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 Automatic White Dial Gold Numbers Iw371445Iwc Portofino High Fashion Ss Automatic Chronograph Day/date Men's WatchVery Rare Vintage 1930s-40s Iwc Zentra Calibre 583 Military Style WatchIwc Portuguese 7 DayMen's Iwc Schaffhausen Fleiger Pilot Chronograph 3741 Meca Quartz WatchInternational Watch Co Caliber 89 Schaffhausen Vintage Iwc Manual Men WristwatchSuperb Rare C1980 Iwc Porsche Design Ultra Thin 4530 Black Date Dial WristwatchMens Primo 1911 Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Vintage Watch Cal. 57Vintage International Watch Co Automatic Watch Iwc Stainless Steel Vintage Rare Iwc Aquatimer, Ref. R 816 A, Switzerland, Around 1970Rare Branded 1901 Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Watch Gold-plated CaseIwc International Watch Company, S&co Stauffer, Peerless F. Borgel Trench WatchMilitary Iwc Porche Design Compass Cal.375 Rare Superb Collectors No Reserve Iwc Big Pilot's 5004-01 Ss Mint Condition Lnib Wrist Watch For Men14k 1969 Iwc International Watch Co. Shaffhausen Swiss Men's Watch Cal.8541bIwc Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 18k Yellow Gold Iw375003 Watch Vintage Iwc International Wtch Co. Manual Wind Original Box Cal. 89 Gold Filled Iwc International Watch Co Best Quality Chronometer - 1896Iwc Aquatimer Flyback 18k Rose GoldIwc Portofino 45mm Blue Dial Blue Leather Mens Watch Iw510106Rare Iwc Schaffhausen Chronometer Cal 52 Circa 1897 Unique Marriage Watch 48 MmIwc Pilot Spitfire Automatic Chronograph Stainless Steel Mens Watch 3717Mens Iwc Spitfire Utc !!!Rare Iwc Schaffhausen Chronometer Cal 57 Circa 1915 Unique Marriage Watch 48 MmMen's Vintage 18k International Watch Co Iwc Schaffhausen Swiss WristwatchRare Military Iwc Schaffhausen Chronometer Cal 77 Circa 1919 Unique Marriage !Rare Iwc Schaffhausen Chronometer Cal 63 Circa 1887 Unique Marriage Watch 48 MmIwc International Watch Co.~jones Calibre~ Vintage Large High Grade ChronometerPanerai Iwc Cartier Rolex Philip Stein Homage Collection Invicta Parnis TaoIwc Ingenieur 18k Gold & S/s Chronometer Automatic Men's Watch!Rare Vintage 14k Solid Gold Iwc Men Watch Cal 89Great Iwc A Portofino Original Iwc Mechanical Automatic Movement With Date..mensIwc Small Portuguese Ss Reference 3531Authentic Genuine Iwc 18mm Deployment Buckle ClaspIwc Black Textile Strap Used Size 22 - No ReserveFor Left Handed ! Unique Black Iwc Schaffhausen Chronometer Cal 52 Circa 1899 Iwc Small Portuguese Ss Reference 3531Iwc Hat - Authentic International Watch Co. Schaffhausen Brand New No ReserveVintage Poket Iwc Watch BeautifulVintage Iwc Watch Poket Case Silver ExcellentIwc Oem Deployant Clasp 16 Mm Polished Stainless SteelBeautiful Gold Plated Case Cal.853 Iwc Schaffhausen 1959's22mm New Men's Black Silicon Rubber Replacement Diver Watch Band Strap For Iwc~Rare Military Iwc Schaffhausen Cal.66 From 1909 !!Mint Vintage Authentic Iwc Watch Box,rare,black W Pillow,warrantyIwc Aquatimer 2011 Steel Yellow/black 3568-02 Just Serviced!