Modern IWC luxury watches are inspired by great inventors, engineers and dreamers. The Ingenieur range, born in the 1950s, performs precisely in the presence of magnetic fields. The famous Pilot and Aquatimer families feature watches built to work reliably in the most demanding conditions. Elegant and innovative, IWC luxury watches retain the brand’s unique vision: to combine the pioneering spirit of American engineers with the precision of Swiss horology.
It was a US citizen, Florentine Ariosto Jones, who created the IWC brand. Like all true inventors, Jones thrived on the spark of inspiration. His greatest stroke of genius: to bring the boldness of the New World to the centuries-old tradition of Swiss luxury watchmaking. In 1868, Jones achieved his dream, and IWC was born.
Throughout its history, IWC has created luxury watches that exist ahead of their era. The brand’s legendary Portugieser met with ridicule when it debuted in the 1930s. 75 years on, it was recognised as a revolution in watchmaking: a forerunner to the large dial size, round face, and legible numerals that have become almost universal in the luxury watch trade.
IWC’s commitment to innovation has remained undimmed for more than 100 years. The Aquatimer, first presented in 1967, remains one of the most trusted tool watches for undersea work thanks to its combination of legibility and robust design. The IWC Ingenieur, redesigned by Gerald Genta in the 1970s, is developed exclusively for engineers. Its association with the high-performance world of Formula One - another human endeavour reliant on technical materials, precision, and strength - is no coincidence.
And then there’s the Da Vinci family. If the Ingenieur, with its immediately recognisable lines, or the Big Pilot, whose large, legible dial has been trusted by the men and women of the skies since WWII, are the face of IWC, then the Da Vinci watches are its heart. These are luxury timepieces whose complications recall an inventor whose foresight is the spiritual ancestor of IWC’s philosophy. Many of the machines Leonardo da Vinci created in the pages of his notebooks were so far ahead of their time, they had to wait for technology to catch up with them.
Included in Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches was a design for a machine long thought to be a form of aircraft engine. In an exhibition curated by IWC, this mechanism was discovered to be a primitive design for a watch movement. The Da Vinci family of luxury watches celebrates this far-sightedness with complications that revolutionise the world of haute horlogerie. From a mechanically programmed perpetual calendar to a jumping digit day and date display, their technical achievements are a fitting tribute to the man whose inventions changed the course of human history.
The IWC name is found wherever endeavours are made to further understanding: in the air, in the sea, and in the far reaches of invention.