IWC Date Cal.8541 Automatic 18ct 1963


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed

Simply Stunning Condition From Every Aspect

A Carefully Owned and Completely Original Example

Ultra High Grade Cal.8541, 21 Jewel Automatic Movement

Original, Unrestored and Untouched Gold Dial with Black Roman ‘1 – 12’ Numerals

Good Sized 35mm 18ct Yellow Case, Excluding the Correct Unsigned Crown

High Quality Black Crocodile Strap & Plain Gold-Plated Buckle

Hardwood Presentation Box Included

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: IWC1417
Price £3,300


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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 ’60s, IWC determined they would manufacture some of the very best watches ever made and put simply, this is what they did! 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.


The watch we see here is beautifully simple, clean and elegant. Original, unrestored and untouched, yet remaining in tip-top condition, it carries an outstanding 18ct, 35mm case with the Cal.8541 series movement which is considered to be one of the very best automatic movements** of all time!

The Dial

The incredible, original, unrestored and untouched gold dial is classic IWC from this period. Simple, understated and elegant – all the things we are accustomed to with this great brand. We feel the combination of solid black ‘index’ hands, bold ‘1-12’ black roman numerals and dot minute markers around the dial is hard to beat and the dial stands out beautifully, contrasting wonderfully with the 18ct yellow gold case. The dial also has the addition of a date window at ‘3’.

Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however, we decided in this case, due to its exceptional condition, to leave it alone to retain its originality and charm for the many collectors who prefer this. It also helps to contrast with almost all of the other watch dials you see on our website which have been restored.

Please note, studio lights, professional-grade digital cameras, and macro lenses can be very unkind to an unrestored vintage watch dial. Also the dial here measures less than 1.25 inches across, so the image you see here may be between 5 – 25 times larger than the watch itself. Therefore please keep in mind you are seeing many tiny flaws which cannot be seen, or will be very hard to see with the naked eye, even under close examination. Suffice to say, on the wrist, in natural light, this dial looks much better and carries a great deal more charm than the photographs portray.

The Movement

The original Cal. 8541, 21 Jewel automatic movement fitted to this watch is considered the ultimate evolution of a series of movements considered to be the best ever automatics produced by IWC, and one of horology’s best of all time.** The series originated with the Cal.85 in 1950 and evolved through Cal. 852-3-4. The last digit, ie 1, denotes this movement has a date function.

Given the series was in production for over 40 years and enhanced with each iteration, this movement has certainly proven itself as a success.  It is very robust, reliable and accurate and easy to service. The winding system, developed by IWC’s famous technical director, Albert Pellaton, is particularly celebrated and has achieved great acclaim.

The movement has been fully overhauled by a Master Watchmaker. This means dismantling the movement down to each of its component parts, careful inspection under high magnification, replacement where necessary with only genuine IWC replacement parts, then careful reassembly and adjustment, before final calibration in 5 positions. This watch winds, sets and runs accurately and reliably and when tested on our electronic timegrapher machine, it was found to be running within -2 seconds per day, which is outstanding for any watch of this age. We are therefore highly confident in offering a 12-month warranty with this watch movement*.

The movement is all signed correctly: ‘International Watch Co Swiss’ with both the Calibre number C.8541 and the serial number 1851565 which dates this watch to 1963.

**Brunner and Pfeiffer-Belli, in their book “Wristwatches Armbanduhren Montres-bracelets” refers to the Cal. 853 as “one of the best automatic movements ever built in Switzerland”.

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

The Case

The very high quality, 18ct yellow gold watch case measures 35mm in diameter, excluding the original unsigned IWC crown. The case is of a two-piece design and of very sturdy construction. The press fit case-back is very strong and fits back with a very solid and reassuring click. Importantly, it is of full thickness and has never been engraved. The condition of the watch case is truly immaculate, with no scratches, dings or other damage visible to the naked eye and has therefore simply required a professional clean and gentle hand-polish to bring back the almost new look of the watch.

Inside the case-back we find it all correctly signed ‘International Watch Co Swiss’ with the IWC brand, Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks and the case serial number 1771392.

The Strap and Buckle

The watch is fitted with a new, high quality black crocodile strap and plain gold-plated buckle, 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.

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 1963.

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 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 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.

The high quality hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale.

Payment and Delivery

If you would like to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. 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 who happen to visit London 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 hand your watch directly to you there.

As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no-quibble sale or return policy.

In Conclusion

This is a truly first class example of a 1963 IWC 18ct 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 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.

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 await your call!

Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine vintage gold watches!

Thank you.