IWC’s Brand Story
Founded in 1868, the International Watch Company (IWC) is one of the top luxury watchmakers in the world. The brand is best known for its exquisitely precise pilot/aviation watches. Merging the traditional artistry and modern technical advancements, the IWC watches are highly appreciated by watch collectors all over the world. Amongst the IWC watch family, the IWC Pilot’s Watch and the IWC Portuguese are the flagship models for the brand.
The legend of IWC began from the determination of a young and talented American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones. He was an engineer and a watchmaker who worked in a notable Boston watch company E. Howard Watch and Clock Co. With a high level of watchmaking experience, Jones decided to travel all the way to Switzerland and establish his own business. then established the International Watch Company in 1868.
His vision in watchmaking was to produce superior quality pocket watches for the US market by merging state-of-the-art American insights along with incredible Swiss craftsmanship. During his stay in Switzerland, he successfully found support from the industrialist Johann Heinrich Moser and began his business in the northern Schaffhausen area. IWC started to build its name and moved its production to its own factory built-in Baumgarten. This factory right next to the Rhine riverbanks remains the headquarter of the brand to this day.
In 1880, Jones sold IWC to an industrial engine manufacturer Johannes Rauschenbach-Vogel. Since then, the company has become a family private business until 1981. A year later in 1881, the company was passed down to the son Johannes Rauschenbach-Schenk after Rauschenbach-Vogel died. IWC continued to grow and led in the technical aspects with the innovative mind of Johannes Rauschenbach-Schenk. In 1885, IWC introduced the Pallweber, the first pocket watch with a digital minute and hour displays.
The company was then passed to two of Rauschenbach's sons in law, Carl Jung and Ernst Jakob Homberger, until Homberger bought Jung’s share in 1929 and became sole owner. The company didn’t cease to strive for innovations and breakthroughs.
In 1915, IWC produced their first movements for wristwatches. Its 75 calibre movement had no second displays, but the updated 76 calibre offered a small seconds display. Since then, the company has been continuing to produce updated and advanced movements for their watches.
In 1936 IWC released the Special Pilot's Watch featuring an arrowhead index on a rotating bezel to indicate the takeoff times. The remarkable function of this IWC watch had grabbed the attention of the military. When World War II began in Europe and Asia in 1940, many pilots used the IWC Big Pilot's Watch 52 T.S.C., which was equipped with an essential central seconds hand.
Since the Swiss Richemont Group acquired IWC in 2000, the brand has continued to grow and expand its splendid collections.
As a renowned luxurious watch brand, IWC offers all sorts of price-ranged watches to cater their audiences. IWC’s mainstay watch families are offering every style from professional tool watches, sports watches to dress watches. These IWC watches have remained popular all over the world for decades. To purchase an authentic IWC Singapore should be one of the most reliable places where many trustworthy stores are located.
The IWC pilot watches with chronometer features help the pilots and aviators to compute the flight-related calculation, while the IWC dive watches are designed for the divers with standard water resistance. On the other hand, the IWC Portuguese and IWC Portofino watches come with the timelessly classic design. Now let’s take a deeper look at these popular IWC watch models.
The IWC Portugieser watch was first introduced in 1939 with the Reference 325.
It was born due to the custom-made request from two Portuguese businessmen Rodrigues and Teixeira. Addressing the needs of its customers, the company developed a large stainless steel watch that housed a pocket watch movement to perform high precision of a marine chronometer.
After the original IWC Portuguese watch of the 1930s, in 1993 IWC revived the Protuguese watch with a limited-edition model and gained massive success. Since then these IWC Portuguese chronograph models were released with a number of exciting new versions.
In 2014, to celebrate its 75th anniversary of the IWC Portuguese Collection, IWC introduced some complicated models like IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar IW503501, the IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month IW397201 and the IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days IW510205.
The IWC Pilot watches were first released in the mid-1930s for civil aviation purposes. These watches came with the tactical functions including anti-magnetic and resistance to fluctuations in temperature from – 40 degrees Celsius to + 40 degrees Celsius.
Seeing the overwhelming responses to its pilot watch, IWC released an updated pilot watch — the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch in 1940. As indicated in its name, this IWC Big Pilot IW431 featured a larger watch case of 55mm, with 16.5mm in height. This is IWC’s biggest watch IWC ever manufactured. The first IWC Big Pilot watch was produced as a limited-edition of 1000 pieces and it instantly became a big hit in the market.
In 2002, IWC revisited its iconic Big Pilot watch and produced an updated Luftwaffe-issue watch. This new version of Big PIlot watch reference 5002 was equipped with a 46mm case which was smaller than the first model. This watch housed the renowned IWC automatic movement that offered a power reserve of 8.5 days.
In 2012, IWC again re-edited the pilots watches and released two new versions of the Big Pilot in ceramic, called IWC Top Gun. Under the IWC Pilot family, there are also other lineups such as IWC Double Chronograph, the IWC Chronograph Automatic, the IWC Mark XVI and more.
In 1981 IWC introduced the first Portofino model, which was a pocket watch for the wrist and gained high popularity. Seeing the success of the first model, IWC released the full collection with its first model reference 5251 in 1984.
The IWC Portofino 5251 watch was a timeless piece that perfectly blended the bold and oversized case along with a smoothly slim profile. The watch also featured the unique long Breguet-style hands and elongated Roman numeral indices.
IWC provides a wide range of styles in its comprehensive watch collections, you can, with no difficulties, pick the one that suits your own style and blend it with your personality.