Monday, December 7, 2009

Part III- From Modern to Vintage

First up... for those who have just joined us :

Part I
Part II

I was never IWC-less this whole time though, in one way or another. Around about 2006 I became interested in vintage watches. The creature comforts of modern watches did nothing for me as I opted for a time in watch history when watchmakers made some truly interesting and classic pieces. I started looking at watches from the late 50s to the early 70s, just before the quartz crisis hit the Swiss watch industry.

It was during this time, when I was doing my homework on some of the more well known and generally considered to be excellent movements that I stumbled upon IWC calibre 89. It’s a manual wind in-house movement. Even though it was a massively produced movement in its days, it was never installed in large quantities into a particular IWC which I really liked the style of.

For some reason the Yacht Club really sings to me. Even to this day. I must admit that it’s not really “mine” per se. I gave it to my dad to wear as I thought the watch suited him more than it did me. I like how the lugs are integrated into the case, giving it a somewhat tonneau shape which is a point of difference to all the watches from that generation. The sunburst dial in a stunning blue is very seldom seen. (I’ve come across many Yacht Clubs with either silver or white dial, but the blue was hard to come by.)  The thought of getting a bracelet for the watch did cross my mind, but a quote for it soon banished that idea. (I believe it was around about $1000 for an OEM IWC bracelet to suit the Yacht Club. I didn’t think it was worth it).

What the Yacht Club looks like on a bracelet - It's very similar to Rolex's Oyster bracelet. Obviously this is not mine, but one I happened to come across.

I thought about writing something on the calibre itself, but I wouldn’t have put it as eloquently as John Davis did, so here’s his review on IWC’s Calibre 89, for those who are so inclined…

The watch is still on my dad’s wrist. He’s rotating between the IWC and the Omega Aqua Terra. (He kinda treats my watch collection as a ‘library’ whereby he would return one, and pick another one out to wear whenever he comes visiting.)

In fact, I really didn’t know that much about vintage IWCs I actually brought along a watchmaker to have a look at the watch before making the purchase. I mean, I researched what I can from the internet and the various forums but nothing is as good as personal experience. He went with me to have a very close look at the watch and the movement. After examinations with a loupe, he okayed the watch purchase and thought the price was quite reasonable.  

The Portuguese has never left my mind, but it wasn’t the chronograph that I was thinking of. It was the newer Portuguese with the 7-day power reserve. It has all the good Portuguese attributes. A large watch face, making the watch wear much bigger than it is, simple and elegant dial, and a 7-day power reserve to boot! With my kind of watch rotation, it means that the watch will still be running when I pick it up to wear! However, it was not meant to be just yet… as I have yet to come across the right opportunity and the right price…

Courtesy of [DY] from his post: Sunday Roast at Burlington Bar and Dining

Stay tuned for Part IV, where I am further distracted by other IWC offerings...


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