The International Watch Company, or IWC, is a venerable Swiss firm, but what many people don’t know is that an American named Florentine Ariosto Jones founded IWC in 1868. Jones’s idea was to meld American industrial know-how with the traditions of Swiss craftsmanship to produce watches for the U.S. market. Unfortunately, when those watches arrived in the United States, customers balked at the ‘made in Switzerland’ label, and protectionist tariffs made the watches more expensive than they needed to be. Jones could not compete, and by 1875, the first incarnation of IWC had come to an end.

Swiss ownership proved more fruitful. Within a decade, IWC had manufactured the first digital watch, which was perhaps too far ahead of its time. These Pallwebers, as they are today known, had a clean design, with tiny apertures to display the hours and minutes. Alas, the world was still an analog place, but contemporary collectors crave these rare and unique examples of 19th-century watchmaking.

In terms of wristwatches, IWC’s Portuguese from 1939 was a hand-wound wonder, a full-size pocket watch that could be worn on the arm. Another IWC wristwatch worth mentioning is the Ingenieur from 1955. It was the first IWC watch with an automatic movement designed by company engineer Albert Pellaton. Among its many innovations were tough anti-magnetic properties to ensure accuracy. IWC’s water-resistant Aquatimer was released in 1967, and its handsome Da Vinci watch appeared in 1969.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Iwc 3701 Porsche Design Chronograph Automatic Gents Watch TitaniumIwc Pilot Chronograph Ref#iw3741 18k Yellow Gold Wristwatch Iwc Schaffhausen Ref#3717 WristwatchMens Extra 1906 Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Vintage Watch Caliber 52Iwc Schaffhausen Portuguese Ref#500109 7 Days Power Reserve WristwatchIwc Portofino Hand Wind Moon Phase 46mm Mechanical Watch Ref 5448 Men's Porsche Design By Iwc Chronograph Case Ref.3748 Cal.630Iwc Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 18k Yellow Gold Watch 41mmIwc Aquatimer Black Dial AutomaticRare Iwc Schaffhausen Chronometer Cal 53 Circa 1899 Unique Marriage Watch 48 MmMens Rare 1909 Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Vintage Watch Caliber 53Mens Primo 1917 Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Vintage Watch Caliber 57Very Nice Iwc In S/steel Two Piece Case With Caliber 89 From The 50` !Iwc Schaffhausen Chronograph Wristwatch Vintage Iwc Caliber 89 // 35 Mm Stainless Steel / 1970'sRare Military Iwc Schaffhausen Chronometer Cal 77 Circa 1918 Unique Marriage !Iwc Schaffhausen Ingenieur Chronograph Meca-quartz Date Watch Ref. 3733Vintage Mens Iwc St.steel Automatic Silver Dial C.852Vintage Mens Iwc St.steel Blue Dial Manual Winding C.401Rare Vintage Mens Jumbo Iwc International Watch Co Manual Wind 1960's (x3080)Antique International Watch Co Schaffhausen Iwc IngenieurRare Military Iwc Schaffhausen Cal.66 From 1909 !!Big Pilot Mechanical Watch Tribute Flieger Wwii Omega, Laco, Stowa, Iwc, FortisRare Mens Iwc 18k Solid Gold Automatic Black Dial Cal.852Iwc | Porsche Design World Time Alarm Gold & Titanium Alarm WatchIwc Schaffhausen From 1911 In New Ss Case !! Iwc Automatic Movement Cal.79350 New, For Parts. Iwc Schaffhausen - Unique Movement Cal.53 From 1901 In New Ss Case.Men's Porsche Design By Iwc Chronograph Case Ref.3748 Cal.630Iwc Shafehausen Pink 18k Vintage,superb ConditionIwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Vintage Mens WatchGenuine Iwc Leather Watch Strap 21mm Iwc International Watch & Co. 9carat Mechanical Ladies Gold Watch Used 1960'sIwc International Watch Co. Automatic, C.853, Runs Good Keeps Time, Sold As-is20mm Brown Genuine Leather Band Strap Alligator-style W/deployant Clasp For Iwc