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IWC inaugurates its new Manufakturzentrum

Completed in just 21 months, the new Manufakturzentrum inaugurated today by IWC, represents a milestone in the 150-year history of the brand.


In the new production plant, sitting on the outskirts of the Swiss town of Schaffhausen over an area spanning 13,500 square metres, IWC brings together the production of movement components, manufacture movements and cases in one place implementing state-of-the-art manufacturing methods and technologies.



In terms of design, the building stands out for its glass façade with black frames in stark contrast to the white, flat roofs that extend beyond the façade.

Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC, explains: “The building has more to offer than just optimal conditions for production and excellent working conditions for our employees – it also embodies the spirit of the IWC brand and allows visitors from all over the world to see up close how our manufacture movements and cases are produced.”

The new Manufakturzentrum gives IWC the opportunity to optimize production processes to ensure that they run smoothly and produce perfect quality.

The imposing, 9-metre high entrance lobby affords direct access to the movement-component production workshop. This is where around 1,500 components are produced, including components for the automatic movements of calibre families 52 and 82, the handwound movements of calibre family 59, and the chronograph movements of calibre family 69.



Complex components are manufactured, such as bottom plates, bridges and oscillating weights, as well as small components including switching levers, springs and latching elements. This department's activities also encompass the production of components for complications, such as perpetual calendars, annual calendars and tourbillons.

Most of the steps involved in producing movement components are automated. Only the most advanced computer controlled turning and milling centres are capable of producing these components to the required standard.

Movement components receive the desired surface finish properties as well as protective coatings in the electroplating shop.

The transition from movement-component production to movement assembly is seamless. While the production of the movement components is largely automated, assembling the manufacture movements is a delicate operation that must be performed by hand.


The components are assembled in a cleanroom atmosphere; the conditions here are similar to those established for the manufacture of computer chips. Fifty thousand cubic metres of air are circulated every hour. The pressure in this environment is above atmospheric pressure, making it even harder for dust particles to find their way in.

The basement of the Manufakturzentrum houses the case production department. Stainless steel, titanium, platinum, red gold, white gold and bronze watch cases are manufactured here. Once they have been machined, the cases proceed to the surface finishing stage, in which they are polished. The final clean and the final inspection take place in a cleanroom atmosphere and is made by by experienced specialists that can assess the quality of a surface.


The new building is the answer to IWC’s continuous growth. After extending its former facility twice, the company decided that a new building was in order. Around 80 construction companies were involved in the project, many of these based in the Schaffhausen region. iwc.com

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Time and Watches: IWC inaugurates its new Manufakturzentrum
IWC inaugurates its new Manufakturzentrum
IWC inaugurates its new manufacturing site on 27 August 2018. A modern production plant built over an area spanning 13,500 sq. metres. IWC Manufakturzentrum
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Time and Watches
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