The International Watch Company was founded in 1868 by American watchmaker, Florentine Ariosto Jones. Having previously worked in the States, Jones moved his work to the town of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, to manufacture watches with Swiss quality for the American market. Some twenty years after its founding, the company was taken over by the Rauschenbach family. Under the direction of the Rauschenbachs, IWC manufactured the first digital pocket watches displaying hours and minutes. The company then made the risky venture into wristwatch production, despite the popularity of pocket watches up until the Second World War. One of the most popular wristwatch lines from IWC was the 'Portuguese', released in 1939 and notable for it use of pocket watch movements as well as a large stainless steel case. The 'Portofino' has remained a firm favorite since its launch in 1984, due to its timeless design of a round steel case attached to a leather strap.

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