The future is bright at IWC.
IWC is well known innovative approach to engineering watches. And last year IWC christened its new manufacturing centre – the Manufakturzentrum – outside of Schaffhausen in Switzerland and showed the world it likes to think outside the box with its buildings too. The building was designed from the ground up to do three things: combine all manufacturing processes under one roof; mirror the IWC aesthetic; and continue Jones’s innovative approach to watchmaking.
The centre represents a £31.7m investment by IWC and they firmly believe an environment that directly improves and therefore happily affects the way people live or work was essential.
The two architecture firms that were contracted to work on the facility were ATP Architects and RMA Architects, with the former specialising in industrial spaces and top production facilities. Already sounds very cool and futuristic. The result, complete with 2,183 sqm of solar panels on the roof, is indeed very IWC – pure and simple, with an engineering feel, combining whites, blacks and greys, along with plenty of glass and light.
It is a three-storey building, the ground floor is where the heavy lifting is done – raw materials are delivered and stocked, parts are milled, and polishing and finishing is done here.
Then the first floor, the watchmaking genius happens. Movements are assembled, regulated and cased from A-Z on just this one floor, which streamlines the entire operation. On both floors, natural assembly points are designed into the layout so that engineers and workers can meet to discuss any issues, which, in theory, leads to quick decision making.
Natural light from the giant windows floods the clean room where the watches are worked on, making life easier on the watchmakers.
The second floor houses a canteen for staff to refuel and so not have to leave the premises for food stops.
If they ever do tours we want our names first on the list!