Wednesday, March 28, 2012

IWC Caliber 57, 19 Ligne

I finally got around to working on an IWC movement and have been having trouble identifying it. It is a 19 Ligne size movement, which should narrow down the movement but after many hours of research, I came up with two possible suspects, the Caliber 57 and Caliber 58. Initially I suspected the Caliber 58 but after correspondence with IWC and verifying the serial number, I have come to find out that it is a Caliber 57....at 19 Ligne....which they are normally 18 Ligne size movements.

Due to the lack of the original case (I had to fight a black oxide Illinois Watch Case Co. case which was rusted shut, more on that a little later), IWC could not release the original ledger for the watch movement but kindly identified the model and manufacture year, which is 1902. I have to digress for a moment and consider what happened in 1902; Teddy Roosevelt is the first American president to ride in an automobile and it being an electric car at that!, the first Rose Bowl ever is played between Michigan and Stanford at Pasadena, 7.5 earthquake hits Guatemala, Kid Curry Logan of the famed Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang is sentenced to a 20 year term, the Aswam Dam on the Nile completes, and the Discovery Expedition lead by Scott, Shackelton, and Wilson reaches the furthest southern point by man (thanks wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1902).

Back to the watch, in order to remove the movement from the case, I had to use an 8oz. brass hammer and gently tap the top of the case perimeter and encourage a bit of movement and finally to clamp it tightly in a watch case holder, which i subsequently clamp the holder into a vise. Once in the vise, i make a small circle of suede to wrap the portion of the case I need to move, feed a dowel through and start twisting; much like taking up slack on an improvised tourniquet. once tight enough, I apply even pressure until the bezel finally begins to turn and off comes the top bezel and out comes the movement.

Inside the case is a relatively well preserved IWC movement. The movement has a broken mainspring and are about to find out what else may need servicing. I dropped the watch off to a colleague at A.Cohen Co. in Boston.









Next to figure out a wrist watch case

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