One interesting facet about the International Watch Company (IWC) brand is that it’s actually founded by Americans. It is the only major Swiss watch making company that is established by Americans. During the 1860’s, there was greater demand for watches in the United States. The goal of Florentine Ariosto Jones, who took over the enterprise started by Aaron Lufkin Dennison, was to assemble watches in Switzerland and send them to the US.
However, the company was still struggling. Among the problems it faced include low sales in the United States because of high tariffs. Mr. Jones was also undercapitalized and had machine problems. In 1975, he started looking for new investors. This did not work, unfortunately, and the company filed for bankruptcy. IWC still survived because a Swiss consortium decided to acquire the firm. It placed Frederick Seeland at the helm.
Although the firm began to make money, the sales were not sufficient. It was again put on sale and one of the company’s stockholders, Johannes Raschenbach-Vogel, bought IWC. Technical improvements delivered better sales figures. In addition, the development of the Calibre 52 movement was revolutionary at the time, giving IWC a distinct reputation. Then, the war hit and the company’s fortunes were reversed. IWC was able to live up to many challenges and it is now one of the top Swiss watch manufactures. Locate an IWC dealer near you for more information about this remarkable brand.