind silver-chrome finish took off from London. The “Silver Spitfire” would undertake a 43,000 km journey around the world stopping at 30 countries along the way.
The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight” is dedicated to this incredible endeavour. It boasts a patented mechanism with an entirely in-house IWC automatic movement.