IWC Cal.853 Automatic 9ct 1960


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed

A Beautifully Well Cared for Rarely Used Example

Oversize 34mm Diameter Case, Excluding the Crown

Wonderful 9ct Yellow Gold Swiss-Made Case in Stunning Condition

Legendary High Grade Cal.853, Automatic Movement In Sparkling Condition

Previously Restored Ivory Cream Dial With Original Unrestored ‘Lance’ Hands

High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included

Absolutely Stunning Condition From Every Aspect

Black Leather Strap and Plain Gold-Plated Buckle

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty*

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: IWC1108
Price £3,350


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It is said, that owning a vintage IWC is something everyone with a serious interest in vintage watches should aspire to. A strong statement, but perhaps with some truth behind it. A little time spent researching IWC and its 1950s & ’60s watches is likely to lead one to the same conclusion. In essence, because during the 1950s and ’60s, IWC determined it would design and 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 its exquisite movements and cases manufactured during this ‘golden age’ of watch-making, has never been beaten – equalled perhaps, 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 superiority and the sheer brilliance of its watch movements.


The watch here is highly impressive, not only for its wonderfully elegant dial, but also for being both a good size at 34mm diameter and having an 9ct yellow gold case. It is also in amazingly good condition. However, this is not just on the surface. What lies beneath is a truly iconic movement. The watch we see here is special because its Cal.853 series movement is considered one of the very best automatic movements of all time! But more than this, the dial, case and movement are in almost as new, museum quality condition.

The Dial

This is a beautifully clean, simple and understated dial. It looks truly elegant in ivory cream with applied gold ‘pencil’ hour indices, matched with original, unrestored ‘Lance’ hands. This is the classic and highly popular 3 – 6 – 9 – 12  dial. During the 1950s and ‘60s, IWC’s clean and simple dial design became almost a trademark in itself for the company.

The dial is signed with the more attractive early IWC script ‘International Watch Co, Schaffhausen’, with ‘Automatic’ below and ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom.

This is the original dial which has been previously restored to a very high standard and remains in a wonderful condition.

The Movement

The original Cal.853, 21 Jewel automatic movement fitted to this watch is part of a family of movements considered to be the best ever automatics 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 iterations.

Given that it was in production for over 40 years and enhanced in each iteration, this movement has proven itself as durable, accurate and 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 it has been disassembled to each of its component parts, followed by 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. Our test results show + 3 seconds a day, averaged over 5 positions and a 44 hour power reserve when fully wound. Please bear in mind this is totally outstanding for any watch of this age. We are therefore highly confident in offering 12 months warranty on this watch movement**.

The movement is all signed correctly ‘International Watch Co. Swiss’ and ‘21 Jewels’with both the Calibre number 853 and the serial number 1581085 which dates this watch to 1960.

* 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”.

** Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.

The Case

The very high quality, heavyweight, 9ct yellow gold watch case measures 34mm in diameter, excluding the crown. The case is of a three-piece design and of very sturdy construction. The press-fit case-back is very strong and fits back with a very solid and reassuring click. It is also of full thickness and has never been engraved.

The condition of the watch case is truly immaculate, with no scratches, dings or other damage visible to the naked eye and has therefore simply required a professional clean and gentle hand-polish, to bring back the almost new look of the watch. As can be seen, all the edges are as crisp as the day this watch left the factory, which is totally amazing.

Inside the case-back we find the case is all correctly signed ‘International Watch Co. Swiss’ with the IWC brand, Swiss Geneva 9ct hallmarks and the case serial number 1691632.

The Strap and Buckle

The watch is fitted with a new high quality black leather strap and plain gold-plated buckle, which we feel suits the watch perfectly. 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 1960.

Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will 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 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.

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

In Conclusion

This is a truly first class example of a 1960 IWC 9ct dress watch which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care, this watch 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 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 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. If calling from overseas +44 207 727 7095

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

Thank you.