When you think about fine watchmaking, it’s not surprising that you’d think of Switzerland – home to numerous makers of superlative, handcrafted timepieces.
So what happens when Swiss craftsmanship meets modern American engineering technology? Florentine Ariosto Jones, a watchmaker from Boston, Massachusetts, believed this synergy could create the best pocket watch movements of his generation for export to the American market. And he was right. In 1868, he set up the “International Watch Company” in the northern German-speaking area of Switzerland, becoming the only major watch manufacturer in the region to produce high quality movements.
IWC Schaffhausen’s CEO, Christoph Grainger-Herr, credits Jones for a legacy that has endured beyond the founder’s return to America and subsequent death: “Our founder’s entrepreneurial spirit and his untiring quest for engineering excellence have left a lasting impression on IWC. To this day, our watches combine precision engineering with design that is as unusual as it is timeless.”
To mark its 150th anniversary, IWC Schaffhausen will launch a Jubilee limited collection, which honours the early editions of its celebrated watches, as well as iconic pieces that defined the watchmaker’s heritage.
Limited to 250 pieces, the IWC Tribute To Pallweber Edition “150 Years” is a hand-wound, antique-looking watch reminiscent of the original 1886 Savonnette Pocket Watch Pallweber. It recalls the early days when the brand started off with pocket watches such as the Savonnette Pocket Watch Calibre Jones, Pattern R made in 1874, before debuting the first watches sporting the Pallweber digital display system.
Then there’s the Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “150 Years” – a tribute to the Portugieser wristwatch built in 1939. The large timepiece with the precision of a pocket watch movement was so named, because it was first requested by two Portuguese merchants. The 2018 Jubilee collection edition, with its exquisite hand-wound tourbillon movement and four days’ power reserve, is made in a limited edition of just 15 pieces.
For the ladies, IWC has given the self-winding, mechanical Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 Edition “150 Years” watch a contemporary update, complete with 206 diamonds adorning an 18K red gold case.
First presented at the 1985 Basel Fair and the brainchild of the brand’s celebrated master watchmaker Kurt Klaus, the Da Vinci chronograph had a mechanically programmed perpetual calendar for 500 years, making it the perfect heirloom watch.
To find out more about the Jubilee collection and read more on the house’s history, visit www.iwc.com