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 Pilots Style Watch. For Pares Or Repairs.Lovely 14k Solid Gold Iwc Schaffhausen Cal. 61 Wristwatch From 1940 With Box !Iwc Pilot's Fliegeruhr 42mm Chronograph Spitfire Iwc Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Split Chronograph Rattrapante 18k 41.5mm 37541980 Vintage Iwc Ingenieur Reference 1832 / Serviced / No ReserveAdorable And Very Rare S/s Cased Iwc Schaffhausen Cal. 89 Wristwatch From 1951! Rare 1950s Iwc Schaffhausen Solid 18k Rose Gold Man's Watch No Reserve!Mens Primo 1909 Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Vintage Watch Caliber 53Men's Vintage Iwc International Watch Company WristwatchVintage Mens Iwc Solid 18k Gold Automatic Black Dial Cal.853Iwc Big Pilot Antoine De Saint-exupery Edition In Rose GoldBig Size Iwc ( Ref: 604 ) In 18 K Yellow Gold Case And Original Dial !Iwc International Watch Co Best Quality Chronometer - 1912Rare Iwc St.steel Date Func Automatic Silver Dial C.8541Vintage Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Cal 853 Swiss Made Mens WatchBeautiful Iwc International Watch Co Schaff, Rare Cal73 From 1921, New 44mm CaseIwc Big Pilot *rare* Watch For Parts Or RepairIwc 2250 Cal Quartz Movement Tag Heuer, Chopard, Omega, Tissot - Swiss MadeVintage 18k Iwc Schaffhausen Automatic Mans Watch No ReserveSuperb 18k Gold 1960s Iwc Swiss Hand Wound Gents Wristwatch, Hirsch Strap, Runs!Classic Mens Watch Iwc Schaffhausen From 1914 In 24k Golden Case ! Iwc 2210 Cal Quartz Movement Tag Heuer, Omega, Longines, Rado - Swiss MadeIwc Cal 89 Vintage Wristwatch, Genuine From Schaffhausen, SwitzerlandGenuine Iwc Brown Alligator Watch Band Strap 19/16mmIwc - Schaffhausen Sterling Silver Cal 95 !!Iwc Watch BoxIwc Watch BoxIwc Watch BandIwc Schaffhausen Chronograph Rattrapante 33mm Dial-unused