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Hjem-Museum / Clothing and Accessories-Accessories including Jewellery-1901 - 1908 - Edwardian-M847M Silver IWC Watch

M847M Silver IWC Watch

M847M Silver IWC Watch. Great IWC men's pocket watch in silver fra1900-1910. Number 113709. It shows seconds. It is in outstanding condition. It measures 6cm in diameter.

International Watch Company (I.W.C.) History

An interesting fact you may or may not know: International Watch Company (IWC) is possibly the only major Swiss watch company whose founder was an American!

During the 1860s, three manufacturers dominated the American watch industry: Elgin, Howard, and Waltham. Combined, these firms produced upwards of 100,000 pocket watches. Times were changing in the industry as pocket watches went from being a status symbol that only the wealthiest individuals could afford, to an everyday item available to the middle class. As a result, production methods had to be improved; for example, most parts for watches were still being made by hand. Costs were also high because the pool of available, qualified watchmakers was relatively small.

In Boston, Massachusetts, Florentine Ariosto Jones, who had worked in the American watch industry for a number of years, keenly observed the failure of Aaron Lufkin Dennison, a leader in the watch business whose efforts to move production to Switzerland to benefit from lower wages and Swiss watchmaking know-how failed miserably. Undaunted, Jones took over the failed enterprise and soon set up his own company in Switzerland. His plan was to assemble watches in Switzerland and import them into the United States, hence the name International Watch Company.

Fortuitously, Jones made the acquaintance of one Johann Heinrich Moser, a watchmaker whose hometown of Schaffhausen was conveniently located near the Rhine. Following Moser's advice, a dam was built in order to harness the mighty river and generate hydro-power to drive the machines used in manufacturing facilities throughout Schaffhausen.

A watch factory was built in Schaffhausen to take advantage of the cheap hydro-power and production commenced in 1868. Despite the company's unique business plan, the enterprise was doomed from the start. For one thing, Jones had trouble selling the watches in America due to a high tariff on imported finished watches. An even worse problem: Jones was undercapitalized and encountered technical problems with the machines. By 1875, amid allegation by disgruntled stockholders that the company was on the verge of collapse, he was scrambling to find new investors. Inevitably, the company filed for bankruptcy and Jones was forced to relinquish control of his company.
IWC has been one of the leading companies since its inception. It is still going strong.

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