IWC Cal.89 9ct 1951
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Restored, Serviced and Guaranteed
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
A Beautifully Well Cared for and Rarely Used Example
Mid Size 33mm Diameter Case, Excluding the Crown
High Quality 9ct Yellow Gold Case in Immaculate Condition
Superb Original Unrestored Off-White Dial In Tip Top Condition
Original Yellow Gold ‘Leaf’ Hands With Applied Arabic Numerals
Very High Grade Cal.89, 17 Jewels, Immaculate Manual Movement
New High Quality Hirsch Tan Genuine Lizard Strap
High-Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included *
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Next Day 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 quite simply, this is what it 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 particularly the sheer beauty of their watch movements.
The example here sports a truly iconic movement. Designed and built to military specifications, the Cal.89 has certainly stood the test of time, remaining in production for both civilian and military use for over 40 years!
Many consider the IWC Cal.89 to be one of the great manually wound movements of the 20th century. The movement was originally developed in 1946 by the genius in 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 temperatures 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 for the commercial market, remaining in production until the mid-1990s.
The craftsmanship and sheer beauty of IWC movements is extraordinary. Some examples of the extra care and attention taken can be seen in 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. These are just the kind of details which set 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 +7 seconds per day, averaged over 5 positions and also has a 44-hour power reserve when fully wound. Please bear in mind this is outstanding for any watch of this age. We are therefore highly confident in offering 12 months warranty with this watch movement*.
The movement is all correctly signed ‘International Watch Co’ and ‘Swiss’ with both the Calibre number and the serial number 1275236 which date this watch to 1951**.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The very high quality, 9ct yellow gold watch case measures 33mm in diameter, excluding the crown. The case is of a three-piece construction with classic lines, attractive sweeping lugs and a rounded case-back.
The high polished, full thickness case-back has never been inscribed. This watch has been exceptionally well cared for and 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. Therefore after careful inspection, the case has simply required a professional clean and gentle hand-polish, to bring back the almost new look of the watch.
The case-back of this watch is unsigned. Inside the case-back, the case is signed Dennison, Made In England A.L.D. telling us this was a case made for IWC by Dennison, one of the top two UK case-makers, the other being D. Shackman & Sons. In addition, the case-back carries two case reference numbers, 13322 and 583139, along with Birmingham UK 9ct hallmarks dated 1954.
**Please note, it is not unusual, to see a case dated some considerable time after the date which correlates with the movement serial number. The movement may have been manufactured in late 1951 and then not cased until early 1954.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
This is a beautifully understated dial in slightly Off-White with yellow gold 1 – 12 numerals and the original, restored, yellow gold ‘Leaf’ style hands. The dial is signed with the infinitely more attractive, early, International Watch Company, Schaffhausen signature.
Usually, as part of the general restoration of the watch, we will include the restoration of the dial. This is because faded, pitted, scratched and otherwise damaged dials are generally too unsightly to be left. Here however, this is an original unrestored dial in top condition and therefore it has simply been gently brushed with small, soft, dry artists paintbrush, to clean it and remove any dust. This is to retain its originality. It is in superb condition for a dial of this age, although naturally, it is not quite as perfect as a dial which has been restored by our restoration team.
The Strap and Buckle
The watch is fitted with a new high-quality Hirsch Tan genuine Lizard strap, which we feel suits the watch perfectly. However, 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. 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 17mm straps if you wish here.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct and indicate the date of manufacture as circa 1951. 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 shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
This is a truly first class example of an early 1950s IWC gentleman’s dress watch which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care it 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 to wear, or simply to treasure and enjoy!
A word about 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 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 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 us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095. We await your call.
Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine Vintage Gold Watches!