IWC Cal.8521 Date Automatic 18ct c1957/58 – Disco Volante with Flying Lugs


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced and Guaranteed

Absolutely Immaculate 18ct Yellow Gold Case

A Beautifully Well Cared for Rarely Used Example

Ultra High-Grade Cal.8521, 21 Jewel, Automatic Movement

Good Sized 35mm Diameter Case, Excluding the Correct IWC Signed Crown

Beautifully Restored Ivory White Dial with Original ‘Index’ Hands

High-Quality Brown Leather Strap and Plain Gold-Plated Buckle

In Simply Stunning Condition From Every Aspect

High Quality Presentation Box Included

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

VGWL 12 Months’ Warranty Included*

Free Worldwide Fedex Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: IWC1101
Price £3,950


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Since its founding in 1868, IWC Schaffhausen has been world-renowned for being a leader in Haute Horlogerie, producing timepieces with innovative technology and exclusive design. It began a time when most Americans went West searching for gold, however Boston-born watchmaker, Florentine Aristo Jones went East searching for his treasure. The 27-year-old went all the way to Schaffhausen Switzerland in order to produce high-quality watches for the American market. After a few changes, Ernst Jakob Homberger took over the company in 1905. Under Homberger, two watch families were created which remain icons to this very day – The Pilot’s Watch and the Portuguese. Later, Kurt Klaus who began his career at IWC in 1957, developed IWC’s famous mechanical perpetual calendar.


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 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 – 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.

An IWC is often referred to as the ‘watchmaker’s watch’. This is due to the technical excellence and beauty movements and consequently their popularity amongst, – watchmakers…

This particular IWC is special for a number reasons… Firstly its Flying Lugs and ‘Disco Volante’ style watch case are very rare. More of this later under ‘Case’.

The legendary Cal.8521 ‘Date’ is one of the earlier IWC automatics also making this watch collectable.  The Cal.8521 movement is from the 852 series which was a huge success for IWC, selling in record numbers during the early 1950s. This was part of the broader IWC Cal.85 movement family introduced in 1950 and remaining in production until 1996!  All designed and built from start to finish in-house, by IWC, these are incredibly reliable and accurate timepieces.

The Dial

This is a beautifully understated dial in ivory cream, with gold hour indices and with the original restored gold ‘Index’ hands. This is the classically elegant 1950s IWC no numeral, baton hour indices dial. It is signed with the infinitely more attractive earlier International Watch Company, Schaffhausen signature and with ‘Automatic’ below and ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom of the dial.

This is the classic clean and simple IWC dial which the company became later known by, and which has become almost a trademark in itself.

It is quite rare for an IWC from the 1950s to carry a date function and this elevates the value of this watch.

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 Case

The term ‘Disco Volante’ Italian for flying saucer, was used as early as 1952 to describe a series of low flat experimental open-top sports racing cars produced by Alfa Romeo. Also, of course, Sci-Fi spacecraft, but then series of watches released in the late 1950s Audemars Piguet in the ref. 5093 and Patek Philippe in the ref. 2552, and Vacheron & Constantin, in the ref. 6006. The term then became more generally used for watches which follow the style, appearing flatter in profile and more streamlined and futuristic, through the use of a wider bezel and a sunken crown. It was also, of course, the name used for Largo’s fantastically advanced motor yacht, in one of the best James Bond films ever made; Thunderball.

It’s rare to find an IWC with anything but a traditional style watch case, but occasionally it produced something a little special such as the watch we see here. The case has more than a hint of the Disco Volante look as it carries a wider bezel which, due to its profile gives the impression of having two bezels with the crown sunk into the outer bezel. This is very attractive but the addition of the separate flying ugs arrangement is inspired. These sweep quickly and deeply back in order to present the watch nicely on the wrist, and not to overpower the overall case design.

At 35mm in diameter excluding the IWC signed crown, the oversize watch case is exceptionally large for an IWC automatic of this period. The case measure 40mm overall, including the lugs.

The watch case is in immaculate condition with no marks at all visible to the naked eye. No marks even to show the case has been opened! Inside the case-back are found IWC and Schaffhausen signatures along with Swiss 18ct hallmarks and with the external case number 1390458.

The Movement

This is the original Cal.8521 automatic movement which was part of the Cal.852 series which hugely successful for IWC and one of the best automatic movements ever made. It is absolutely immaculate and signed ‘International Watch Company’ and ‘Swiss’ twice, once on the movement and once on the rotor. The movement is also marked Cal. 8521 and 21 Jewels with serial number 1413268  which dates this watch to 1957/8. The 44 hour power reserve movement has been given a full overhaul and service and it is keeping time to within +2 seconds per day, confirmed by our electronic Timegrapher. This is outstanding for an automatic of this age! We are very happy to offer a 12 months warranty on this watch movement and we will be very pleased to assist you with servicing in future.

The Strap & Buckle

The watch is fitted with a new high quality calf leather strap and gold plated buckle. This can be changed to a crocodile strap or any other style or colour to suit your preference at no extra charge.

Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, the numbers and markings are all correct, dating the watch to 1956/7. A detailed written receipt, with 12 months written warranty* and a separate insurance valuation for the replacement value will be provided at the time of sale. The watch is also supplied a high-quality hardwood presentation box.

In Conclusion

This beautiful circa 1956/7 vintage IWC is in superb condition, ready for use and is completely practical and wearable today. It represents excellent value for money especially is such superb condition. It is a highly desirable vintage gold watch from one of horology’s most respected names which will provide an excellent investment as well as something to treasure and enjoy!

*Note 12 months warranty is only applicable if the listing price is paid.

Please note that this watch is not waterproof and we recommend that all vintage watches are kept clean and dry at all times.

We are happy to accept Paypal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you wish to pay by UK cheque or by bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this.

Delivery is free within the UK and we charge only £45 for world-wide delivery via DHL or Fedex.

For more information please call 020 7727 7095 or 07515 949 250 or +44 7515949250 if calling from overseas.

We are able to accept part exchanges.

Please take a look at our other Vintage Gold Watches!

Thank you.