Brief history of IWC and their biggest contributions to the watch world

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IWC in Schaffhausen, Switzerland

IWC in Schaffhausen, Switzerland

The International Watch Company Schaffhausen – or IWC – has been an innovative force since its inception in Switzerland in 1868, when Boston watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones set up in a factory in Schaffhausen. He made IWC unique by seeking to connect American production with Swiss craftsmanship, rather than following the techniques of French-based watch makers.

Starting with their unique beginnings set far apart from other watch company’s, the International Watch Company has created a reputation as an innovative and technologically inventive manufacturer of watches. IWC Schaffhausen watches reflect a combination of “precision engineering with exclusive design” – characteristics that have enabled the company to grow from an outsider to a leader in watchmaking.

Although F.A. Jones started with pocket watches, IWC’s variety of timepieces has grown. There are now multiple watch families within the IWC brand that boast all of the technological innovations and classic traditions from which the company was built. After IWC made a name for itself with their first pocket watch, the Magique, and their creation of the first watches to display the Pallweber system of digital hours and minutes, they launched the Pilot’s Watch collection in 1936. Throughout the decades, the Portuguese, Ingenieur, Aquatimer, Da Vinci and Portofino watch collections followed. These collections have become iconic models that have been recently updated with automatic movements and more contemporary designs. The updated watches are part of the IWC Vintage Collection. You can browse through all of IWC’s collections here.

The two causes that IWC supports are environmental awareness and youth disadvantages. On its website, IWC states that the company “has a corporate philosophy that embraces ecological responsibility and social commitment.” IWC has achieved international success with their global projects concerning ecological and social matters.

For years now, IWC Schaffhausen has been striving to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. In 2003, IWC production was moved to two new buildings composed of insulated glass and innovative ventilation that were designed to reduce IWC’s CO2 footprint. Its production facilities have given them certification as a climate-neutral company. Through the use of innovative production technologies and alternative energy use, IWC has been able to reduce emissions by 90 percent.

Not only does IWC strive for environmental impact awareness in the workplace, its employees are rewarded with financial incentives for making individual efforts to reduce their own CO2 footprints in their personal lives as well.

All of IWC Schaffhausen’s efforts to become an environmentally friendly company reflect the root of its philosophy. Georges Kern, CEO IWC Schaffhausen, explains that “beyond the confines of our company, at IWC we aim for similar standards in our response to the environmental challenges of today, supporting landmark projects around the globe.” IWC Schaffhausen is a member of Climate Group, an international non-profit organization that strives to reduce global emissions by implementing a clean industrial revolution. Passion for innovation is reflected in IWC’s research efforts with the “Plastiki” Expedition, which delves into the problems surrounding some of the most environmentally threatened areas on the planet and seeks to reduce plastic waste.

IWC Schaffhausen is also committed to promoting social causes, such as the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, an organization that beings awareness and support for social and physical handicaps in children all over the world. The Charles Darwin Foundation, a cause devoted to preserving the natural ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands, also has the support of the IWC.

IWC Schaffhausen’s passion for ecological and social improvements can only be matched by its passion for exquisite watch manufacturing. Visit IWC’s website for more information about the company’s products and impact.

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