As time flies, tests, and tells, the mark of a fine watchmaker is precision, passion, pride, and, most importantly, persistence. International Watch Company excels in each of these measures. Genteel watches, like the DaVinci and the Portofino, feature the finest chronometric technology for an expectant international audience. More than this, IWC has led by example over its 140 year history and continues to do so in its environmentally responsible initiatives.
Built by the brazen F.A. Jones in 1868, the first hydroelectric plant in the region powered the brand in its early years. The Bostonian émigré settled in eastern Switzerland and founded the plant on the bank of the Rhine, pioneering this sustainable energy solution long before modern pressures midwifed a sense of corporate responsibility in other corporations. This proud tradition of energy innovation was passed down in the company’s ethos just as its pocket watches were passed down from father to son.
IWC is the first watchmaker to be certified as a carbon neutral business after cutting its CO2 emissions in half. Yet, the company sustained growth and the environment in synchrony, expanding its production space by 3,000 square meters in the heat of the fervor of ecological initiatives. This tack is not threatened by complacency either-solar panels and a rain water utilization plant are in the works as well.
As the company urges others by example, it urges its own by setting aside financial reserves that are doled out as rewards for private efforts by employees looking to lessen the load on the environment. A partnership with David de Rothschild represents a more splashy effort to raise awareness. The Young Global Leader and founder of Adventure Ecology is a swashbuckling environmentalist who will embark on the grand Plastiki Expedition this year. He plans to sail the high seas on a raft made from discarded plastic bottles that have woefully collected in the Eastern Garbage Patch, a region in the Pacific Ocean twice the size of Texas that is the final resting place of too much ocean-thrown refuse. Sailing under the watchful eye of IWC, his mission is elevated to the world stage. Polluters would be wise to take heed and synchronize their efforts with IWC’s bold vision.