IWC Cal.89 18ct 37mm 1948
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Restored, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared for Rarely Used Example
Oversize 37mm Diameter Case, Excluding the Crown
Legendary High Grade Cal.89, Hand-Wound Movement In Sparkling Condition
Wonderful Restored Silver Dial With Original Restored ‘Index’ Hands
Movement, Case and Dial in Stunning Condition from Every Aspect
New, Green 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
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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 a little time spent researching IWC and their ’50s & ’60s watches, will very likely lead one to the same conclusion. In essence, this is because during the 1950s and 1960s, IWC determined they would manufacture some of the very best watches ever made and quite simply, this is what they achieved! 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 – perhaps equalled 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 excellence and in particular, the sheer beauty of their watch movements.
The watch here is highly impressive, not only for its wonderfully elegant dial, but also for being oversized at 37mm in diameter. Not to mention, of course, the amazingly good condition of this watch, but this is just what lies on the surface. Underneath we find a truly iconic movement, the Cal.89 which has certainly stood the test of time, remaining in production for both civilian and military use for over 40 years!
The style of the dial is typically vintage IWC of this period. Clean, simple, elegant and totally understated. All the things we are accustomed to with IWC. This is the classic, clean and simple IWC dial which the company became known by, and which became almost a trademark in itself.
This is a beautifully understated, fully restored dial in silver with yellow gold hour indices and the original, restored yellow gold ‘index’ hands. The dial is signed with the infinitely more attractive, early ‘International Watch Company Schaffhausen’ signature and ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom.
This is the original dial which has been restored to the very highest standards by our dial restorers, considered to be the best in the UK.
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 ranging in temperature 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’ with both the Calibre number and the Serial Number 1203252 which dates this watch to 1948.
*Please note – our 1-year warranty is only included if the list price is paid.
The very high quality, oversized 18ct yellow gold watch case measures a massive 37mm in diameter, excluding the correct IWC unsigned crown. The design and craftsmanship here really is something special. The stepped case improves the profile and adds character to the case and watch, making it seem slightly larger than it actually is. The beautifully sculpted swept back ‘teardrop’ lugs have a flowing form and significantly elevate the status of the watch. This is all nothing less than pure class.
The main case body, bezel and case-back are all in beautiful condition with no scratches, dings or other damage visible to the naked eye. The case, therefore, has simply required a professional clean and gentle hand-polish to bring back the almost new look of the watch. The high polished full thickness case-back has never been inscribed. Inside the case-back, we find Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks, the ‘Probus IWC Scafusia’ brand and the case serial number 1229367 which also helps to confirm the date as 1948.
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 green lizard strap and plain gold-plated buckle. If a different size 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 and in plain padded leather, or crocodile skin or lizard skin, in standard, large and extra large sizes.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with the watch, the numbers and markings are all correct, dating this watch to 1948.
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 will also be included in the sale.
This is a truly first class example of a 1948 yellow gold IWC 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 high-end watch market, and consequently, prices are always rock solid. We are therefore sure this will make a great acquisition for any collector or very proud wearer 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 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 & Watch Restoration – please see here.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.