One of the most appealing factors of owning an IWC Schaffhausen watch is its sense of authenticity on the wrist. Every timepiece is hand assembled, designed and hand finished independently in the German watchmaker’s manufacturing house. The company now looks back on 150 years of heritage. The skill and know-how used to forge each timepiece tell of a story of perseverance and provenance. A tapestry of innovative designs that have equipped the wrists of professional sailors, pioneering aviators and fans of the elegant dress watch. IWC Schaffhausen’s catalogue of timepieces includes some of the most intricate and technical complications on the market, each one strengthened by a tried and tested movement.
The story of every IWC Schaffhausen watch harkens back to 1868 when its founder opened the doors to a business called The International Watch Company. A partnership soon grew with watchmaker Johann Heinrich Moser, who helped push the company forward by sourcing talented watchmakers from all over Switzerland, drawing on their own expertise and artisanal skill. After the Second World War, a gentleman named Albert Pellaton became director of IWC Schaffhausen and developed the Calibre 89. It features a soft iron inner case to protect the internal components of the movement from damages caused by magnetic fields. Furthermore, he invented the Pellaton winding system, a remarkable ground breaking find that has gone on to play a pivotal role within the modern wristwatch industry today, enhancing accuracy and improving the overall performance of a movement.
IWC Schaffhausen also put itself on collectors’ radar by creating some remarkably desirable watches for the aviation industry, the Big Pilot’s watch and the Mark II to be more specific. Both were successfully utilised by the military but soon came to be popular timepieces for elite watch collectors. The IWC Ingenieur watch was launched during the 1940s. Today, these watches are crafted from resilient materials like ceramic and titanium and have remained faithful to a clean dial and a set of striking, instantly recognisable hands. During the era of the luxury steel sports watch, models like IWC’s Yacht Club models became highly desirable. Equipped with a 200 meter water resistance, these models were widely used for water sports and outdoor exploration, as well as for overseas adventure, sailing and yachting.
The IWC Da Vinci watch saved the German brand from complete collapse during the quartz crisis, which swept throughout the luxury watch industry during the 1960s and 70s. The timepiece, which is still widely collected today, avoided heavy investment in new technology to keep up with the quartz craze, instead boasting a timeless aesthetic that was well received by luxury watch collectors during this pressurising time.
from forward-thinking anti-magnetic technology and advanced techniques for mechanical movement manufacture, IWC Schaffhausen also developed a pin system for its metal bracelets. Each bracelet link holds a solid pin connected to a push button lock, ensuring a secure and robust fit around the wrist. The company also began developing timepieces crafted from lightweight titanium during the 1990s.
Popular models such as the Top Gun Pilot’s watch and the Spitfire watch carry the brand’s authentic approach to watchmaking through to a catalogue of modern, revisited designs, retaining distinct elements that have long been respected within the IWC Pilot’s watch range. In addition to this, the Maison has created special. edition watches in honour of some leading pioneers of the aviation industry, such as Antoine de Saint Exupery. Special engravings can be admired in the caseback of these watches, depicting characters from the French authors The Little Prince novel, making them exquisite retirement, birthday or anniversary gifts for aviation fans, as well as avid collectors of IWC Schaffhausen watches.