We have here an absolutely stunning and incredibly rare International Watch Company Officers Trench watch in a solid 18ct gold, Borgel case.
The porcelain dial has all Arabic numerals which were lumed and have aged evenly and nicely. The mercedes hour and minute hands also have an even lume. A subsidiary seconds dial sits at 6 o'clock with a blue steel hands and an Arabic seconds tracking ring.
There are a few, small, hairline cracks on the dial, but it is still in good condition (especially for a watch that is nearly 100 years old!) and adds character to this already special timepiece.
Borgel cases were renowned for their innovation. They were considered one of the first waterproof and dustproof cases. The movement is screwed-in through the front of the case and the bezel and crystal are then tightly screwed on to create a dust- and waterproof seal (due to the age of the watch, it should no longer be considered waterproof). Borgel's patents for this case design inspired, most notably, the Rolex Oyster case, among other.
Inside the fantastic 18ct Borgel case is a mechanical manual wind movement by Stauffer & Co., who made movements for IWC from 1984 and were the British agents for IWC until the mid 1930s.
We've paired this watch on a brown leather bund strap, so it can be worn with or without the back padding.
Florentine Aristo Jones founded IWC in 1868. In 1867 he applied for a European passport with the ambition to create watches using the American system of Watchmaking. This system was derived from the Federal Armouries at Springfield and Harpers Ferry. Where high precision interchangeable parts were needed for armaments. This was perfect to use in watchmaking and Florentine was a pioneer in introducing it to the Swiss. In 1868 Florentine and Charles Kidder ended up in Schaffhausen Switzerland. Originally called the company F.A Jones & Co which was later changed to IWC International Watch Company. Florentine returned to the USA in 1876 where he retired and sadly passed away in 1916. His spirit carries on today in the modern IWC watches.
François Borgel, best known for the design of his officer's watches, was a talented inventor. Starting his career in the nineteenth century in Geneva, he patented the Borgel watch case in 1891, which were originally designed for pocket watches. Early patrons of the Borgel case included IWC and Longines. The company were supplying cases long after François's death in 1912, including to Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin in the 1970s.
This watch comes fully serviced by our on-site workshop and with a 12 month, non-waterproof service cover.
What we think
This watch is a true piece of history.
For a watch of this age, we would recommended that it is considered for occasional use, once or twice a week. This is largely because watches of this age weren't built to deal with modern life. They do not have dust proofing, shock absorption and are easily magnetised. Please do try and keep the watch away from magnets such as computers, phones, speakers etc.
Serial : 70****
Reference : Borgel Officers Trench Watch
Movement : Manual Wind
Age : 1921/1930
Specific Age : 1926
Case Size : 33mm
Case Thickness :
Lug to Lug :
Lugs : 12mm
Condition : Pre-Owned
Box & Papers : No
Case Material : 18ct Gold
Service History : 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty