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Why We Love It
Every watch has a history, a hidden lineage that guides it and makes it into the interesting and desirable timepiece we are so often in search of today. Sometimes the lineage is apparent - bloodlines of icons that have resisted change for decades. Other times, a watch is a remnant of an abandoned design process and serves as a window into an alternate future that never came to pass.
Such is the case with this special IWC. And by 'case' - we mean that quite literally!
Powered by a manual winding Calibre 83, this piece features a 35mm steel case with articulating hinged lugs, originally sold to IWC's agent in Slovakia in 1941 at the height of the Second World War. It is a style of case design popularized in the 1920s and 1930s by manufactures such as Longines, Omega, and Tissot - but rarely seen in the post-war years.
Its two-tone black and grey non-luminous dial has taken on a light speckled patina that highlights the gold foil Arabic indices and matching feuille handset, perfectly balancing it with a luxurious post-Art Deco/early Mid Century design language so beautiful you'd almost forget the world was in flames at the time of its construction.
This is a stunning piece that remains quite wearable by today's size sensibilities, and highlights an arm of design-think that has never truly been replicated. With IWC heritage and an amazing journey, all this lovely piece needs is a new wrist to call home.
Perhaps its story isn't quite over after all.
While IWC is known best among watch connoisseurs for its military watches—like the Mark XI—or aviation-inspired chronographs like this one, the manufacture’s abilities are by no means restricted to those areas.
For every sturdy, robust military watch or no-nonsense chronograph, there are scores of elegant dress watches whose simple exteriors belie the intricate workings within.
During World War II, IWC was busy fulfilling military contracts, as one of twelve manufacturers to supply watches to the British troops—the W.W.W. or Watch Wristlet Waterproof, known to watch collectors as the Dirty Dozen. However, once peace settled in, the military contracts dried up. IWC, like many watch manufactures, found itself having to refocus production as civilian tastes shifted away from the spartan military watches that had dominated the war years.
IWC, always known for being on the forefront of technical innovations, had made great strides in developing movements that were resistant to shock and magnetic interference. The best-known among these was the Calibre 89—designed by master calibrist Albert Pellaton—which powered the Mark XI pilot’s watch. Not wanting to eschew the lessons learned during the war, IWC chose to base their triumphant reentry into the civilian market on its proven movement.
The civilian watches that IWC built around the Calibre 89 were constructed from various materials, from stainless steel to 18k solid gold.
Stainless steel case is approximately 35mm (excluding the crown). Calibre 83 manually-winding movement. Circa 1941.
Overall Condition: The case is in fantastic condition overall showing normal wear consistent with age and use. Non luminous two tone black and grey dial is in great condition showing fading and patina throughout with Arabic foil indices and feuille handset. Unsigned brass crown.
Includes beige toned strap with steel pin buckle.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options