• Insider
    4 Jun 2024, 8:54 a.m.

    Dear vintage specialists,

    i am confsed about the Cal. 89 movements that where delivered in the late seventies and early eighties. The movements are engraved with 17 jewels, but they contain 19 jewels. I have two watches in my collection with this wrong engraving. I have also seen it on vintage Yacht Club Ref. 2611. The additional two jewels are in the cap stones on the escape wheel, wher they limit the friction (often misinterpreted as schock absorber). Is there any information about this variant of the famous calibre 89?

    Thanks and br Cromagnonman

  • Master
    4 Jun 2024, 4:27 p.m.

    IWC has the following description of the cal. 89.

  • Connoisseur
    4 Jun 2024, 9:34 p.m.

    Well, the additonal jewels are part of the shock protection device. So your observations (additional jewels) and the official description do comply.

    Th. Koenig

  • Insider
    5 Jun 2024, 7:57 a.m.

    Hi Thomas,

    if we count the number of jewels on a watch, the cap jewels on the balance are counted as well. So there are 4 jewels for the balance only (in fact 5 if you also cont the roller pin).

    the standard jewelling on a 17 jewels movement is:

    4 +1 on the Balance

    4 on the pallets (impulse and bearing)

    2 on the escape wheel

    2 on the third wheel

    2 on the fourth wheel

    2 on the center wheel

    makes a total of 17.

    If we count the additional cap jewels on the escape wheel of the depicted Cal. 89 we come to 19.

    I don't want to come across as a know-it-all here, I just wonder why the engraving of the number of jewels is not correct. In the past, manufacturers were keen to indicate as many jewels as possible. Here we see the opposite.

    thanks for your comments.

    hope tosee you soon


  • Insider
    5 Jun 2024, 1:28 p.m.

    Hi Hebe,

    it is a pleasure to see you here on the forum

    Here is a page from the Furniturencatalog No. 7 from 1952. It shows a Cal. 89 having 16 jewels.

    br Cromagnonman


  • Connoisseur
    5 Jun 2024, 3:36 p.m.

    In the late 1970ies and 1980ies IWC did not produce any calibre 89 raw movements any longer. So the main bridge with 17 jewels already engraved were taken from the stock though the improved shock protection (the latter the USP of the Yacht Club) resulted in additional jeweils.

    To me that is the simple reason for the "jewel gap" between the inscriptions and reality.

    Th. Koenig

  • Insider
    5 Jun 2024, 3:53 p.m.

    Hi Thomas,

    that sounds pretty plausible. I hope that the words "adjusted to 5 positions" was added per intention.



  • Connoisseur
    6 Jun 2024, 3:34 p.m.

    The seventeen jewels version were adjusted to five positions as well. Remenber that IWC had its Cal. 89 not certified as chronometers officially as IWC deemed this certification too easy to pass. So IWC rated its watches to much tighter specs.

    Th. Koenig

  • Master
    8 Jun 2024, 7:14 p.m.

    Are you certain the center wheel is jeweled?

    John Davis and I wrote an article about the Cal 89 years ago and he wrote all of the technical stuff as he serviced my 1956 model.
    The center wheel in my watch was not jeweled. I've read numerous sitations that it was pretty typical back then to use metal bushings on center wheels,but I don't profess any expertise.

    Here's a link to the piece if you'd like to read it:



  • Insider
    9 Jun 2024, 8:01 p.m.

    Hi Therry,

    thanks for the link. You are correct for the early Cal. 89, which icomes as a 16 jewel movement. 15 Jewels for the standard gear train where the center wheel is turning in brass bushings. The sixteenth jewel is the one in the small round steel plate in the center supporting the center second pinion.

    Great article about a fantastic movement.



  • Apprentice
    10 Jun 2024, 7:07 a.m.

    The Cal. 89 movements from the late seventies and early eighties often bear an engraving stating "17 jewels," but actually contain 19 jewels, with the additional two in the cap stones on the escape wheel to reduce friction, as seen in vintage Yacht Club Ref. 2611.