12 Apr 2010

IWC Opens Factory To Tourists

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IWC Watch

IWC Watch

IWC has built its reputation on fine craftsmanship and incredible quality. A glimpse inside the factory located in Switzerland reveals previously -unknown secrets to the watchmaker’s success. While automated machines cut the various pieces from titanium or steel to create their unique watches, they also employ master craftsmen to work on the more intricate details of each timekeeper.

IWC was founded in 1868 by F.A. Jones of America. Jones sought to combine the legacy of Swiss watchmakers with the ever-evolving progress of industry. IWC now offers more than 30 different watch models, topping out with a staggering $1 million price point. The company is no longer helmed by Jones, but owned by Cie. Financiere Richmont via an acquisition in 2000. On the banks of the Rhine river, over 300 individuals work at IWC to create its famed pieces. The IWC factory was nearly leveled during World War II when an American bomb was accidentally sent through the building’s rafters, but failed to detonate. Watchmakers work in huddled clumps and are protected from tourists by windows, but one wonders if this doesn’t increase distractions. IWC manufactures all watch elements on site except the hands, dials and bracelets.
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