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 Portuguese Chronograph Iw371447 (black Dial On Black Alligator Strap)Mint Iwc Aquatimer Iw356801 / Black Yellow / Automatic 2000 / Bracelet / 44mmMens Iwc Spitfire Pilot Automatic Chronograph Day Date Steel Watch 39mm Iw3706Vintage Iwc Ingenieur S.steel Caliber 852 International Watch Co. .99 No Reserve1956 Iwc 14k Solid Gold Cal.89 Original Working Shape2007 Iwc Aquatimer Iw371928 - Re Listed Due To Time Wasters.Iwc Pilot Die Fliegeruhr Mark Xv Iw3253 Stainless Steel Automatic 38mm WatchInternational Watch Co Top Condition Schaffhausen Vintage Iwc Manual Men WatchIwc Pilot Spitfire 3717 Chronograph Mint ConditionIwc Ingenieur Amg Ref.iw322703 Titanium Automatic 42mm Men's WatchVintage Iwc Schaffhausen Gentlemen’s Dress Watch Automatic 1970’s SwissVintage Classic Iwc Shaffhousen Automatic Cal C8541 Serviced Cerificate Iwc International Watch Co Military Style Mens Wristwatch AutomaticVintage Iwc Schaffhausen Wwii Era Black Dial Stainless Steel Watch Poss MilitaryIwc Gst Ingenieur Automatic Chrono Day/date men's S/steel Watch 3707 L.bnew Bp's1917 Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Watch 15 J Movement Cal65 SkeletonIwc Pilot's Utc (gmt) Fliegeruhr, Black Dial, Nice ConditionMens Rare 1904 Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Vintage Watch Caliber 57Lnib Iwc Fliegeruhr Pilot Chronograph 371704 Watch W/. 2 Yr Iwc WarrantyVintage 1960's International Watch Co (iwc) Schaffhausen Mechanical Watch 18kIwc Watch Gold Solid 18kl 0.750Iwc By Porsche Design Chronograph Moon Phase Titanium Ref. 3742 Spare PartsLadies Gold 1905 Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Vintage Watch Caliber64International Watch Company 18ct Gold Trench Watch C1919, Ladies Iwc St.steel Manual Winding Black Dial C.41Vintage Iwc C8541b Caliber Men Watch Movement And Dial Running AutomaticVintage Rare Iwc Schaffhausen Men's Watch 18k Gold Case Hand Wind C89 1940's Iwc Pilot Chronograph BraceletIwc Solid Gold DopplechronographIwc Schaffhausen Chronometer Cal.53 High Grade From 1905's ! Marriage Watch 46mmIwc Ingenieur Chronograph Alarm, Men'sAntique (pre 1920) Women's 18k Gold Iwc WristwatchIwc Oem Portuguese Dials (3714 And 5001)Mint Iwc Schaffhausen 18mm Stainless Steel Deployment Buckle Deployant Clasp Iwc 18k Solid Gold For LadyVintage Iwc Schaffhausen Da Vinci Portuquese Chronograph - Diver Wristwatch Box Iwc Schaffhausen Keychain & Hat Combo - Chronograph Watch Enthusiast - Rare!Iwc Vintage Yacht Master Steel;1970`s; Nos Crown Only !!22mm New Mens Black Silicon Rubber Diver Curved End Watchband Strap For IwcwatchIwc Vintage Automatic Caliber 852/853 ;1970`s; Nos Breguet Hairspring Only !!Iwc 2000's Portuguese Chronograph Automatic White Wristwatch Dial Nos R.3714Iwc 2000's Portuguese Chronograph Automatic Black Wristwatch Dial Nos R.371422mm New Men Black Silicon Rubber Diver Watch Band Strap For Iwcwatch Curved End