Straps 126 and 127

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MikeTheWatchGuy
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Straps 126 and 127

#1 Post by MikeTheWatchGuy » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:51 pm

I was fortunate to stumble onto this pair of Gruens....A Pair of 1930 Strap 126 (Green gold) and Strap 127 (White gold) Men's Wristwatches

I am often on the lookout for brother/sister watches, particularly with the older models. This time I got really lucky when I found matching White and Green Gold Strap 126 & 127 models. We know from a talk that Charlie Cleves gave on Wadsworth cases used with Gruen watches that Gruen submitted orders to Wadsworth in units of 2,000 cases per run. Applying that knowledge to these 2 cases leads me to believe that these watches were produced as a result of a single order from Gruen. The differences in their serial numbers is VERY small... for BOTH the case serial number and the movement serial number.
1,656 the delta in case serial numbers
1,083 the delta in movement serial numbers

I think with both numbers being so close, that it's LIKELY they were made in the same batch and they have their original movements.

But, clearly, the dial and hand combinations are different. One uses painted radium figures with radium filled hands while the other has raised figures and gilt hands. They are both similar to other watches on the same page of the Guild book where one can find the model name and technical details.

I THINK they are both original to their watches. I don't have anything that would indicate otherwise. Perhaps locating additional models would help?

You'll find a gallery with full-sized images on one of the Gallery pages on GruenWristwatches.

Enjoy!!
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MikeTheWatchGuy
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Re: Straps 126 and 127

#2 Post by MikeTheWatchGuy » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:32 pm

Guess I should have also pointed out that the movements are BOTH caliber 315, NOT the 705 stamped in the back of the case :-)
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JackW
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Re: Straps 126 and 127

#3 Post by JackW » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:50 am

Hi Mike,

Those two are quite nice. Looks like there is enamel still in the bezel design. Am I seeing that right? I'd concur that everything about those two are original.

As to the discussion pertaining to Mr. Cleeves' talk and the 2000 count ordering system, I think the use of delta (e.g., the difference in case serial numbers) is a misleading measure for run inclusion. With the evidence at hand, I think an alternative hypothesis is appropriate. Case serials are 5406024 and 5404368; the two bold numbers are something that should be considered too. To wit, the one case is the 368th case of one run and the other was the 24th case of the other run. I think that the delta is evidence of consecutive runs because of the change in the 4th digit of the serial. Both hypothesis are valid and can be tested by the discovery of another watch case of the same design and metal composition. It is an interesting question, "did they change metals mid run?" We do know, also from Mr. Cleeves' talk, that they would do a few solid gold stamping on a run, but I think these were considered 1-of's out of a larger production run.
All I know is based on hard work & writing by others. I can only aspire to augment this body of knowledge. If I am wrong it is because of my own failings. -me
"If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Newton

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MikeTheWatchGuy
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Re: Straps 126 and 127

#4 Post by MikeTheWatchGuy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:53 pm

Uh, OK...are you saying they were made on sequential batches? Maybe not the same birthday but they day after. Or months / years later? I can't imagine why they would tear down the dies, make other cases, the set them back up again to run a different type of material through.

Seems like if Wadsworth had all the dies setup, were punching these out white gold versions, then they would have switched over to punching out the green gold versions.
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Re: Straps 126 and 127

#5 Post by MikeTheWatchGuy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:28 pm

I'm wondering now if there WAS more than 1 run of these cases :o Maybe one run was enough for these.

Interestingly the Wadsworth serial number that is stamped in the case shown in the Strap 127 on page 42 of the Gruen Watch Catalog is
5404014
My white gold
5404368

They are in the same 1,000's digit so we can at least perhaps agree that my white gold case was made in the same run as the one captured in the Catalog.
Note that the Strap 127 shown in the Collector's Guide is NOT the same as what was in the original manuscript. The manuscript used for the Master Book and the Catalog shows an empty case with the serial number 5404014.
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Re: Straps 126 and 209

#6 Post by MikeTheWatchGuy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:49 pm

I'll just keep tacking on.... oy....

Changed the title line. In terms of "model names", I think that my white gold version is a Strap 209.

It matches the case and the DIAL most importantly. It explains the metal painted dial and hands being so different.

The Strap 209 is on page 47 of The Catalog and is listed as a Cal 705. It's also in the Collector's Guide page 51. It isn't listed in the Guild nor Stock Record Books.
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JackW
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Re: Straps 126 and 127

#7 Post by JackW » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:21 pm

MikeTheWatchGuy wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:53 pm
Uh, OK...are you saying they were made on sequential batches?
yes.
I can't imagine why they would tear down the dies, make other cases, the set them back up again to run a different type of material through.
not what I meant at all. I'm suggesting is that they made the run of 2000 of one color and then switched to the next color, and made the 2000 of that color. Makes more sense to me then switching back and forth.
Seems like if Wadsworth had all the dies setup, were punching these out white gold versions, then they would have switched over to punching out the green gold versions.

That is what I'm saying too.

I think were are conflating "order" and "batch". For example say 10,000 cases were ordered in 5 styles. 2 styles were the same case, just one batch in white GF and the other in yellow GF. What I'm trying to say is that they would complete the batch before switching metal color/type.
All I know is based on hard work & writing by others. I can only aspire to augment this body of knowledge. If I am wrong it is because of my own failings. -me
"If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Newton

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afire
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Re: Straps 126 and 127

#8 Post by afire » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:30 pm

It seems like either theory is entirely possible based on these numbers. You'd have to collect some more serial numbers surrounding these examples more than 2000 apart to see whether they're also this case style. If so, then Jack's right, 2000 of each color. If they're other models, then Mike's right, 2000 including both colors.

But the 2000 number is what's confusing me. Obviously, Charlie Cleves is quite an authority, and I'm sure whatever he said was based on something solid. But I didn't hear his talk and don't know exactly what he was saying. But is the theory that every model of case that Gruen ordered from Wadsworth was made in a minimum quantity of 2000. There are a lot of Wadsworth models from this pre-1935 Guild era that seem way too rare for there have been 2000 made. To take an easy example, think of the enamel models from the 1929 catalog.
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The Centurion was in-house, and I don't know who made the ones with in the lower corners. But the Quadrons and cut-corners were definitely Wadsworth. In going on 20 years now, I've only ever spotted two of them that I can recall (and I think I would recall). One cut-corner, and one Quadron. I have can just barely imagine that there were 2000 combined total of all six models, much less 2000 of each for a total of 12,000.

If orders were really a minimum of 2000, then I would think that they almost had to encompass some variants. At least color of gold, and maybe things like enameling on an otherwise relatively common model. Of course, I could be wrong. But it seems to me that some Wadsworth cased models are just too rare for 2000 of them to have actually been produced.
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thojil
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Re: Straps 126 and 127

#9 Post by thojil » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:49 am

The Strap 138 case was produced by Fahys and the case of Strap 158 was a full Swiss production marked only "Gruen Watch Co. Switzerland".
Both not supporting your direction of thinking.

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MikeTheWatchGuy
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Re: Straps 126 and 127

#10 Post by MikeTheWatchGuy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:51 pm

Dang, I thought the science and math behind the decrypting of the "Gruen Movement Caliber Numbering Scheme" I'm working are thony.

This "Gruen Product Schedule as a function of the 'eBay Scarcity Function'" sounds even more fascinating! Do tell!

;)
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