IWC is based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and was founded in 1868. Its signature lines are the Pilot's Watches and the Portugieser, while other famous collections are the Aquatimer, Portofino and the Da Vinci. Many of IWC's designs display a industrial type of beauty not often found in Swiss watchmaking. The same goes for its movements; while of very high standards, they are finished with an engineers touch rather than that of an artist. One could very well say that IWC's approach to watchmaking is more German in nature compared to many of its competitors; the 'form follows function' adagio is one held in high esteem in Schaffhausen. Notable watches and innovations created by IWC in the past include the digital 'Pallweber' pocket watch, the late 1930's Portugieser, the 1985 Da Vinci with Kurt Klaus perpetual module, the split-seconds mechanism as designed by Richard Habring and the ceramic Da Vinci and Flieger 3705 - introduced many years before the material became fashionable. IWC also pioneered the use of titanium in wristwatches. In recent years, IWC has had a strong focus on in-house movements with prices rising accordingly.
IWC - The time has come
The new store underscores the importance of the domestic market to the renowned watch manufacturer, and provides its fabulous timepieces with a fitting home in a top-class location. "M?nner, eure Zeit wird kommen." In English: "Men, your time will come." For weeks, these evocative words have adorned the fence around the renovation site at Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse 61 and given a predominantly male clientele something to look forward to. But now that time has come, and the new IWC boutique is about to open its doors. Visitors are invited to discover the fascinating worlds that surround the six watch families from IWC together with the world of watchmaking and the fascination of Haute Horlogerie. "Hardly anyone visits Zurich without coming to Bahnhofstrasse," says Linus Fuchs, IWC Managing Director Switzerland. "We are delighted that we finally have the opportunity to present our philosophy and our mechanical masterpieces in a setting as exclusive as this one." Visitors can look forward to viewing not only an extensive collection but also the very special models that are available only from IWC's own boutiques.
Understated luxury With a sales area of around 60 square metres at their disposal, IWC's own interior designers have created an atmosphere that embodies the watches' clear-cut design and the philosophy of engineering and innovation associated with the IWC brand. Dark wood, glass, chrome, leather and polished aluminium underline the brand's technical aspirations and, combined together, create an atmosphere that is both elegant and inviting. "For the first time in Switzerland we've implemented the new boutique design with a new lounge area," explains Linus Fuchs. The prestigious premises, built in 1909, provide a fitting, tradition-steeped setting for IWC's watch families - the Pilot's Watches, Portuguese, Ingenieur, Aquatimer, Da Vinci and Portofino -, whose roots likewise go way back into the 20th century.
New generation of display windows
IWC Schaffhausen's new display window concept underlines the importance of the themed worlds that go hand in hand with its watch families. These include the history of aviation, on which the Pilot's Watches are founded, the Aquatimer diver's watch family, which takes us on a fascinating voyage to the depths of the world's oceans, and the Da Vinci collection, a tribute to the eponymous universal genius of the Italian Renaissance. The Ingenieur models encapsulate advanced technology and engineering, while the picturesque little town of Portofino, which acted as magnet to the biggest names in show business in the 1950s and 1960s, provides the name for another much-loved watch family. But taking pride of place in the first window displays at Bahnhofstrasse 61 is the Pilot's Watch line, which was completely revised this year and extended to include the five models of the TOP GUN collection. A variety of larger-than-life animated cockpit instruments and a simulated horizon provide a technically inspired backdrop to the popular Pilot's Watches. Perfectly timed to coincide with the year of the Pilot's Watches, IWC's Zurich boutique is definitely ready for take-off.