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 Portuguise Chronograph WristwatchRare All Original Iwc Solid 18k Gold, Cal.89, Excellent Condition, Serviced,1956Iwc Schaffhausen Stainlees Steel Cal.73 Watch Military Dial High Grade MovementIwc Aquatimer Mens Automatic Chronograph 120m WatchVintage Mens Iwc St.steel Silver Dial Manual Winding C.89Mens Military Style 1903 Iwc International Watch Co Schaffhausen Vintage WatchOriginal Iwc Mechanichal Automatic The Great Iwc A Portofino With Date For MensIwc Schaffhausen Spitfire Pilot's Chronograph Automatic Iw370613 Watch For MenRare Mens Iwc 18k Gold-plated Date Func Automatic Black Dial C.8531Iwc Portofino Gts WatchVintage Iwc Schaffhausen 18k Solid Gold Watch Cal.89_shark Fin_unobtainable RareIwc Schaffhausen Vintage Chronometer, Cal.77Iwc Prosche Ocean 500 Golden Bezel Complete Papers Boxes Excellent ConditionVery Rare Vintage 14k Yellow Gold Iwc Men Watch Cal 83 - Rare Black DialIwc - International Watch Schaffhausen - Movement Cal. Lep. 52. . .Iwc 3701 Porsche Design Automatic Chronograph No ReserveIwc Pilot Mark Xvi - Recently ServicedIwc - International Watch Schaffhausen - Movement Cal. Lep. 52. . .Porsche Design By Iwc Swiss Made Watch Quartz RareIwc Big Pilot Tog Gun Miramar Iw501902Iwc Men's WatchIwc / Jwc - International Watch Schaffhausen - Cal. Lep. 73 - 17 Lig H 4 . .Iwc Pourtuguese 7 Day Power ReservePorsche Design Iwc Watch Cross Hairs DesignIwc Watch - Gold And Stainless Porsche DesignVintage 80's Iwc International Watch Co. Watch Case Box Schaffhausen SwitzerlandIwc Tange Buckle Oem In Stainless Steel 18 Mm WidthSwiss Made Iwc Schaffhausen Women Watch Mechanizm MovementRare Iwc 1994 Mk.12 Mk.xii Pilots Patrouille Suisse Mens Wristwatch Dial NiceIwc Ingenieur,dial,nice,50's,60's !!!!!!Iwc Shaffhausen Ingenieur Date Women's Automatic WatchIwc 1990s Aquatimer Automatic Mens Black Wristwatch Dial NewoldstockIwc 1990s Aquatimer Automatic Mens Black Wristwatch Dial New Unused DialIwc 1990s Aquatimer Automatic Mens Black Wristwatch Dial New UnusedIwc 1990s Aquatimer Automatic Mens Wristwatch Dial New.old.stockIwc International 1917 Caliber 64 Military Style Dial No Reserve