The official business name of IWC Schaffhausen is IWC International Watch Co. AG. Based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, the company was founded by American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones in 1868.
Jones was a former director of the E. Howard & Co., which was one of America’s leading watch companies at the time. His goal was to make watches for the American market—to create watches that have a combination of Swiss watchmaking expertise and modern watch engineering from the United States.
The company built its first hydroelectric plant in Schaffhausen. According to the IWC website, it combined modern technology and hydropower from the River Rhine to make high-quality watch movements. They were the only watch manufacturers in northeastern Switzerland.
The industrialist family Rauschenbachs from Schaffhausen who took over the company when Jones returned to the US. One of the IWC’s first timepieces were the world’s first watches with a digital hours/minutes display, also known as the Pallweber system. The brand also created pocket watches and later on, wristwatches—one of the first ones to be released was the small 64-caliber ladies’ pocket watch that has a case with lugs for the wristband. The company has been a subsidiary of Swiss Richemont Group since 2000.