A very International Watch Company

IWC or International Watch Company is a brand that sits very comfortably among the top Swiss watchmakers. Unlike most, however, their history is not completely a typical one. It was an American, not a European, who founded the company. Boston-born Florentine Ariosto Jones set up the company in 1868 and used mostly locally available hydropower for the manufacturing process.


The company have become well known for a number of timepieces including those created for use by the British military in WWII. These specialised watches, with their black dials and white numerals, were made to fit the criteria set by the military but are now far more desired by collectors than their very similar counterparts from other brands. IWC still make commercially-available pilots watches, aimed at these specialised buyers, but they are of course worn by other watch collectors, coveted for their distinctive look and mechanical prowess.



Alongside more specialised watches, the company’s everyday and dress watches have always been a success. Classic designs from the 1960s and 1970s are very popular among buyers at auction, with the demand for quality vintage pieces at an all-time high. McTear’s Watches Auction on 23 February features two IWC watches (lots 806 and 816) and these are estimated at £1000-1500 and £250-350 respectively.


Click to view full auction catalogue >>

Sarah Fergusson


Do you have watches to sell? You are invited to come along to us any time Mon-Fri 8.30-5pm. Alternatively call Sarah on 0141 810 2880 or email sarah@mctears.co.uk.

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