The year was 1946. The economies of Europe and Japan were in ruins, and people around the world struggled to recover from the deadliest war in human history. Quietly and seemingly unaffected from issues pressing the rest of world, Swiss watchmaker Ing. Pellaton was working on his new project. The International Watch Company needed a new movement: a rugged and reliable, yet finely finished and refined movement to be fitted in modern, post-war watch.
Calibre 89 was a success - it was a simple, robust and time only movement with "an air of elegance" in its design and execution that makes it stand out from the more common movements of its time.
Sixty-three years later, many IWC watches fitted with Calibre 89 not only continue to keep accurate time, but their accuracy is better than many other modern Swiss watches manufactured today! I have no doubt that in the years to come, appreciation for this little mechanical miracle will continue to grow.
Yesterday, I had the privilege to overhaul yet another Cal 89. The gold-cased IWC watch was worn constantly for nearly 40 years, then it was put to rest in the late 1980s.
Today it is the pride and joy of its new guardian.
The last photo shows performance after the final adjustment:
timekeeping error of 0.00 seconds/day and beat error of 0.0 m/s while effortlessly maintaining healthy amplitude of 325 degrees.
To put things in perspective, only 3% of brand new Swiss watches manufactured today are capable of keeping time within a daily rate of minus 4 to plus 6 seconds a day!