IWC has pulled the wraps off an all-new manufacture, one that aims to pair its centuries-worth of watchmaking smarts with cutting-edge technology of the future
IWC unveil their new cutting-edge manufacturer
IT MUST BE HANDY FOR IWC – one of the world’s pre-eminent watchmakers — to have an ex-architect as its CEO. Not only does he understand he complicated design language that goes along with creating some of the most complex timepieces on the planet, but if you’re ever in need of a new watchmaking facility, he can step in and design it himself. Job done.
That’s exactly what happened just months ago, as IWC CEO Chris Grainger officially christened IWC’S new facility, in its Switzerland-based home of Shauffhausen. Sandwiched between the Rhine River and the old town (where the company first began making watches, some 150-years ago), this new facility is an ode to modernism.
A heady mix of glass, steel and concrete; the new IWC ‘Manufakturzentrum’ looks like something from James Bond’s wheelhouse. And the similarities aren’t just skin deep, as this new facility boasts cuttingedge technology at its core (not least when it comes to the environment). Atraipsed around its halls earlier this month, and here are just a few of its coolest new features.
The building was inspired by the Modernist pavilions built for early 20th century expositions, but makes use of modern-day building materials and greenfriendly technology This is the first time IWC has built a new facility (instead of bolting departments onto its existing one) since the brand’s founder F.A. Jones built the original manufacture in 1874 IWC CEO Chris Grainger (himself a trained architect) served as the building’s lead designer, and came up with everything from the basic aesthetic to the individual finishes The new Manufakturzentrum has opened on the 150th anniversary of the brand, but according to IWC that was not intentional (it’s a “happy coincidence”)
Nearly every part of IWC’S watchmaking process can be seen and experienced by visitors; from the industrialmachinery used to create watch cases, to the crafting of individual movements by hand