International Watch “Detective”

1941 International Watch Co. in 14ct Gold.

Interesting 1941/2 IWC with it’s elegant Calibre 83, 6 bridge-design movement, 14k gold cased Gents watch.  After some investigation it is in a 14kt Gold case, possibly supplied to or produced in Hungary during the war as it shows the Hungarian Assay mark for 14kt Gold (580/1000) – this is a stamped left facing Wolf’s head + the number 4.  This stamp is repeated on the right hand top lug exterior.

The watch is in excellent condition both due to it’s age and considering the time it may have been produced as WW11 raged across Europe.  My detective work will not be fully complete until I can determine the Case Maker/Sponsor mark but it’s certainly intriguing.
The IWC Cal 83 was produced between 1939 and the early 1940’s and regarded as a transitional movement between the pocket watch and the wrist watch.  I also note that this case style has straight sides and straight thin lugs and appears to have precedent as it’s reminiscent of No 58 and some others in IWC’s 1941/2 Blue Catalog.  Within this catalog it is obvious when comparing the available model there were a few “mix & match” combinations of dial layouts and case designs over this period.  This watch case could also be an IWC design imported into Hungary for separate metal assessment and subsequent matching to the movement.  However this is conjecture and more detective work may be needed.

Brushed 14ct Gold sided case with polished bezel and curved snap on back

Note the Hallmarked 14k gold symbol on the top lug and the large “onion” crown.  Gold hands and seconds sub-dial on what may be a very well preserved original dial – as there are a few small spots on the dial background but only noticeable under magnification.  The case diameter is almost 33 mm without the Crown, so larger than many at the time and I’m very pleased that it wears “larger” and looks good on my average wrist.

Lovely Cal. 83 manual wind signed International Watch Co movement, showing little signs of age.

The strap is a high quality water resistant Hirsch leather 18mm to fixed wire fittings between lugs which were common at the time.  No spring bars here and replacements straps must be open ended types to fit.  Note the nicely decorated case back interior which has case number, case makers mark, service marks and the 14k gold mark of Hungary.  The movement looks in great condition and shows virtually no signs of wear which is always a bonus.  Regarding the strap I personally feel the color doesn’t show the watch to best advantage so I’m considering changing this for a black lizard – see last image.

Note In keeping with the servicing tradition of watchmakers throughout the world, there are marks on the inside of the case which would appear to indicate it was serviced in December 1962 and again in November 1976. (there may be an earlier one but it’s too indistinct to read).  Considering manufacturers of mechanical watches tend to recommend servicing every 3 years I suppose it’s not too bad!

1941/2 International Watch Company Cal.83 to 14kt Case

1941/2 International Watch Company Cal.83 in 14kt Case and lizard strap.

Blue classic

The color blue is also very popular with watch manufacturers, though as Yellow they can look highly colored for colors sake, rather than any other reason.  However sometimes one model comes along that truly uses the color (blue in this instance) to best effect.  And this is the wonderful IWC Portuguese Silver/Blue shown here.

IWC Silver/Blue Gents watch.

IWC Silver/Blue Gents watch.

The model is called the IWC Portuguese 7 Day Power Reserve Silver/Blue Dial Men’s Strap Watch IW500107.  It has a stainless steel 42.3mm case and blue leather strap. This watch has a silver dial with blue hour markers and hands and a date indicator at 6 o’clock. The crystal is Sapphire glass and matched by a sapphire crystal glass back and is water resistant to 30M.

The Swiss Automatic movement has an extraordinary Power Reserve of 7 days with the reserve indicator sub-dial @3 and seconds sub-dial @9, which makes for a clean and very clearly defined face.  And the touch of Red as a warning indication showing 1 day power reserve remaining is very neat.
But what I really like about this model is the subtle use of the Blue color.  This is not just a blue version of a standard model, but a careful application of tone and form, which transforms this watch into a very elegant timepiece.

So in the Dress watch stakes, this is certainly one of the best I’ve seen yet, regardless of color – it’s a classic.