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Founded by American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones in 1868, IWC has been a subsidiary of the Swiss Richemont Group since 2000. IWC is best known for producing high-quality pilot/aviation watches and using titanium in watchmaking.

At the tender age of 27, American engineer and watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones had been deputy director and manager with the E. Howard Watch and Clock Co. in Boston, then a leading American watchmaker. At a time when most young men were trying their luck in the west, Jones went in the opposite direction. True to his adventurous pioneering spirit, he planned to combine the outstanding craftsmanship of the Swiss with modern engineering technology from overseas. Unfortunately, his business plan met with unconcealed scepticism from the skilled workers in the Geneva region and the remote valleys of western Switzerland.