It is said that owning a vintage IWC is something everyone with a serious interest in vintage watches should aspire to. A strong statement perhaps, but a little time spent researching IWC and their ’50s & ’60s watches, will very likely lead one to the same conclusion. In essence, this is because during the 1950s and 1960s, IWC determined they would manufacture some of the very best watches ever made and quite simply, this is what they achieved! The craftsmanship, technical excellence and sheer beauty of their exquisite movements and cases, manufactured during the ‘golden age’ of watch-making, has never been beaten – perhaps equalled occasionally, but never beaten!
An IWC is often referred to as a ‘watchmaker’s watch’. This is simply because watchmakers love them, both to work on and to own. This is due to the design, technical excellence and particularly the sheer beauty of their watch movements.
The watch we see here is notable for a number of reasons. The heavy 18ct, 36mm Tonneau case has hidden lugs and a retro style which has come back on trend recently – while at the same time it has a slightly ‘1970s futuristic’ look. The 18ct solid gold dial is original, has never been restored and is in tip top condition. Lastly, but by no means least, the Cal. 8541 is considered one of the best automatic movements of all time**!
The Cal. 8541, 25 Jewel automatic movement fitted to this watch is considered the best ever automatic produced by IWC and therefore one of horology’s best of all time**! It originated as the Cal. 85 in 1950 and evolved through Cal. 852-3-4. The last digit, ie 1, denotes this movement has a date function.
Given that it was in production for over 40 years and enhanced in each iteration, this movement has proven itself as durable, accurate and incidentally easy to service. Above all else, its winding system, developed by IWC’s famous technical director, Albert Pellaton, has achieved great acclaim.
The movement has been fully overhauled by a Master Watchmaker. This means stripping the watch down to all its component parts, careful inspection under high magnification, replacement where necessary with only genuine IWC parts, then careful reassembly and adjustment before final calibration in 5 positions. This watch, therefore, winds, sets and runs accurately and reliably, within +12 seconds per day, averaged over 5 positions and also has a 44-hour power reserve when fully wound. Please bear in mind this is outstanding for any watch of this age. We are therefore highly confident in offering a 12 months warranty with this watch movement*.
The movement is all signed correctly, ‘International Watch Co’ and ‘Swiss’ with both the Calibre number and the serial number which date this watch to 1973.
*Please note our 12 months warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
**Brunner and Pfeiffer-Belli, in their book “Wristwatches Armbanduhren Montres-bracelets” call the Cal. 853 “one of the best automatic movements ever built in Switzerland”.
The very high quality, heavyweight, 18ct Yellow Gold watch case measures 36mm in diameter, excluding the original IWC crown. The Tonneau case has hidden lugs and a retro slightly ‘1970s futuristic’ look which as mentioned above, has come back on trend recently.
The condition of the watch case here really is immaculate, with no scratches, dings or other damage visible to the naked eye, therefore the case has simply required a professional clean and gentle hand polish, to bring back the almost new look of the watch.
Inside the case-back we find the case is all correctly signed ‘International Watch Co’ ‘Swiss’ with the IWC brand, Swiss Geneva 18K hallmarks and the case serial number.
The 18ct solid gold dial has 1970s style applied gold inlaid baton hour indices and original ‘stick’ hands. This is the original dial which has never been restored and yet it is in tip top condition.
The Strap and Buckle
The watch is fitted with a new, high-quality Lizard skin strap, which suits the watch perfectly and the strap is fitted is with a generic gold plated buckle. However, if a different colour or different style strap is preferred please let us know and we will do our best to provide your choice, free of charge.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the movement, case numbers and hallmarks all match, dating the watch to 1973. A detailed written receipt, with our written 12 months warranty*, our Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee and a separate Insurance Valuation for the replacement value will be provided at the time of sale.
The presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
This is a truly first class example of a 1973 IWC 18ct dress watch which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care it will make an excellent investment and heirloom piece. IWC will always command huge respect in the high-end watch market and consequently, prices are always rock solid. We are therefore sure this will make a great acquisition for any collector to wear, or to treasure and enjoy!
A word about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are very successful, charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be very fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept Paypal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would like to pay by UK cheque or by UK bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please note we welcome part exchanges, along with outright purchases of similar watches for us to restore, service and list. We can also offer Watch Service, Watch Repair & Watch Restoration, please see here.
If you have any questions please call 020 7727 7095 or 07515 949 250
Or +44 7515949250 if calling from overseas.
We are here, ready, available and awaiting your call!
Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine Vintage Gold Watches!