IWC. A FINE AND VERY RARE 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH SWEEP CENTRE SECONDS AND CLOISONNE ENAMEL DIAL
Many of the watches offered for sale in this catal… Read more IWC SCHAFFHAUSENCloisonné Enamel Dial
IWC. A FINE AND VERY RARE 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH SWEEP CENTRE SECONDS AND CLOISONNE ENAMEL DIAL

SIGNED INTERNATIONAL WATCH CO. REF. 580, CASE NO. 1’265’876, MOVEMENT NO. 1’246’116, CIRCA 1953

Details
IWC. A FINE AND VERY RARE 18K GOLD AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH SWEEP CENTRE SECONDS AND CLOISONNE ENAMEL DIAL
SIGNED INTERNATIONAL WATCH CO. REF. 580, CASE NO. 1’265’876, MOVEMENT NO. 1’246’116, CIRCA 1953
Movement: cal. 85, automatic, 23 jewels, signed
Dial: cloisonné enamel, signed
Case: snap on back, 35 mm. diam., signed
With: IWC Extract from the Archives confirming the date of delivery of the present watch as 7 January 1953.
Special notice

Many of the watches offered for sale in this catalogue are pictured with straps made of endangered or protected animal materials such as alligator or crocodile. These endangered species straps are shown for display purposes only and are not for sale. Christie’s will remove and retain the strap prior to shipment from the sale site. At some sale sites, Christie’s may, at its discretion, make the displayed endangered species strap available to the buyer of the lot free of charge if collected in person from the sale site within 1 year of the date of the sale. Please check with the department for details on a particular lot.
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Lot Essay

The present ref. 530 is one of the exceedingly few examples of an IWC wristwatch fitted with a cloisonné enamel dial. It can be assumed that it was added upon special request, bearing in mind that this variant was much costlier than the standard gilt or silvered version.

Cloisonné enamel dials are always individual artisan creations, with their unfading brightness and rich lustre the watches with such dials are amongst the most desirable across all brands. The main supplier of cloisonné dials was the celebrated firm of Stern Frères.
Each Stern Frères dial was individually stamped on the reverse with a number code, the first digits are the brand code. For the present dial numbered 61*2521, 61 is the code for IWC and 2521 being this particular stylized flower design.

For an IWC wristwatch from the 1950s with similar cloisonné enamel dial see: Ore d'Oro 2, J. Barracca, G. Negretti, F. Nencini, p. 161.

Stern Frères
Founded in 1868, Stern Frères specialized in the production of highest quality dials including dials decorated with cloisonné enamel scenes which were supplied to eminent watch manufacturers including Rolex, Omega, IWC, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and others.

The production of these solid gold dials was extremely costly as they had to be individually made by a skilled craftsman and not on a production line. The artist created the outline of the desired motif by arranging thin gold wires on a dial. These partitions, called "cloisonné" in French, were filled with small quantities of enamel powder in the desired colour. The dial was then fired in an oven at around 900 degrees Celsius causing the powder to melt. Finally it was hand-polished until a perfectly flat surface was obtained. Hand-made by celebrated enamel artists, these dials can be regarded as unique works of art in their own right.

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