IWC 37mm 18ct Cal.89 1945


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed

A Beautifully Well Cared for Rarely Used Example

Oversize 37mm Diameter Case, Excluding the Crown

Legendary High Grade Cal.89, Hand-Wound Movement In Sparkling Condition

Previously Restored Ivory Cream Dial With Original ‘Index’ Hands

High Quality Dark Brown Leather Strap and Plain Gold-Plated Buckle

In Absolutely Stunning Condition From Every Aspect

High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty*

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: IWC1175
Price £3,500


Add to favourites heartRemove from favourites heartADD TO FAVOURITES
DO YOU HAVE A WATCH LIKE THIS TO SELL?Add to favourites heart


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 1950s & ’60s watches, will very likely lead one to the same conclusion. In essence, this is because during the 1950s and ’60s, IWC determined they would manufacture some of the very best watches ever made and quite simply, this is what it 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 here is highly impressive, not only for its wonderfully elegant dial, but also for being oversized at 37mm in diameter. This is also in amazingly good condition. However, this is just on the surface. What lies beneath is a truly iconic movement. Designed and produced to military specifications, the Cal.89 has certainly stood the test of time, remaining in production in both civilian and military use for over 40 years!

The Dial

The stunning 1940s ivory cream dial is furnished with gold ‘pencil’ hour indices, matched with the original yellow gold ‘index’ style hands. The dial has a clean, almost sparse look, typical of a gentleman’s vintage gold IWC dress watch. However, the gold minute markers around the dial frame this stunning design beautifully.

The dial is signed with the infinitely more attractive, early, ‘International Watch Company Schaffhausen’ signature.

This is the original dial which has previously been restored to a very high standard, although it does show some slight signs of ageing in the form of some very gentle and even fading and some very light freckling.

The Movement

Many consider the IWC Cal.89 to be one of the greatest manually wound movements of the 20th century. The movement was originally developed in 1946 by the genius of watchmaking, Albert Pellaton. Designed to meet the most demanding and highly rigorous specifications of the British Ministry of Defence, each movement went through a 44-day test in five positions and temperatures ranging from -5° to +46° C. It was produced for military use continuously for over 30 years and became ‘The standard’ for military-grade timepieces. The movement also became a mainstay for IWC’s commercial market and remained in production until the mid-1990s.

We have already touched on the craftsmanship and sheer beauty of IWC movements above. Some examples of the extra care and attention are the finishing applied to the bridges or plates, characterised by a series of arc-grained bars etched lightly onto bridges or plates, creating a wave-like effect. This is known as a ‘Geneva Wave’ finish. Furthermore, all the edges of the plates are beautifully hand-bevelled which is very difficult and time-consuming to achieve. Lastly, each of the ruby jewels is set in brass ‘chantons’ which are then screwed into the plates rather than setting the jewel directly into the plates. This is the kind of detail which sets IWC apart.

This watch has been fully overhauled by a Master Watchmaker. This means dismantling the movement to each of its component parts and careful inspection under high magnification, then replacement where necessary with only genuine IWC parts before careful reassembly and adjustment and final calibration in 5 positions. This watch therefore, winds, sets and runs accurately and reliably within +3 seconds per day, averaged over 5 positions, which is outstanding for any watch of this age. We are therefore more than confident in offering a 1-year warranty with this watch movement. We confidently predict, if well cared for, this watch will run very happily for many more decades to come.

The movement is all signed correctly and as expected: ‘International Watch Co’ and ‘Swiss’ with both the Calibre number 89 and the serial number 1170125 which dates this watch to 1945.

The Case

The very high quality, oversized 18ct yellow gold watch case measures a massive 37mm in diameter, excluding the correct IWC unsigned crown. The design and craftsmanship here really is something special. The stepped case improves the profile and adds character to the case and watch, making it seem slightly larger than it actually is. The beautifully sculpted swept back lugs have a flowing form and significantly elevate the status of the watch. This is all nothing less than pure class.

The main case body, bezel and case-back are all in beautiful condition with no scratches, dings or other damage visible to the naked eye. The case therefore, has simply required a professional clean and gentle hand-polish to bring back the almost new look of the watch. The high polished  case-back is of full thickness and has never been inscribed. Inside the case-back, we find Swiss Geneva 18ct Hallmarks, the ‘Probus IWC Scafusia’ brand and the case serial number: 1190031 which also helps to confirm the date as 1945.

As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Strap and Buckle

The watch is fitted with a new, high quality dark brown leather strap, which we feel suits the watch perfectly, and a generic gold-plated buckle. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to offer your alternative choice, free of charge.

The Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct and indicate the date of manufacture to 1945.

Detailed particulars will be included with the receipt, along with our 12 months’ warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will also be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.

The hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale.

In Conclusion

This is a simply wonderful example of a 1945 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 sure this will make a great investment for any collector to wear, use, 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 these 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 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 check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.

We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.

For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and your watch directly to you there.

Please note, we also welcome part exchanges, along with outright purchases of similar watches 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 0207 727 7095 or 07515 949 250 or if calling from overseas on our Landline +44 207 727 7095 or Mobile +44 7515 949250.

We are here, ready, available and awaiting your call!

Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine vintage gold watches!

Thank you.