Leading Swiss watch manufacturer International Watch Company (IWC), announced the opening of a new production facility in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen, adjacent to its existing headquarters near the river Rhine. The new building has been developed at a cost of US$ 8.6 million and will provide 3000M2 of additional space for IWC.
“Growing worldwide consumer interest in IWC watches has created a demand for additional space and our new premises are designed to provide an attractive working environment for around 80 employees,” said IWC Brand Manager, Gianfranco D’Attis.
He noted that the production facility provides space for a tool room, case manufacture and assembly, engraving, surface finishing and prototype development all under one roof.
“IWC is poised at a major growth phase and these modernized production facilities will permit the company to further strengthen its international competitiveness through ongoing technical innovations and achievements and good, solid craftsmanship,” Mr. D’Attis observed.
IWC has been experiencing strong sales in recent months and projections for the IWC brand from the recently concluded Fifth Proprietary Watch Retailer Survey conducted by Goldman Sachs are highly encouraging.
More than 500 watch retailers from around the world including the UK, the US, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Russia and Asia have voted the IWC brand as one of the best-performing brands in the coming months.
The new expansion is the biggest building extension programme ever undertaken in the history of the 137-year-old company.
The modern, asymmetrical glass façade of the new building provides transparency and offers a view into the working world of IWC. The four-storey glass building is an unobtrusive and elegant structure to one side of the main building, built in 1874.
One of the most salient features of the new building is its fascinating form and its integration into the urban context. The material and colour concept is restrained and understated and allows the choice of materials to take centre stage.
An American engineer from Boston named Florentine Ariosto Jones, established IWC in 1868. The company was one of the first watch manufacturers to recognize the potential of the new and increasingly fashionable wristwatch.
The special position of IWC is rooted not only in history, but also in geography. It remains the only watch factory in East Switzerland to this day. The IWC factory on the Rhine is situated far from the watch making centres of West Switzerland.
Leading impulses for the mechanical watch come from IWC. With its 390 employees, the company manufactures these sought-after pieces. Since the year 2000 IWC has belonged to the watch division of Richemont SA.