In 1868, Florentine Aristo Jones left the United States for Switzerland to start manufacturing watches for the American market under the brand name International Watch Company.
By MIA LITSTRÖM
The local watchmakers in the Swiss Jura mountains weren’t one bit happy about getting unwelcome competition from some newbie foreigner. Jones got the cold shoulder from everybody, and had to leave the area to build up his business in Schaffhausen in the northwestern part of Switzerland instead. IWC is still in the same place today. Not far from Schaffhausen is AMG, one of the world’s most respected engine builders. AMG was founded in 1967 with an address just outside Stuttgart but after eleven years moved to Affalterbach close to the Swiss border. During the 1990’s, the ties between AMG and Mercedes-Benz grew increasingly stronger and in 1999 Mercedes-Benz became the major shareholder. The parallels between IWC and AMG are many – not just geographically but regarding technology, innovation and avant-garde design. The two companies started a co-operation in 2004, which has turned into a very solid partnership.
The upgraded Ingenieur model was presented to the press for the first time in 2005. The ceremony took place in Arvidsjaur, Sweden, combined with a death-defying ice racing show with the latest AMG Mercedes cars.
The Ingenieur SL series was introduced as early as 1976. The design contract had been entrusted to the genius Gerard Genta, also the man behind the Royal Oak model by Audemars Piguet (1972). The Ingenieur has been considered a dignified precision instrument ever since. Mercedes participated in Formula 1 in 1954-1955, and since 2010 the Mercedes-Benz factory racing team Mercedes AMG Petronas handles the battling on the track. Today IMG’s movement developers are heavily influenced by F1 technology. In the construction of the watches, many of the same materials and technical solutions can be found. It all results in a fusion that simply oozes expertise. The watches are rugged enough to be able to handle the blistering acceleration of the new SLS AMG Coupé Black Series: 0-100 km/h in only 3,6 seconds.