100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared for & Lightly Used Example
Stunning 1940s IWC Cal.89 in Immaculate Condition
High Quality 18ct Yellow Gold IWC Swiss Made Three-Piece Case
Oversize 35mm Diameter Case, Excluding the Crown
Stunning Black Dial With Original ‘Index’ Hands & ‘Pencil’ Hour Indices
Very High Grade Cal.89, 17 Jewels, Immaculate Manual Movement
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
Black Alligator Strap with Plain Gold-Plated Buckle
High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included
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.
Here we have a very rare example of an original black dial IWC Cal.89 in 18ct yellow gold. This watch is an extra special piece as the dial is completely unrestored and double signed by ‘Beyer’. Beyer were one of a handful of jewellers allowed the privilege of signing the dial with their own name alongside International Watch Co.
This IWC sports a truly iconic movement. Designed and built to military specifications, the Cal.89 certainly stood the test of time, remaining in production for both civilian and military use for over 40 years!
The dial here is special for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is an original, unrestored and untouched black dial and secondly, it is a rare double-signed dial. During the period 1940–1970, the largest and most established jewellers in any given city were as famous, if not more famous than the major watch brands themselves – at least in their local markets. The most prestigious of these were occasionally allowed, with the expressed agreement of the watch brand itself, to co-sign the dial.
Beyer is Switzerland’s oldest watch store whose history began in 1760 and since 1860 has been linked to the city of Zurich.
The dial is double signed ‘International Watch Co’ with ‘Beyer’ at the very bottom above the ‘6’. This has faded significantly and is not evident in the studio photos, but can be seen face to face, when the dial is closely examined under daylight.
The combination of a black dial and gold case always looks absolutely stunning and the look, as with all vintage IWC, is one of classic simplicity and elegance.
The beautifully elegant black dial carries applied yellow gold gilt ‘pencil’ hour indices, matched by original yellow gold gilt ‘index’ hands.
This example is totally original, unrestored and untouched. It also remains in truly remarkable good condition considering the age of the watch. Normally a dial of this age will have been subject to damage caused by a combination of sunlight, moisture and pollution, in the form of fading, staining, spotting, freckling, and pitting. Also scratches caused by careless removal of the hands and dial during servicing. Here however, this dial has almost none of this, with only even fading and one or two of the faintest marks, hardly visible to the naked eye.
Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we offer. However in this instance, we decided due to its exceptional condition, to retain its originality and charm for the many collectors who prefer this. It also helps to offer a contrast with most of the other watches you see on our website, which have their dials restored.
Many consider the IWC Cal.89 to be one of the great hand-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 the military-grade time-only wristwatch. 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. 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.
This movement has been fully overhauled by a Master Watchmaker. This means dismantling the watch down to each of 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 +13 seconds per day, averaged over 5 positions and also has a 44-hour power reserve when fully wound. Please keep 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 1167330 which date this watch to 1947.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The very high grade IWC swiss made 18ct yellow gold watch case measures 35mm in diameter, excluding the crown which is exceedingly large by the standards of the day. The three-piece case is in the typically 1940s style with classic lines, attractive sweeping lugs and a flat, rounded edge case-back and the watch also carries the correct unsigned IWC crown.
The nicely polished case-back is of full thickness and has never been inscribed. This watch has been exceptionally well cared for and the main case body, bezel and case-back are each in beautiful condition with no scratches, dings or other damage visible to the naked eye. After careful inspection, the watch case has simply required a professional clean and gentle hand-polish to bring it back to the almost new condition you see here.
Inside the case-back all the markings are correct and as expected. The case back is signed IWC and carries the Swiss 18ct hallmarks along with the case serial number 1,188,586.
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 black alligator strap and plain gold-plated buckle. We feel the strap suits the watch nicely. However, if a different 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 in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin. We can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of 18mm straps if you wish here.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, all the numbers and markings on the watch are correct, dating the watch to 1947.
Our detailed ‘Particulars’ document will be included in the sale, along with our detailed receipt and 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 at any time, 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 will be included with this watch.
This is a truly first-class example of a 1947 yellow gold IWC gentlemans 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 watch market, and consequently, prices are always rock solid. We’re therefore sure this will make the perfect addition to any collection. It will also provide an excellent financial investment as well as be something to use, wear, treasure and enjoy!