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IWC

Swiss

One of Switzerland’s major luxury watch companies was started by an American who saw the potential of bringing Switzerland’s superb watchmaking into the modern age through industrialized manufacturing and high-precision interchangeable parts. The New Hampshire–born watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones (1841–1916), who founded International Watch Company — known today as simply IWC — in 1868, was interested in “combining all the excellence of the American system of mechanism with the more skillful hand labor of the Swiss.”

Setting up the company with another American watchmaker, Charles Kidder, in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, Jones used hydropower from the River Rhine for his plant’s machinery. Rethinking watch design would lead to one of IWC’s early successes: the Pallweber pocket watch. Based on an 1883 patent by Austrian watchmaker Josef Pallweber, the watch employed numbered disks for jumping hour and minute displays, making it a pioneer in digital timekeeping.

After Johann Rauschenbach-Vogel took over the watch manufacturer in 1880, four generations of his family led IWC into the 20th century. In 1905, Ernst Jakob Homberger and his brother-in-law Carl Jung — the famed Swiss psychiatrist — acquired IWC. Homberger bought out Jung’s holdings in 1929, and in the 1930s, the company introduced pilot watches, which were particularly robust and aimed solely at the civil aviation industry. These durable wristwatches were designed specifically to remain operational during extreme temperature shifts. (As blue watch dials are particularly hot right now, IWC's blue-dial Big Pilot is having a moment.)

The company still operates alongside the river where it was founded, having gained an international reputation over the past 150 years for its elegant designs and expert craftsmanship. Vintage IWC watches are prized by collectors — of whom there are many these days — and while the company continues to guard its attention to detail and quality, it has pushed its classic designs forward with modern innovation intended to stand the test of time.

IWC’s 2013 Ingenieur watch collection, with its precision based on an inventive constant-force mechanism, looked back to a 1955 Ingenieur model that featured a durable soft-iron inner cage as well as a 1976 update by leading Swiss watch designer Gérald Genta that encased its mechanism in a sleek steel case. IWC has also had a recent push toward sustainability, designing watches that are made to last a lifetime and beyond and earning the highest environmental ranking of any Swiss watch company in a 2018 report published by the World Wide Fund for Nature Switzerland (WWF).

Find vintage IWC wristwatches, Art Deco–style pocket watches and more on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$2,989
Styles
Related Creators
Iconic Designs from IWC
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Iwc Portugieser Watch
Iwc Portugieser Watch
Iwc Portofino Watch
Iwc Portofino Watch
Iwc Ingenieur Watch
Iwc Ingenieur Watch
IWC Chronograph Pilot's Watch 41 Mens Wristwatch IW388102 Stainless Auto 1YrWnty
By IWC
Located in Greensboro, NC
Brand: IWC Model: Chronograph Pilot's Watch 41 Model Number: IW388102 Movement: Automatic Number of Jewels: 33 Warranty: One Year Warranty Movement Maker: Swiss Dial Color: Blue Met...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary IWC

IWC Portuguese 7 Days Perpetual Calendar 18k Rose Gold Men's Complicated Watch I
By IWC
Located in Dallas, TX
IWC Portuguese 7 Days Perpetual Calendar 18k Rose Gold Men's Complicated Watch IW503202 - Automatic winding; 62 jewels, 7 day power reserve. 18k rose gold case with exhibition back ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss IWC

Materials

Rose Gold

Iwc Portofino Automatic 40mm Watch Milanaise Mesh Bracelet Ref. Iw356505 B&p
By IWC
Located in Montclair, NJ
Watchmaker: IWC Model: Portofino - Ref. IW356505 Movement: Automatic - Self Winding - 25 jewels - 35111 Calibre Case Material: Stainless Steel Case Width: 40mm (not counting the crow...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary IWC

International Watch Schaffausen
By IWC
Located in Sežana, SI
Step back in time with this stunning IWC Schaffausen timepiece from the 1940s. Featuring a round 18k gold case with unique shaped lugs, a silver dial in excellent condition, and a m...
Category

1940s Swiss Modern Vintage IWC

Materials

18k Gold

International Watch Schaffausen
International Watch Schaffausen
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Dm 1.34 in
IWC Portofino Automatic IW356305
By IWC
Located in London, GB
A truly elegant dress watch. One that flies under the radar and doesn’t get the appreciation it truly deserves. Presented with its inner and outer boxes, both manuals and warranty c...
Category

2010s European IWC

IWC Portofino Automatic IW356305
IWC Portofino Automatic IW356305
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Dm 1.54 in
IWC Portofino Automatic Moon Phase
By IWC
Located in Oyster Bay, NY
Silver-tone stainless steel case with a brown alligator leather strap. Fixed silver-tone stainless steel bezel. Silver dial with rose gold-tone leaf-style shape hands and index hour ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss IWC

Materials

Steel

IWC Portofino Automatic Moon Phase
IWC Portofino Automatic Moon Phase
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Dm 1.58 in
IWC Portuguese Chronograph IW371401
By IWC
Located in London, GB
To many possibly considered the perfect dress watch and to those in the watch industry many hold the IWC Automatic movement in extremely high regard. A ...
Category

Early 2000s European IWC

Materials

Steel

Vintage 1950s International Watch Company Automatic Gents Watch
By IWC
Located in London, GB
This is a vintage stainless steel watch from the designer IWC (International Watch Company). The watch features all its original pieces but the strap and buckle have been replaced wi...
Category

1950s Vintage IWC

Materials

Stainless Steel

Browse all Jewelry from IWC
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Creators Similar to IWC

More IWC Designs
Iwc Portugieser Watch
Iwc Portugieser Watch
Average Price
$20,008
Number Available
5
Iwc Portugieser Watch
By IWC
Shop All
Iwc Portofino Watch
Iwc Portofino Watch
Average Price
$9,884
Number Available
4
Iwc Portofino Watch
By IWC
Shop All
Iwc Ingenieur Watch
Iwc Ingenieur Watch
Average Price
$9,496
Number Available
3
Iwc Ingenieur Watch
By IWC
Shop All

Iwc jewelry & watches for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a range of IWC jewelry & watches available on 1stDibs. Each of these unique items was designed with extraordinary care, often using gold. While looking for the most stylish antique or vintage IWC jewelry to pair with your ensemble, you’ll find that IWC diamond jewelry & watches, from our inventory of 1, can add a particularly distinctive touch to your look. We have 163 pieces in this collection as well as a number of other designs by this jeweler. Artisan and Art Deco are among the most popular styles of IWC jewelry & watches available on 1stDibs. While this collection reflects work that originated over various time periods, most of these items were designed during the 21st century and contemporary. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider jewelry & watches by Jaeger-LeCoultre, Corum, and Tissot. Prices for IWC jewelry & watches can differ depending upon gemstone, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $994 and tops out at $84,229, while pieces like these, on average, can sell for $7,054.
Questions About IWC
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 25, 2024
    Where IWC ranks in watches is within the realm of high-end timepieces. IWC is one of Switzerland's major luxury watch companies. The maker has gained an international reputation over the past 150 years for its elegant designs and expert craftsmanship. On 1stDibs, explore a variety of IWC watches.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    To tell if your IWC watch is real, first examine the dial. All of the pieces and numbers should be sharp, clear and precise. IWC manufactures their watches to an extremely high standard and any sign of sloppy workmanship is a dead giveaway. Counterfeiters will often use the wrong fonts and colors, so compare your watch against reference pictures of the genuine article. IWC is known for its slim design on their bezels and crowns, and all the pieces should be sleek and fit perfectly together. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of expertly-vetted IWC watches from some of the world’s top sellers.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    IWC 5N gold is a type of material used by the company IWC Schaffhausen to produce luxury watches. Specifically, it is an alloy that is 75 percent pure gold and 25 percent copper. People commonly refer to it as 18-karat red gold. On 1stDibs, find a large collection of IWC watches.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    IWC Watches stands for “International Watch Co.” Founded in 1868 by an American watchmaker in Switzerland, IWC is one of the most respected luxury Swiss watchmakers today. They’re particularly well-known for their aviation watches. Shop a collection of IWC Watches from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertJune 15, 2023
    Whether an IWC watch is worth buying depends on a few factors, such as how well it has been cared for and the piece itself. IWC, one of Switzerland’s major luxury watch companies, was started by an American who saw the potential of bringing Switzerland’s superb watchmaking into the modern age through industrialized manufacturing and high-precision interchangeable parts. The New Hampshire–born watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones (1841–1916), who founded International Watch Company, known today as simply IWC, in 1868, was interested in “combining all the excellence of the American system of mechanism with the more skillful hand labor of the Swiss.” Pre-owned IWC watches are known to hold their value if extremely well-cared for and some may even increase in value over time. Because it can be difficult to predict how the value of items will change over time, though, choose timepieces that appeal to you. On 1stDibs, shop an assortment of IWC watches from some of the world’s top sellers.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    No, IWC no longer makes pocket watches as of December 2021. The watchmaker does use some of the movements developed for their pocket watches in their wristwatch designs. Examples include the Reference 5001, the Portuguese Automatic, and Big Pilot watches. Shop a collection of IWC pocket watches on 1stDibs.

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