IWC Calibre 89

IWC Calibre 89

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 the 18k yellow gold, seen here.

With this particular example’s white dial and applied gold markers, the harsh look of the manufacture’s military watches is softened for the post-war age. Elegant touches like the flared lugs draw the eye along the watch's sinuous case. Part timeless classic, part exceptional vintage hardware with a revered history; the IWC Calibre 89 is the best of both worlds. 


SKU: AS02455

Solid 18k yellow gold case is approximately 37mm (excluding crown). IWC Calibre 89 Manually-Wound Movement. Circa 1950s.

Overall Condition: Solid 18k yellow gold case is in very good condition with only light signs of use and wear. Silver dial with applied Arabic numerals and hour indices is in excellent condition. Matching gold stick hands and original crown.

Includes one 18mm black Alligator strap with gold-tone buckle.

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