IWC Cal.87 9ct c1935
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
Simply Stunning Condition From Every Aspect
A Carefully Owned and Completely Original Example
Good Sized 22mm x 41mm Case, Excluding the Correct Unsigned Crown
Original, Unrestored & Untouched Honey Dial with 1 – 12 Standard Arabic Numerals
High Grade Calibre 87, 15 Jewel Hand-Wound Movement, in Sparkling Condition
High Quality Dark Brown Leather Strap with Plain Gold-Plated Buckle
High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
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 put simply, this is what they did! 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 – equalled occasionally, perhaps, 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 and to own.
The watch here is highly impressive, not only for its wonderfully bold dial, but also for being completely original, unrestored and untouched. It is also in amazingly good condition. However, this is just on the surface. Underneath the hood, we find the Cal.87 movement, an iconic movement which has certainly stood the test of time.
The original, unrestored and untouched honey dial is classic IWC from this period. We think this combination of black gilt ‘cathedral’ hands, 1 – 12 standard Arabic numerals, the subsidiary seconds dial at 6 and the outer minute rail track all bring this watch together and match perfectly with the 9ct yellow gold case.
This dial is simply signed with the IWC branding just below 12 with the words ‘Swiss Made’ at the very bottom.
This dial is original and unrestored and has been left untouched by our restoration team due to its superb condition. Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however we decided in this case to leave it alone, due to its unusually good condition and to retain its originality and charm for those who prefer this. It also helps to contrast with almost all of the other watch dials you see on our website, which have been restored. The hands, likewise, have also been left in their original untouched condition.
Please note, studio lights, professional-grade digital cameras, and macro lenses can be very unkind to an unrestored vintage watch dial. Also the dial here measures less than 1.25 inches across, so the image you’re seeing may be between 5 – 25 times larger than the watch itself. Therefore please keep in mind you are seeing many tiny flaws which cannot be seen, or will be very hard to see with the naked eye, even under close examination. Suffice to say, on the wrist, in natural light, this dial looks much better and carries a great deal more charm than the photographs portray.
The IWC Calibre.87 sub-dial movement was introduced concurrently with the IWC Calibre.89 centre seconds movement, which was otherwise identical. Many consider these to be the greatest manually wound movements of the 20th century. Originally developed in the early 1940s by the genius in watchmaking, Albert Pellaton, the movement was designed to meet the most demanding and highly rigorous specifications of the British Ministry of Defence. Each movement went through a 44-day testing period in five positions and ranging in temperature from -5° to +46°C.
We have already touched on the craftsmanship and sheer beauty of IWC movements. 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 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.
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 +10 seconds per day, averaged over 5 positions. Please bear in mind this is outstanding for any watch of this age. We are therefore highly confident in offering a 1-year warranty with this watch movement.
The movement is all signed correctly: ‘International Watch Co’ and ‘Swiss Made’, with the Calibre number 87 and the serial number 949283.
*Please note – our 12 month warranty is only included if the list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The case measures 22mm across, excluding the correct IWC unsigned crown, and 41mm from top to bottom. This may seem a little small, but it is in fact a very large watch for the period, especially when one considers it is 39mm across the diagonal and 42mm including the wonderful triangular lugs. The two-piece case is not hinged, but is opened using the bottom lip and swings open, revealing the dial. The movement can then be removed without any tools by holding the upper case and gently lifting the case back away from the main case – not recommended for the inexperienced or faint at heart.
When acquiring such a rectangular or square watch, especially in gold, it is important to ensure the case shows no wear, no fatigue cracks and no pinholes, particularly around the hinge and corner areas. This type of case is prone to wear and damage in these areas, which is another reason these watches are rare, as cases become beyond repair and restoration. Fortunately, this example has been very well cared for and lightly used, so apart from our usual careful examination and cleaning, the case has required little work apart from some very light hand-polishing. There are no scratches or dings, and no damage/wear visible to the naked eye.
Inside the case-back all the markings are correct and as expected. Here we find the case carries the correct 9ct hallmarks, along with the famous ‘Probus IWC Scafusia’ branding meaning “Good, Solid Craftsmanship from Schaffhausen” which was established in 1903 as the “Official Motto.” Externally, the case serial number 1000347 is found.
Please note – as always, 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 high quality dark brown leather strap and plain gold-plated buckle which we feel suits the watch perfectly. However, if a different colour or different style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to provide your choice, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin and can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of straps if you wish here.
Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to c1935.
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.
Payment and Delivery
If you would like to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. 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 who happen to visit London 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 hand your watch directly to you there.
As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no-quibble sale or return policy.
This is a truly first class example of a vintage IWC which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care, it will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece. Even though vintage gold IWC prices have risen markedly recently, we still feel good examples such as this are still undervalued and as each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold IWC watches continues to expand, prices will continue to climb ever higher.
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.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.