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 Pilot's Watch Chronograph Auto Iw371701 No Reserve"iwc Chronograph Rattrapante Schaffhausen " Tribute Watch ? Nice Condition Iwc Ingenieur Boutique Edition, Mens 18k Gold, W Box And Papers, MagnificentIwc Ingenieur Double Chronograph Automatic Watch Iw386501, Msrp: $11,300International Watch Co 89 Top Condition Schaffhausen Vintage Swiss Made Iwc MenMens Rare 1897 Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Vintage Watch Caliber 56 Iwc Big Pilot Watch 5004-01Iwc Ingenieur Amg Titanium Automatic Chronograph Iw3725-04Iwc Schaffhausen - Cal 89 Watch - Original Dial! Iwc Schaffhausen WatchIwc Pilot Iw377704 Chronograph Stainless Steel/canvas Bracelet 43mm Mens Watch Iwc Schaffhausen Portofino Stainless Steel Automatic Watch Iw3513 23jewelsVint Iwc International Watch Co Ca55 Cal 89 Swiss No Reserve Price@Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Watch Rare Aged 1928 Swiss Cal.84 16jSolid 9ct Gold Men`s Deco(30s)peerless Watch By Stauffer( Iwc?) - Serviced!Iwc Big Ingenieur 7days Iw500505 WatchMens / Ladies 1913 International Watch Co Vintage Skeleton From Iwc SchaffhausenAuthentic Iwc Schaffhausen Automatic Men's Watch Movement Cal.85418 Swiss MadeFantastic! Mens Vintage Watch Of Tiffany & Co In Silver-plated Case(class Iwc)Iwc Portofino # 353301Very Rare Iwc Aviator Letter Opener Watch Accessory Swiss MadeIwc Pilot Mark Xviii 18 Bracelet Oem Excellent ConditionVtge Unusual Iwc Schaffhausen Yacht Club Automatic Men Watch. Fully Original. 70Auth Iwc International Watch Co. Hand Wind Women's Watch Movement Cal.41 SwissIwc Portofino Silver Dial Chronograph Brown Leather Mens Watch Iw391007Vintage Men's 18k Solid Gold Iwc International Watch Co. 17j Cal 89 Wrist WatchUlysse Nardin Iwc Corps Of Engineers WatchRare Vintage International Watch Company (iwc) 18k Solid Gold Watch. Nice!1970's Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Automatic1950s Iwc International Watch Co Caliber 41~17j Swiss W/dial & Hands Gold Iwc Diamond Bezel Oman Coat Of Arms Spider Dial Ingenieur Onyx Crown Watch Genuine Iwc Schaffhausen Watch CaseRare Vintage International Watch Company (iwc) 18k Solid Gold Watch. Nice!Complete Price Guide To Watches 2009 Omega Lecoultre Patek Bulova Cartier Iwc# Iwc # Fliegerchronograph # Spitfire # Iw 3706 # International Watch Co # Rare