IWC: Watches for Men
When young American businessman Florentine Ariosto Jones reached Switzerland in 1869 with a few machine plans and a great deal of ambition, he cannot have imagined he was about to found a company that would be doing such flourishing business 141 years later. Initially attracted by the low cost of Swiss labour, he presented an innovate industrial development model to local watchmakers, along with the prospect of conquering the American market. Suprisingly, the Swiss were wary of the idea. However, he had the chance to meet Heinrich Moser, a visionary industrialist from the town of Schaffhausen, who owned a plant producing hydroelectric power and offered to run Jones's tools in the region.
After a promising start, the project failed to deliver the sales terms and Jones returned to the United States, selling his shares to his Swiss partners. The workshop and dynamic working methods remained, though, and the new factory soon managed to turn a profit and build a reputation for its watches.
In the 1930s, IWC set its sights on the future, concentrating fully on the production of wristwatches. It was from that point that the company began to create some of the greatest watchmaking legends of the twentieth century. Often ahead of its time, the factory soon gained a reputation for the manufacturing quality of its watches devoted to highly specialised fields. Pilot watches, first produced in the 1930s, became a key product. The Big Pilot, along with the series commemorating the achievements of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, were major creations that revealed the brand's talent for designing watchmaker's instruments that were robust as well as beautiful and accurate. It is actually those corporate standards that led it to produce the watch known as the Engineer in the 1950s, whose current collection underlines those guiding principles. Of course, IWC has also made a name with the most complex movements.
After heading the field of applied watchmaking technology as the first company to bring out a watch with a titanium case at the start of the 1980s, thanks to the talent of corporate engineer Kurt Klaus, IWC has succeeded in improving the perpetual calendar complication to such an extent that it has become a favourite of the public in the shape of the new model presented this year: the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month. Today, in partnership with its great brand ambassador Zinedine Zidane, the firm is still presenting new projects that are magnificent in both watchmaking and human terms.
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