IWC Cal.8541 Automatic 18ct 1971


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed

A Carefully Owned and Lightly Used Example

Good Sized 35mm Case, Excluding the Crown

Ultra High Grade Cal.8541, 21 Jewel Automatic Movement

Original, Unrestored and Untouched Silver-White ‘Starburst’ Dial

High Quality Brown Alligator Strap and Plain Gold-Plated Buckle

Simply Stunning Condition From Every Aspect

High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

Sold 5th Feb '21
VGW Reference: IWC841F
Price £3,500 Sold


Out of stock

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 1960s, IWC determined it would design and manufacture some of the very best movements ever made, and put simply, this is what it did!  The craftsmanship, technical excellence and sheer beauty of its exquisite movements and cases, manufactured during the ‘golden age’ of watch-making, has never been beaten – equalled, perhaps, occasionally, but never beaten.

An IWC is often referred to as a ‘watchmaker’s watch’. This is because watchmakers simply love them, both to work on, to own and to collect.

The watch we see here is special because it has a very heavy 18ct, 35mm case, and the Cal. 85XX series movement is considered one of the very best automatic movements of all time.

The Movement

The original Cal. 8541, 21 Jewel automatic movement fitted to this watch is considered the ultimate evolution of a series of movements considered to be the best ever automatics produced by IWC and one of horology’s best of all time.** The series originated with 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 the series was in production for over 40 years and enhanced with each iteration, this movement has certainly proven itself as a success.  It is very robust, reliable and accurate and easy to service. It’s winding system, developed by IWC’s famous technical director, Albert Pellaton, is particularly celebrated and has achieved great acclaim.

The movement has been fully overhauled by a Master Watchmaker. This means dismantling the movement down to each of its component parts, careful inspection under high magnification, replacement where necessary with only genuine IWC replacement parts, then careful reassembly and adjustment, before final calibration in 5 positions. This watch winds, sets and runs accurately and reliably and when tested on our electronic timegrapher machine, it was found to be running within +8 seconds per day, which is outstanding for any watch of this age. We are therefore highly confident in offering a 12-month warranty with this watch movement*.

The movement is all signed correctly: ‘International Watch Co.’ and ‘Swiss’ with both the Calibre number 8541 and the serial number 2125429 which dates this watch to 1971.

*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” refers to the Cal. 853 as “one of the best automatic movements ever built in Switzerland”.

The Dial

The classic style of the dial is typical vintage IWC of this period – clean, simple, understated and elegant. All the things we are accustomed to with this prestigious brand.

The silver-white ‘starburst’ dial is furnished with black onyx inlaid ‘baton’ hour indices, matched with the original ‘index’ hands. Normally we restore the dials of each of our watches as part of the overall restoration. However, here the dial is in tip-top condition and far too good to restore so we have left it alone apart from the lens which has been replaced with a new original.

This is the original dial which has been left alone and completely untouched.

The Case

The very high quality, heavyweight, 18ct yellow gold watch case measures 35mm 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 is 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.

Inside the case-back we find the case is all correctly signed ‘International Watch Co.’ ‘Swiss’ with the IWC brand, Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks and the case serial number 2179599.

The Strap and Buckle

The watch is fitted with a new high quality brown alligator strap, which suits the watch perfectly and the strap is fitted is with a plain 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 1971.

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 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 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 1971 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 on 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 highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be 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% 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.

If you have any questions, please call us on 0207 727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.

Please note, we welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss.

We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at sensible prices. Please see here.

Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.

Thank you.