International Watch Co, also known as IWC, is a high-end Swiss watch manufacturer located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. IWC is an active member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH. IWC Schaffhausen is notable for being the only major Swiss watch factory located in eastern Switzerland, as the majority of the well-known Swiss watch manufacturers are located in western Switzerland. WC’s motto is Probus Scafusia (L.), meaning “good, solid craftsmanship from Schaffhausen” and was established in 1903 as the “Official Motto”.
In 1868, an American engineer and watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones (1841–1916) who had been a director of E. Howard & Co., in Boston, then America’s leading watchmaking company, founded the International Watch Company with the intention of combining the craftsmanship of the Swiss with the modern engineering technology from the U.S. to manufacture movements and watch parts for the American market.” At the time, wages in Switzerland were relatively low although there was a ready supply of skilled watchmaking labor” mainly carried out by people in their homes. Since 1997, IWC has been offering a unique horological item for on-line auction annually on its website. The proceeds are donated to the Ecole des Sables – Antoine de Saint Exupéry school in Mali. The school provides education for Tuareg children.
IWC’s entrance to China was little bit later than other Swiss watch manufacturer. But before the officially entered China, they did a lot of preparations. With its long history of manufacturing watches and excellent craftsmanship, it soon opened its market in China. It has several boutiques (chain store) in China, but lots of authorized retailers spreading 28 cities in China. Since the financial crisis in 2008, IWC has gain a lot of climbing in sales in China. According to IWC’s China Regional Director, China is one of the company’s most value market in the following years, and it plan to reach the top 5 watch retailers in China.
In 2012, IWC has a lot of activities concerning the China market. As in the Chinese calendar, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. IWC Schaffhausen has released a limited-edition timepiece in celebration of this year; The Portuguese Automatic Edition Dragon Year. Featuring a Pellaton automatic winding, this exceptional mechanical watch has a power reserve of 168 hours and is limited to 888 pieces, worldwide. The number 888 is also associated with sustained riches and good fortune in Chinese tradition. The Portuguese Automatic Edition Dragon Year features the same classic appeal as the original edition. The 18-carat red gold casing with a slate-coloured dial and a black alligator leather strap, give this watch a very elegant demeanor. The small seconds at 9 o’clock and the power reserve display at 3 o’clock, further enhance the classiness of this timepiece. Furthermore, the “DRAGON YEAR – ONE OUT OF 888” engraving underlines the exclusivity of this watch.
IWC Schaffhausen is Official Timekeeper of the Volvo Ocean Race in Sanya, China 2011–2012 and sponsors the 24-hour Speed Record Challenge. The third leg of the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race has taken the six competing teams to Sanya in China. As Official Timekeeper, IWC Schaffhausen awarded the prestigious trophy in its 24-hour Speed Record Challenge to the crew of Puma. Ian Walker, skipper of the IWC-sponsored Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team, used the stopover to visit the exclusive Flagship Boutique in Hong Kong. At a prize-giving ceremony, Winnie Ho, Marketing and Communications Manager of IWC Asia Pacific, and Sandy Lin, Marketing and Communications Director of IWC China, awarded the trophy to the winning crew. IWC Schaffhausen will present the watches to the winning crew at the end of the race in Galway, Ireland.