Schaffhausen. Trough the IWC watches workshop windows slowly flowing waters of the Rhine – the great river is getting ready to a few kilometers downstream reveal all its power and overthrow the roar and clatter from the rocky ledges the world-famous Rhine Falls. It was here more than 140 years ago, began the history of IWC, which continues to this day.
At the age of 27 years, an American engineer and watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones was appointed to the post of deputy director and head of production in the company E. Howard Watch and Clock Co. in Boston, the leading American company for the production of watches on that times. While many people were looking for happiness in the West, Jones went in the opposite direction. He decided to move to the other side of the Atlantic – in Switzerland, where wages are still relatively low. Jones had planned to combine excellence of Swiss watchmakers, advanced engineering technology of the New World and its innovative spirit in order to set up production of high quality watches for the American market. However, the master of the surrounding area of Geneva and remote valleys of western Switzerland reacted to his plans skeptical. Since the XVII century, they have traditionally worked at home or in tiny workshops. Jones, on the contrary, dreamed of building a modern factory with centralized production.
At that time Jones met industrialist from Schaffhausen named Heinrich Moser. Schaffhausen has long been famous for its tradition of watchmaking. The first watches mentioned in the chronicles were created in 1409 in the monastery of Rheinau, located 10 km downstream of the Rhine. They were made for the church of St. John in Schaffhausen. There is also documentary evidence that from 1583, in the city there was a guild of watchmakers and there also lived the famous dynasty Habrehtov timepieces (Habrecht), created for the Strasbourg Cathedral, one of the most unusual astronomical clock in the world. However, it is the idea of Jones series production within the walls of a factory of a large number of high-quality watches that meet all the standards of Swiss watchmaking, ultimately, this idea made watches from Schaffhausen known and famous to the whole world. Let’s go through some meaningful history moments.
Florentine Ariosto Jones (1841-1916), a watchmaker from Boston (MA), had founded the International Watch Company (IWC) in Schaffhausen. Its task was: the production of high-quality pocket watches for the American market.
Construction of new buildings and building modern headquarters on the banks of the Rhine IWC. The company’s staff – 196 employees.
Johannes Rauschenbach-Vogel, engine manufacturer from Schaffhausen (1815-1881), buys IWC company.
In Schaffhausen was produced one of the first models in the world of wristwatches. Firm had used in their manufacture caliber 64 miniature women pocket watches set in an elegant case with lugs for fixing the bracelet. In the production of other watches IWC company used caliber 63 women pocket watches.
After the death of his son Johannes Rauschenbach, Ernst Jakob Homberger takes over the management of the company IWC on behalf of Rauschenbach heirs of the family.
IWC is new gauges: 75 (without the second hand) and 76 (with a small second hand). It was the first mechanism, created specifically for wristwatches.
The first timepiece Special IWC Pilot Watch was launched. Their rotating bezel with swept pointer can be used to record the time of departure. In addition, this watch is equipped with anti-magnetic escapement.
The birth of IWC Portuguese model: two from Portugal importer bought large batch of watches made by very precise caliber pocket watch.
Release of the new generation of Aquatimer watch with outer and inner rotating bezel.