The Schaffhausen-based manufacture – currently in the middle of its 150th anniversary – unveiled its new 13,500 square meter manufacture in Merihausen. Originally founded in 1868 to take advantage of the hydropower offered by the Rhinefalls near the original building in Schaffhausen, the new Manufakturzentrum comprises of eleven departments which includes 238 workstations (with a capacity of 400).
Designed by the current Chief Executive Christoph Grainger-Herr, the 139m long and 62m wide building is
inspired by modernist exhibition pavilions, which is interpreted in the black-framed facade and white flat roofing. The 2200 square meter glass facade ensures plenty of natural daylight in the manufacture.
The new IWC manufacture for watch movements took 21 months to complete and cost an investment of CHF 42 million. It includes all the technical facilities like the production of in-house calibres, movement components as well watch cases, making it now the biggest pure-play watchmaker in the Richemont group. The raw materials and the case production is located in the basement.
Lastly, the new IWC Manufakturzentrum also has an articulated robot as its employee who feeds the new material and removes the finished components, which, as you may guess, is largely automated. However, the assembly of the finished movements are performed mostly by hand, ensuring the 150-year old long value system of merging traditional watchmaking techniques with modern production technology, which was introduced by the brand's American founder, Florentine Ariosto Jones.
Have a look at more exclusive sneak-peeks of the Manufakturzentrum on our Facebook and Instagram handle @watchtimeindia