IWC Cal.89 18ct Pink Gold 1948 Bombé Oversize 36.5mm


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced and Guaranteed

A Beautifully Well Cared for Rarely Used Example

High Quality 18ct Pink Gold Case with Bombé Lugs

Oversize 36.5mm Diameter Case, excluding the Crown

Very High Grade Cal.89, 17 Jewels, Manual Movement

Beautifully Restored Off-White Dial With Original ‘Lance’ Hands

Simply Stunning Condition From Every Aspect

High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

High Quality Alligator Strap and Plain Gold Plated Buckle

Free UK Special Delivery

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Sold 17th Feb '20
VGW Reference: IWC876
Price £3,700 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 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 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 own. This is due to the design, technical excellence and in particular, the sheer beauty of IWC watch movements.

The watch case here is quite exceptional, both for being oversized at 36.5mm diameter and for having an 18ct pink gold case, with Bombé lugs. Not to mention, of course, its amazingly good condition, but this is just what lies on the surface. Underneath the hood 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 Movement

Many consider the Cal.89 the greatest manually wound movement of the 20th century. Originally developed in 1946 by the genius in watchmaking, Albert Pellaton, who designed the movement to meet the most demanding and rigorous specifications of the British Ministry of Defence. The 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 military grade timepieces”.  The movement also became an IWC mainstay of the commercial market, remaining in production until the mid 1990s.

We have already spoken of 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 disassembling the watch movement down to all its component parts, then careful inspection under high magnification, and 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. It also has a 44 hour power reserve when fully wound. Please bear in mind this kind of performance is outstanding, for any watch, and particularly of this age. We are therefore highly confident in offering 12 months’ 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 1202510 which dates this watch to 1948.

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

The Case

The very high quality, oversized 18ct pink gold watch case measures 36.5mm in diameter, excluding the correct unsigned winding crown. This is exceptionally large for this period and being 18ct pink gold, places this watch in a class of its own. The design and craftsmanship here really is something special. The stepped bezel improves the profile and adds character to the watch, making it seem slightly larger than it actually is. The beautifully sculpted, sweeping bombé lugs have flowing form, also significantly elevating the status of the watch. This is nothing less than pure class.

The highly polished, full thickness case-back has never been inscribed. The main case body, bezel and case-back are all in beautiful condition with no scratches, dings or other signs of wear visible to the naked eye. The case therefore has simply required a professional clean and a very gentle hand-polish to bring it back to the ‘almost new’ look we see here. Please note, this is an early example which would not have had an IWC branded winding crown when new. The crown fitted is therefore correct for this watch.

Inside the case-back we find the case is all correctly signed ‘International Watch Co’ ‘Swiss’ with the ‘Probus Shafusia’ IWC brand, Swiss Geneva 18K hallmarks and the case serial number 1222340.

The Dial

A classic IWC beautifully understated dial in off-white with pink gold hour numerals and the original, restored, pink gold ‘Lance’ hands. The contrast of the dial, hands, numerals and watch case is simply sublime. The dial is 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 Strap and Buckle

The watch is fitted with a new, high quality blue Hirsch London Alligator strap, which we feel suits the watch perfectly. The buckle is generic and gold plated. 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 1948. 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 also 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 hardwood presentation box seen in the photographs is included in the sale.

In Conclusion

A truly exceptional example of a vintage IWC 18ct dress watch, perfectly suited for evening wear and special occasions. This watch will make a wonderful addition to any collection, to use, wear, treasure, and enjoy! It carries a great deal more style and individuality and panache than a new watch and to buy an equivalent watch of the same quality today, would cost three or four times the list price of this watch.

If treated with care this will make an excellent investment and heirloom piece. IWC has always commanded huge respect in the high-end watch market and consequently, prices always remain rock solid for top class examples such as this. As each year passes and the world market for fine vintage gold watches grows ever larger, the limited supply and high demand mean prices will inevitably climb ever higher!

A word about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring these 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 very successful, charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be very fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.

We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest and most convenient 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% transaction 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 note we welcome part exchanges, along with outright purchases of similar watches for us to restore, service and list. We can also offer Watch Service, Watch Repair & Watch Restoration, please see here.

If you have any questions please call 020 7727 7095 or 07515 949 250 or +44 7515949250 if calling from overseas.

We are here, ready, available and awaiting your call!

Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine Vintage Gold Watches!

Thank you.