1945 IWC For Black, Starr & Gorham Vintage Art Deco Mens Top Hat Wristwatch - 14K Gold


Item No. 6837

Today's offering showcases this very rare and striking mens IWC "Top Hat" watch.

Popularized by Ginger Roger and Fred Astaire in their award-winning musical of the same name, the phrase came to stand for the glittering elegance associated with 1930's and 40's American high society. Patek Philippe and IWC embraced this idea by offering an exclusive Top Hat model as part their other gentlemen's wristwatch selections.

Patek Philippe chose to build their model entirely in-house, while IWC enlisted the help of the one of the best American case manufacturers of the day, Cresarrow of New York. Founded by Henry Blank in the late nineteenth century, Cresarrow contracted with Patek Philippe, Vacheron & Constantin, Tiffany, Cartier, IWC and also a few lesser known houses to build some of the beautiful examples of their early wristwatch cases.

While I have seen many Patek Top Hats, I can only recall ever seeing three other examples of IWC Top Hats - one that I actually owned over 10 years ago and another one I owned last year, this one has a different ribbed case variant that I have never seen another of. When I found this one for sale I couldn't finish the deal fast enough.

Specially made for Black, Starr & Frost-Gorham a prestigious New York retailer ranking with Tiffany & Co. and Cartier, the watch bears the distinguished company's name on the dial. Founded in 1810, the company is the oldest continuously operating jewelry firm in the United States and in 1962 purchased Cartier's U.S. operation.

It is unusually thick and heavy for a watch of this size, and I suspect its extremely rare ribbed variant of the Top Hat case and dial which is slightly different from other examples were designs created specially for the jeweler to be different from the Top Hat models that IWC and Cresarrow made for Tiffany and Cartier. This variant is also different in that it has a soft iron inner antimagnetic cover further protecting the movement.

Its parts are fully original down to the dial, hands, and even the winding crown!

It presents in excellent condition. The dial has just been professionally restored by one of the leading dial experts in the country. When we acquired it, it had an older incorrectly done restoration.

One of our watchmakers has disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it. It is keeping time within a few seconds per day tested face up.

For the finishing touch we have equipped it with a brand new Teju lizard strap making it ready for immediate enjoyment.

Included with the purchase is a one-year C.O.T. warranty on the movement and its function and a custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity.

  • Manufacturer: IWC, International Watch Co.
  • City of origin: Schaffhausen, Switzerland
  • Serial no.: 1,085,xxx
  • Year built: 1945
  • Functions: Hours, Minutes
  • Designed for: Men
  • Case material: 14K yellow gold
  • Case markings (inside): 14K, Cresarrow logo
  • Case condition: Excellent with light remnants of wear
  • Dimensions: 22mm wide (excluding crown) at the middle of the case, 25.5mm wide at the brim of the hat, 36mm long lug tip-to-tip
  • Dial: Signed International Watch Co. Schaffhausen and Black, Starr & Gorham, light silver, gold spherical and faceted dart indices, expertly restored
  • Hands: Original, gold "dauphines"
  • Movement type: High-grade IWC, Caliber 87, manually wound, tonneau, rhodium plated, fausses cotes decoration, adjustmented for greater accuracy, cut bimetallic balance, self-compensating flat balance spring
  • Band: Crocodile, fully stitched, padded, brand new and unworn
  • Width between lugs: 18mm
  • Crystal type: Acrylic, excellent condition
  • Serviced: One of our watchmakers has disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it.
  • Timing: Timed to precision on a state-of-the-art computerized system, keeping very accurate time. Your watch is important to us, and we will take care of it for its lifetime. We provide the best after sale care in the business with an experienced team of watchmakers both of whom each have over forty years of experience and a large number of parts.
  • Warranty: 1-year international warranty. Please email concierge@cotwatches.com for details.
  • Box/Papers: BOX - Connoisseur of Time watch presentation box; PAPERS - Custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity; New timing certificate
  • Returns: 7 days full refund. 100% satisfaction guarantee

We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee for all of our watches. If you are in any way unsatisfied with the watch we will fully refund the purchase price anytime within 7 days after the watch has been received. Our goal is to exceed our client's expectations throughout the buying experience.

All watches are packaged carefully and mailed double boxed in specially constructed, reinforced shipping boxes designed for high value items. All watches are sent fully insured with signature required. Most of our domestic shipping is done through FedEx. At times we will also use USPS Express Mail, and we can accommodate most requests for your preferred carrier. International shipments are sent USPS International Express Mail or FedEx.

The purchase price will be the declared value of the merchandise on any required customs forms. The payment of all customs duties, tariffs, and taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.

Also note that water resistance of vintage watches can no longer be guaranteed and is not covered under the watch's warranty. We do not recommend getting a vintage watch wet, even one that was originally designed to be waterproof.

To get an idea of how this watch will look on the wrist, please use the Watch Sizing Guide


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