Advice with IWC Caliber 85 circa 1952
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  1. #1
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    Advice with IWC Caliber 85 circa 1952

    I bought this watch in December from a very well respected watchmaker in NYC. After purchasing the watch, I noticed that it would pretty slow overnight even though it was still wound (sometimes 5 minutes). I brought it back to the watchmaker to get it adjusted (1 year warranty). He tinkered with it and said it was good to go.

    One week later, the same thing started happening again. I took it back to the guy and he oiled it a little, tested it on the machine (I forget what it is called) and then said it was good to go. However, he said that I should make sure to keep it relatively well wound while wearing it. Otherwise it can run slow. He recommended that I manually wind it at night before putting it down and leaving it crown side down overnight to keep it running on time. He also recommended giving it a boost in the morning when I put it on.

    I've been trying giving it a boost in the morning and this morning, even though I wound it about 30 times, it lost over a minute in about 7 hours. I tend to be relatively stationary at work (lawyer sitting at desk), but that seems excessive.

    Can anyone give me some advice? I want to know whether I can insist that the watchmaker do a full service on the watch to make sure it works properly or if this is just something I have to live with when it comes to an early model automatic. Also, he noted that it was slightly magnetized when I brought it to him, but from looking online that only seems to make a watch run faster.

  2. #2
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    Re: Advice with IWC Caliber 85 circa 1952

    I've no idea, why would the fact of it being an automatic movement affect accuracy - now that's a serious candidate for the list of the most odd theories I've ever heard. I would rather suspect, that if it was serviced, it wasn't serviced well.
    I would be careful with winding it manually. Some automatic movements are not affected by that, some of them you can seriously screw up by doing so.
    My suggestion? Get it serviced. Properly, this time, and ideally, by someone else.
    Last edited by mkws; March 3rd, 2017 at 04:07.
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  3. #3
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Advice with IWC Caliber 85 circa 1952

    Unless that movement has been badly abused at some point in its lifetime, it should be capable of being adjusted to run within 10 seconds/day ... easily. All this business of keeping it well-wound, giving it a boost, etc., is baloney, and suggests (to me anyway) that the watchmaker knows that there is something wrong with the mainspring, but decided not to replace it.
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    Re: Advice with IWC Caliber 85 circa 1952

    I think the notion of +/- 10 sec/day makes a lot of sense...this is an IWC, after all! It's also important to give some thought to the notion that a poor service history CAN catch up with a watch ( surprise...), especially with an automatic...it does sound as if you'll be a bit better off to try another watchmaker, or, at the very least, ask this one to tell you what is really going on...this IWC may need replacement parts that are expensive, or, almost, unavailable! Then again, a proper Service may be all that's needed...Good Luck! Michael.

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    Thanks for the advice. I knew something was fishy. The watch comes with a 1 year warranty, so he needs to fix it. He is as highly regarded a watchmaker as I have seen. I won't put his name on here to avoid any kind of accusations of slander, but he definitely knows what he is doing.

    If he won't make it right including replacing any parts, then he needs to take back the watch. Anyone think that is an unfair solution?

    FYI. I have a receipt saying it was recently serviced and a machine readout showing that it was really accurate. Just not my experience actually wearing the thing.

  7. #6
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    Re: Advice with IWC Caliber 85 circa 1952

    Quote Originally Posted by Vintagewatchnewb View Post
    However, he said that I should make sure to keep it relatively well wound while wearing it. Otherwise it can run slow. He recommended that I manually wind it at night before putting it down and leaving it crown side down overnight to keep it running on time. He also recommended giving it a boost in the morning when I put it on
    Hmm. It's true that a watch is less accurate when it is fully wounded but I don't think it should be minutes apart.

    Also, it's an automatic movement. If you wear it everyday(even if you're desk bound) I would expect it to survive the night. If an automatic watch is serviced properly, I wouldn't expect to have to wind it before putting it down and after picking it up. Sounds quite ridiculous. It's not very automatic like for an automatic.

    Just my two cents. Others might disagree but that's how I feel about automatics. If you have to do what he suggested, you're better off with a manual wind.

    Just sounds fishy altogether. I'd say return the watch.

  8. #7
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Advice with IWC Caliber 85 circa 1952

    Quote Originally Posted by Vintagewatchnewb View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I knew something was fishy. The watch comes with a 1 year warranty, so he needs to fix it. He is as highly regarded a watchmaker as I have seen. I won't put his name on here to avoid any kind of accusations of slander, but he definitely knows what he is doing.

    If he won't make it right including replacing any parts, then he needs to take back the watch. Anyone think that is an unfair solution?

    FYI. I have a receipt saying it was recently serviced and a machine readout showing that it was really accurate. Just not my experience actually wearing the thing.
    It's reasonable that a watch might need a slight adjustment to be accurate under normal conditions of wearing; however, we're talking about tiny tweaks for a few seconds here or there, not the type of problems you are seeing. It's reasonable to wind the watch manually if it's completely wound down. However, after that, if you wear an automatic watch like this all day, you should not have to do any additional manual winding.

    Yes, since there is a guarantee, the watchmaker should fix it. And to measure accuracy, he should put it on a winder for a few days and actually track it, not just put it on a machine for a few minutes. A return would be another reasonable option. However, if you like the watch, it would be better to get it fixed.
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