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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

My dad found this vintage IWC in a box of bits of pieces, firstly just interested in finding a little more about it and secondly he'd like to replace the strap as its falling apart but can't seem to figure out how! It doesn't look like its on spring pins, could it possibly be stitched on?
Thanks guys.

Roy
 

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That is a very nice RAF issued watch!

Here is a link to a thread with lots of facts:

http://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.php?13403-Some-IWC-Mark-XI-facts-and-trivia

Around 7300 were procured by the British RAF between 1949 and 1953.

The watch should have fixed lugs. As such, it is possible that the strap is stitched on... Far more robust for military service.

Think it has a IWC 89 cal!

Very nice and very jealous!




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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pretty interesting then! Yes i think it has got fixed lugs so how would he go about putting a new strap on it? The old one is falling apart and is pretty much impossible to wear.
I can get a photo of the movement aswell if you like?

Out of interest what would a ball park figure be on value? He doesn't want to sell it but just interested as he found it and its cost him nothing!
 

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Looking at your case back, I note the /48 shows the watch dates to 1948.

Googling: IWC 6b/346 1948 comes up with other examples.

My love of the simplistic military design certainly includes this watch... That said, I have not looked at these or searched them out.... Way way way out of my price range!!!



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Following on from my comments about me not searching these out... I'm learning a lot from google!

A movement pick would help...

This link discusses a similar watch:

http://www.iwc.com/forum/en/discussion/49421/?page=1#post_382367

An interesting point is the circled 'T'. This was not introduced until later (60s I read somewhere). Possibly the dial has been changed.

Maybe your father knows? Was he in the RAF?


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The link I posted above may explain the discrepancy with the dial:

"The encircled T stands for Tritium, as already mentioned, but to correct Michael, the MoD started the tritium redials in or after 1963. Nevertheless, I'm not sure about this redial as already mentioned."

And as my first link suggests, these were not decommissioned until the 80s.... Possible the MoD changed the dial/hand to tritium from radium!

IWC are very good at providing information (I have found anyway), so you may want to contact them with the serial numbers.




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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much Sparcster its so interesting finding out about it! I'll get some more pics of the inside and post on here for you to see.

My dad wasn't in the RAF, he came across the watch in a box of bits and bobs
 

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its so interesting finding out about it! I'll get some more pics of the inside and post on here for you to see.
Its interesting for me also. I have not really looked at the IWC issued watches before, so I'm sure someone will correct any of my above comments if wrong.

Lets hope the inside reflects the outside!

That's certainly an interesting and collectible (and valuable) watch to find in a box of bits!




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While it is easy to say it is valuable, considering the intersection of both the military collectables and the horological collectables markets, giving valuations on these forums is against the rules. For one thing, it is really impossible to give an informed appraisal without holding the item in your hands. WUS may also be trying to shield itself from all the consequences of giving out monetary advice that could end up being incorrect.

I'm sure there are many, many people here who would be happy to get it in their stocking this year. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've managed to get my dad a NATO strap in time for Xmas but it means I'll have to cut off the original, is that going to devalue the watch in anyway? As it stands the original strap makes the watch pretty much unwearable but I don't want to commit a crime against the watch and it's history if its frowned upon! I'd also like to get it serviced for him and get the case and crystal polished if possible but again will that be a bad idea? I have a vintage omega and I love the fact it shows it's age so I know it's a personal thing but this watch is a bit more special than my omega so I'd like advice from you guys on it please
 

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Unless they're particularly special, straps are usually considered items that need replacing from time to time. The one pictured may not be original in any event - particularly as one half seems narrower than the other between the lugs.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think the bottom one is smaller where it's damaged but that's good to know then that I can swap the strap. I'll get some pics of the movement today
 

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What a beautiful watch i love it wish it was mine as for straps you can get good quality leather straps just look for 'open end' ones you just thread them through add a dab of good quality glue and all sorted. The MOD changed the luminosity to tritium in the early 60s and the T was added but i am sure they also updated existing watches and they were re-stamped sure i read that somewhere but can't find the article now maybe someone else knows.
 

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That is a real and genuine mark XI RAF pilot watch congrats:-!
 

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BTW, I've seen straps on one or two of the online strap dealers' websites that are not yet "looped" at the ends, yet, for use with watches that have fixed lugs. I got the impression that you would take the flaps on the ends, loops them over the end of the lug bar and either stitch or glue the flap back to the underside of the strap. As a matter of fact, I got the impression that there was adhesive along the tip of the flap already, but that was just an assumption of mine... I didn't see that mentioned in the description of the straps. So, if you decide you want a more traditional leather (or reptile of choice) strap, they are available.
 
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