IWC Cal.89 18ct 1957 Bombé Lugs


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced and Guaranteed

A Beautifully Well Cared for Rarely Used Example

Oversize 36mm Diameter Case, Excluding the Crown

Wonderful 18ct Yellow Gold Swiss Made Case, with Bombé Lugs

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

Beautifully Restored Ivory Cream Dial With Original Restored ‘Lance’ Hands

Absolutely Stunning Condition From Every Aspect

Brown Lizard Strap and Plain Gold-Plated Buckle

High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty*

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

Sold 28th Nov '22
VGW Reference: IWC1136
Price £3,450 Sold


Out of stock

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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 perhaps, 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, 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 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 oversized at 36mm diameter and having an 18ct 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. 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

This is a beautifully clean, simple and understated dial. It looks truly elegant in ivory cream with applied gold hour indices, matched with original, restored ‘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 simply signed with the infinitely more attractive early International Watch Company Schaffhausen signature.

This is the original dial which has been sympathetically restored to the very highest standards by the best vintage watch dial restorers in the UK.

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 +5 seconds per day, averaged over 5 positions. This 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 1,488,011 which dates this watch to 1957.

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

The Case

The very high grade Swiss made 18ct yellow gold watch case measures 36mm in diameter, excluding the crown which was exceedingly large by the standards of the day. The three-piece case is in the typically 1950s style with classic lines, attractive bombé lugs,  often referred to as ‘Bombay’ lugs. and a flat, rounded edge case-back. This watch carries the correct unsigned IWC crown. As this is a 1957 watch, it is too early to feature an IWC signed crown.

The nicely polished case-back is of full thickness and has never been inscribed. This watch has been exceptionally well cared for and the main case body, bezel and case-back are each in beautiful condition with no scratches, dings or other damage visible to the naked eye. After careful inspection, the watch case has simply required a professional clean and gentle hand-polish to bring it back to the almost new condition you see here.

Inside the case-back all the markings are correct and as expected. Here we find the case carries the ‘International Watch Co’ signature, two Swiss Geneva hallmarks and the case reference number 1476191.

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 very high quality dark brown lizard strap and plain gold-plated buckle. We feel the strap suits the watch nicely. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please 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. 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.

The Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, all the numbers and markings on the watch are correct, dating the watch to 1957.

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 hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs will be included with this watch.

In Conclusion

This is a truly first-class example of a 1957 yellow gold IWC gentelman’s dress watch, which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care, this will make an excellent investment and heirloom piece. IWC will always command huge respect in the watch market, and consequently prices are always rock solid. We’re therefore sure this will make the perfect addition to any collection. It will also provide an excellent financial investment as well as be something to use, wear, 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 many 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 very fair, given the quality and condition of watches we have to offer.

We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest and safest method of payment. We also accept all cards. 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.

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.

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

Please note, we welcome part exchanges and also outright purchases of similar watches. We also offer Watch Servicing, Watch Repair and Watch Restoration – please see here.

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

Thank you.