watchitbanner.jpg (13140 bytes)

Home to Robert's site

nav.jpg (33387 bytes)
Up one page

It's about time
Maurice Boyer
Bulova  Accutron
The Chronograph
The Rolex Explorer
Metric time
Facts and Figures
The LED watch
Marks on the Movement
Watches in detail
Books about watches



Get your advertisement on Watch It

Click Here to become a ValueClick Host Site

In Association with
Last modified: 08 aug 1999


Marks on the Movement

All IWC-movements have a history and most of them also have a mark. Nowadays usually the "Probus Scafusia", in the past many others were usedalso. When and how a movement was marked is what this article is all about.

People who are familiar with the manufacturer know, that IWC Schaffhausenkeeps book of the reference number, the caliber, the case material, thedelivery date and the buyer, ever since 1882. However, which marks were used to establish the authenticity of the IWCmovement, the books don't tell.Together with two other IWC collectors I have tried to answer the questions. Together we were able to trace about 1000 pocket watches from Schaffhausen, and thus collected a huge amount of data. What we were looking for was not when IWC registered the marks used - examples for that are found in Richard Meiss' book-, but how effectively the marking was done.In studying our watches we found the following: that IWC didn't use marks from 1868 till 1883, the begin years of the company. Mostly you will find the name "International Watch Company" on the movements platina.
full_name_mark.jpg (16996 bytes)We came to another conclusion: that the founder of the company, Florentine A. Jones immortalized members of his family and American heroes on the movementsplate. Toelke/King give some more details on that in their book about IWC Schaffhausen on page 34.The company name can be found (English italics) on all calibers by Jones (with movement numbers 1 to around 26,000), the Seeland-caliber (circa 26,000-61,000), caliber 28/29 a bascule pilier (100,000 to 120,000) as well as the early calibers 32, 33, 34, 35, 59 and 60 with very low movement numbers like 33, 86 616 or something like 620.In the course of 1884, IWC switched to a complete new numbering and marking. The oldest mark is a flat "I" with the capitals "WC". This was used only on the movements of the digital watches Pallweber I and Pallweber II during 1884 and 1885 (movement numbers 1000 to 6500).With the digital watches Pallweber III a new variety of markings is introduced.Pallweber III In total, three different round markings can be found. These were used from 1885 till 1890 for the movements 6501 to 62,900.

The next mark in line is the Schaffhauser Bock, or the Billy-goat of Schaffhausen. This was used from 1891 till 1895 (movement numbers 63,000 to 102,000), and was replaced by the "JWC" marking in the famous lens. This signature was used from 1895 till 1905 (numbers 102,000 to 350,000).Somewhere onward from movement number 350,000, the most famous marking was introduced: the "Probus Scafusia", which today still marks the authenticity of the IWC caliber.

The IWC in the lens had a brief Renaissance in the observation watches for His Majesty's Forces and the larger pilot's watches, in the calibers 52 and 71 with central seconds hand. Another small change was the straightening of the "J" into an "I", like in the middle of the Probus Scafusia mark.For the sake of completeness it needs to be said that a reasonable number of IWC watches were marked with "S&Co.". S&Co stands for the company Staufer, Son & Co., London, which for decades imported IWC watches for the British Empire.

This article is translated from the article "Punze am Werk", by Werner Berghaus, published in Watch International, nr.4 / 1998 (p. 58-60)