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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear IWC enthusiasts,

I have just won an ebay bid on a vintage IWC watch from what appears to be a credible seller - the purchase is roughly $2,000USD, and I am just having my final checks before I pull the trigger to pay

Authentic Vintage Mens IWC Cal 852 Automatic Swiss Watch C 1960s | eBay

I have never bought a fine watch online before - is there anything I should wary of? I am located in Hong Kong and this will be shipped from California, I am slightly worried about courier theft - does the dealer typically pay for the insurance of shipping, and how much would it cost usually, and what would it cover?

Please any opinions or feedback on the authenticity, major/minor flaws, or advice on the subject of online watch buying would be greatly appreciated - thanks!
 

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Sure looks nice. Looks like a total dial/hands replacement to my untrained eye. You may want to post on the IWC website forum (under "experiences" tab). You may get an informative reply there regarding authenticity, etc. from brand experts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yeah i did, and it the moderators appeared to have taken it off??

Full dial replacement - with authentic parts?
 

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They are pretty strict about discussing prices paid and that sort of thing. And maybe they don't comment anymore on watches acquired on ebay and other auction sites. Maybe if you just upload a few pics yourself, rather than linking ebay, you will get a reply. But maybe you tried that. Like I said, I'm no expert, but the hands don't look authentic to me; not saying it's a fake, just that it looks a bit odd. The movement looks OK, but there are a couple gouged screws, which may or may not mean much. Maybe it's a marriage of an IWC movement in a non-authentic case and dial. I'd be very careful if I were you--2 grand isn't chump change. Wish I could help more.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I mean the watch looks nice and I'm not an epic watch afficinado - is it worth 2k and does anyone think these parts look authentic?

Thanks for the input!
 

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Ask the seller to send you a photo that shows the crown properly. If it is still in the original case the crown should have the IWC fish symbol that guaranteed water resistance. There are some originals without fish symbol, but it did for these 1960s Cal 852 watches. Also, as somebody already said, the hands do not look right, I believe the originals had luminous center bands, but I could be wrong since there are many Cal 852 models. Personally, I would not be pay $2k for this. You can Google IWC Cal 852 and look at the images to make sure the font on the dial is same as clear originals. If the dial is replaced font would not match perfectly.

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Honestly I think it looks super nice despite the mentioned slight inaccuracies - but does the watch justify it's value for 2K USD or at least close?
 

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Movement looks authentic, but its only a part of the watch. Based on what others have said for your posting at the iwc.com forum it looks like the dial and hands are replacements. It'll be good to ask the seller if the service and replacements were done in-house at IWC or somewhere else. Apart from that not sure exactly what you are looking for here. Just like art, a watch is only worth what the buyer is willing to pay.

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for the input, much appreciated!!!

This will my first luxury wrist watch, understandably I'm abit anxious and nervous to purchase online - I just paid for it so I was assured a full refund if anything goes wrong.

Should I take it to a local watch smith and inspect the movement, and would they have to be IWC qualified?

Or should I open it and just post pics for you guys :D

Very excited!
 

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Well, with the movement and case serial numbers you might be able to get the service history of the watch from IWC, but of course only if IWC did the dial and case restoration/replacement work, which I doubt they did. Other than that, I suppose a watchmaker with IWC expertise could give you more information. Or if you are really concerned about it, you could send it in to the IWC/Richemont service center and ask them to authenticate the watch movement, dial, hands, etc. But they may require you to pay for a routine service as well, which will cost you at least several hundred dollars. Wouldn't hurt to at least look into these options if you are concerned. Regardless of the authenticity of the case/dial/hands, assuming the movement is genuine, you have a handsome watch there. And even if it is a marriage of an IWC movement with non-IWC case/dial/hands, I think that's a better marriage than the other way around. Whether such a marriage is worth what you paid is another question, but that's somewhat subjective. If I were purchasing a vintage IWC, I would want a complete original (even if restored), or at least one with genuine replacement parts; but again, that's also a subjective opinion. If you do learn more about it, I hope you will post an update.
 
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