IWC Yacht Club: A Vintage Watch with Mass Appeal
The Yacht Club is a classic vintage watch from the IWC Schaffhausen. Models designed by Gérald Genta are particularly popular among collectors. The Yacht Club Chronograph has been the sporty member of the Portugieser family since 2010.
5 Reasons to Buy a Yacht Club
- Sporty yet elegant vintage watches in stainless steel or yellow gold
- Yacht Club II: Coveted collector's item designed by Gérald Genta
- In-house movement with double shock protection
- For men and women: 36 and 38-mm cases
- Yacht Club Chronograph: flyback chronograph in the Portugieser design
A Robust Everyday Watch with Double Shock Protection
The International Watch Company (IWC) introduced the Yacht Club in 1967 under reference number 811 as a sporty alternative to the Ingenieur collection. An elegant barrel-shaped case defines this 36-mm stainless steel or yellow gold timepiece. IWC equips these watches with their automatic in-house caliber 8541. This efficient movement has a highly sophisticated shock-absorption system . In this two-tier system, the caliber is suspended on springs and surrounded by rubber buffers. The final result is an extremely robust timepiece. The stainless steel models are water resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft), while the gold editions can dive down to 60 m (6 bar, 197 ft).
Famed designer Gérald Genta put his own spin on the Yacht Club in 1977. Known as the Yacht Club II, Genta expanded the case to 38 mm and outfitted it with a wide, octagonal bezel . Created at the height of the quartz crisis, most watches received quartz movements. IWC only produced a few thousand pieces with mechanical calibers such as the in-house caliber 8541 or the caliber 3254 based on the Jaeger-LeCoultre 889. Today, these watches are coveted collector's items.
The Yacht Club Chronograph has been part of the Portugieser collection since 2010. These new models hardly look anything like their predecessors. Their designs combine the classic looks of the Portugieser with sporty details, including a crown protector, luminous indices and hands, and a rubber strap. What's more, the in-house chronograph caliber 89361 ticks away inside the 43.5-mm stainless steel or rose gold case.
How much does the Yacht Club cost?
|Yacht Club ref. 9209||14,500 USD||8541|
|Yacht Club ref. 3211||5,300 USD||3254|
|Yacht Club ref. 811||3,200 USD||8541|
|Yacht Club ref. 3311||2,900 USD||Quartz|
|Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph ref. 390202||21,500 USD||89360|
|Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph ref. 390503||10,000 USD||89361|
How much does a vintage Yacht Club cost?
If you're on the market for a relatively obscure vintage watch that's both sporty and elegant, look no further than the IWC Yacht Club ref. 811. This timepiece feels extremely tidy with its narrow glow-in-the-dark hands and applied stick indices with a dot of luminous material on the end. At 36 mm in diameter, it is a great choice for both men and women.
The most common version comes in stainless steel with a white silver-plated sunburst dial and a date display at 3 o'clock. However, gold models with golden dials and a date display are also common. Plan to spend around 3,200 USD on this vintage timepiece.
Those with a dark dial or no date display are even more affordable. Even though they are less common, they sell for between 2,200 and 3,100 USD.
The Octagonal Bezel: Designed by Genta
Many collectors dream of getting their hands on a Yacht Club II. This is largely due to its creator, Gérald Genta, and its octagonal bezel. The final design strongly resembles that of Genta's most famous timepiece: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Automatic Yacht Club timepieces are especially highly coveted since IWC only ever produced them in limited numbers. Be sure to set aside around 5,300 USD for the gold Yacht Club II ref. 3211 with a modified Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber. A well-maintained ref. 9209 with the in-house caliber 8541 can cost up to 15,000 USD.
If design is your top priority, you may prefer a quartz-powered Yacht Club II. You can choose from a stainless steel or gold case, a white or black dial, and stick indices or Roman numerals. Prices range from 2,900 to 4,100 USD depending on the model and its condition.
Since 2010: The Yacht Club Flyback Chronograph
A new chapter of the IWC Yacht Club's history began in 2010. Since then, it has been part of the Portugieser collection under the name "Yacht Club Chronograph." Its clean design makes it a perfect fit for this collection. The case is now 43.5 mm in diameter and, like other Portugieser models, round. Other typical Portugieser details include dials with railroad minute scales and applied Arabic numerals. Even so, the Yacht Club Chronograph still has a sportier feel than its sister models. It's also the collection's only model to feature a crown protector, luminous hands and indices, and a rubber strap. A bright red stopwatch seconds hand further underscores this sporty look.
The in-house caliber 89361 has been powering this timepiece since 2012. This movement lends the Yacht Club Chronograph its flyback function and 68-hour power reserve. It is an updated version of the in-house caliber 89360, which you can still find in older models. Both calibers feature a dual minute and hour counter at 12 o'clock, a smalls seconds dial at 6, and a date display at 3.
IWC offers the stainless steel Yacht Club Chronograph with a black, white, or blue dial. This edition changes hands for between 9,200 and 10,500 USD new. Pre-owned pieces cost around 8,200 USD, regardless of whether they come from before or after 2012. The same cannot be said of watches with a rose gold case and brown sunburst dial. Expect to pay around 17,500 USD for a mint-condition model with the caliber 89361. Its predecessor with the caliber 89360 sells for about 21,500 USD in the same condition. Watches from after 2012 are also less expensive on the pre-owned market: More recent editions demand around 13,500 USD, while pre-2012 timepieces cost some 2,000 USD more.