IWC Cal.89 18ct 1950

£3,500

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed

Simply Stunning Condition From Every Aspect

A Carefully Owned and Completely Original Example

Good Sized 33mm Case, Excluding the Correct Unsigned Crown

Original, Unrestored, Untouched Silver-White Dial with ‘Pencil’ Hour Indices

High Grade Calibre 89, 17 Jewel Hand-Wound Movement, in Sparkling Condition

High Quality Black Leather Alligator 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

VGW Reference: IWC1416
Price £3,500

£3,500

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IWC

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.

Description

The watch we see here is beautifully simple, clean and elegant. This watch is original, unrestored and untouched to a very high standard and remains in tip-top condition. It has an incredible 18ct yellow gold, 33mm case, and its Cal.89 series movement is considered to be one of the very best hand-wound movements.

The Dial

The original, unrestored and untouched silver-white dial is classic IWC from this period. Clean, simple, understated and elegant. All the things we are accustomed to with this great brand. We think this combination of yellow gilt ‘index’ hands,  ‘pencil’ hour indices, with double pencil hour indices at 12, and dot minute markers around the dial is hard to beat and the dial contrasts wonderfully with the 18ct yellow gold case.

This dial is simply signed with the infinitely more attractive early International Watch Company Schaffhausen signature and with ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom of the dial, just below 6.

As this dial is in original, unrestored condition, this 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 Movement

Many consider the IWC Cal.89 to be one of the great hand-wound movements of the 20th century. This movement was originally developed in 1946 by the genius of watchmaking, Albert Pellaton, who designed this movement 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 a range of temperatures from -5° to +46° C. It was produced for military use, continuously for over 30 years and became ‘The standard’ for all military-grade timepieces. The movement also became an IWC mainstay for the commercial market, remaining in production until the mid-1990s.

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 +6 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’ and with the Calibre number 89.

*Please note – our 1-year warranty is only included if the list price is paid.

The Case

The very high quality, heavyweight, 18ct yellow gold watch case measures 33mm in diameter, excluding the correct unsigned 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 and the Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks.

The Strap & Buckle

A high quality black alligator strap and a plain yellow gold-plated buckle has been fitted which we feel matches the watch perfectly. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please do let us know and we will do our best to oblige, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin, however we 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 1950.

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 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.

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 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.

As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.

In Conclusion 

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.

Thank you.