- Part Two -

1959-1966: Cal. 853/8531

At the end of 1950s IWC introduced an enhanced version of its automatic calibre, the c.853/8531.  The changes between the c.852x and the c.853x were minor and affected only a few parts.  Apparently, IWC sometimes upgraded the older c. 852x movement with these improvements when they were serviced.

The c.853x movement was introduced in 1958, while the production of c.852 calibre ended one year later.  For the Ingenieur line it seems that 1959 was the year of transition as several archive extracts from Schaffhausen show that both calibres were sold to dealers during this period.

The dial styles of the cal. 853x Ingenieurs are generally consistent with those on the earlier cal. 852x models, and there was no effort to "refresh" the look when the movement changed. Dial selection, however, expanded at some point to include more variations than existed before.

Of the early Ingenieurs, the c. 853x versions are the most prevalent on the vintage market.  This fact, of course, makes them no less desirable.

A magnifying lens over the date window (sometimes called a "cyclops" lens) was also offered as an option by IWC during an unknown period of time as shown by this price list (stating that all round calendar models provided this option) and this flyer for the Japanese market.

Ref/ 9033 with 18kt gold bracelet.

1960 flyer depicting the rare ref. 9386 AD,
18kt case with 18kt bracelet.

Flyer circa 1960 showing the
ref. 666 A on steel bracelet.

The1966 catalog (below) only depicts the Ingenieur with dauphine hands and only with the classic "slash and dot," calatrava style dials.  While this was the most prevalent dial type, many other variations existed as detailed below.  



Ref 666 and Ref. 9386 (extended ref. nos. used) the later
with gold bracelet and "cyclops" lens.

Two Ref. 666's (extended ref. nos. used) the second
having "wedge" shaped hour markers.

The "Classic" 853x Ingenieurs





Double-slash at 12 with space.

Double rectangular slash at 12
with no space.

White dial.


The most typical 853x (and 852x) Ingenieurs are like those depicted in the 1966 catalog. These watches bear the calatrava-style markers on a black, white or silver dial with a stainless steel case. These are "classic" not only because they are representative of the series, but because of their timeless design. At right, a cal. 853 and cal. 8531.




All known cataloged versions of black-dialed Ingenieurs have a black date window -- that is, white date numbers on a black background.  The opposite is true of the silver and white-dialed Ingenieurs.  This does not suggest, however, that a black-dialed Ingenieur with a white date disc is not “original” to the watch.  During this period, there does not appear to have been strict adherence to these combinations and changes were often made during routine service. 



With a "cyclops" lens over the date.


Black-dialed Ingenieur with white date disc.




Showing all of its evident charm on an original bracelet -- a black-dialed 8531 Ingenieur, with tritium dots, double slash/no space at 12, and Dauphine hands with no tritium inserts. At right, the same watch posed in front of a vintage Ingenieur ad.






Ingenieur with “baton” instead of dauphine hands.


Baton hands yet again on an 8531.
Double slash with no space.






This gold-cased version is far more
rare than its steel-cased brethren


Another 18kt ref. 666 AD.





An extremely rare 18kt 8531 with black dial. 
Notice the date in the date window is also gold.


This 853 is unusual because it has a stainless steel case but rose gold hands and markers. Another view here.



853x Ingenieurs with Arabic Numerals


Dials with Arabic numerals were also available.  Below are three similarly-style Ingenieurs with Arabic numerals "at the corners" -- all with different case types. And as shown in this advertisement from 1961, a dial was also available with Arabic numerals used for all 12 hour markers.

A "mixte" case Ingenieur from 1958/59 -- 14kt with

 a stainless steel back. Click here for another view.


Same dial on an 18kt case 

Arabic numerals only at the 12 and 6 positions.

Same dial as at left.

Arabic numerals on a ref. 666A, no date.


853x Ingenieurs -- Other Variations


The above style of the 853 (non-date) Ingenieur is intriguing because all known variations have the applied "IWC" logo on the dial (typically only found on 854x models), as well as bar markers instead of slash markers. Too many examples exist for the dials to all be subsequent replacements and a picture of this same variation appears in IWC's magazine, "International Watch." It is possible that 853 movements were used to produce these examples at a later date or that the applied logo was used on some watches while the c. 853 was still in widespread use. All but the first example have baton hands.



This variation has pie-pan
dial and distinctive gold
wedge-shaped hour markers.

Same watch as at left after an
overhaul and refinishing


Same dial-type but with silver markers, on original bracelet. Another view here.


Like those depicted above but with black dial.


This is actually a cal. 8521 with
similar markers but featuring an 18kt case. 


An unusual c. 853 Ingenieur with a dial similar to the c. 852 pictured in the previous section. Notice the thick single bars on the corners and the baton hands.


This dial is unlike any other encountered. It is unknown whether the dial as presented on this watch is original.



- PART 3 -