Dietrich Gruen Precision Watch - HELP!

Vintage Gruen Watch Discussion Forum
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rwlewis_ct27
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Dietrich Gruen Precision Watch - HELP!

#1 Post by rwlewis_ct27 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:06 pm

Hello everyone. I'm new to these forums and could use a bit of help.

I have had this "watch" in the safe for many years and have no clue about its history or value. It is a family heirloom, passed to me years ago. The only thing on the back cover are my grandfather's initials. I cant figure out how to open the watch, although I managed to get the front glass part to "pop" off the front, I have no clue how to open the back without damaging it. All remaining info I have on this piece is in the photos. We have tried to do some basic research on the internet but cannot find other examples of this watch with the full name, "Dietrich Gruen" on it, etc. Any advice or info would be welcome. Pictures below (hopefully)

Thanks,
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timeliz
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Re: Dietrich Gruen Precision Watch - HELP!

#2 Post by timeliz » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:53 pm

Hi! and welcome to the forum.

Your watch made my eyes pop out a bit! This site should enlighten you quite a bit & specifically regarding your grandfather's watch...
This link should take you to the correct page, then scroll down to find the watch:
http://www.pixelp.com/gruen/1904.html

Congratulations!

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afire
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Re: Dietrich Gruen Precision Watch - HELP!

#3 Post by afire » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:06 pm

Yikes. That's a serious watch.
Real men wear small watches.

rwlewis_ct27
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:24 pm

Re: Dietrich Gruen Precision Watch - HELP!

#4 Post by rwlewis_ct27 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:01 am

Timeliz, thanks for your response. I found the site you referenced when I started researching this watch and although the pictured watches look very much like the one I have, I cant get past the most obvious difference. It has me baffled and curious. My watch, on the face, has the full name "Dietrich Gruen". All the pics I have found so far of other Gruen watches just have "Gruen". So was mine manufactured by Dietrich himself prior to the creation of Gruen and Son? Plus the prices associated with the watches pictured at that site range from $9000.00 to $19500.00, all of which are nice numbers, but I would like to narrow it down for insurance purposes. Any further info you can provide would be appreciated, but in any case thank you again for the response you sent.

rwlewis_ct27
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:24 pm

Re: Dietrich Gruen Precision Watch - HELP!

#5 Post by rwlewis_ct27 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:24 am

timeliz, my apologies. I went back to the site you sent a link to and re-read it. I now understand why my watch has "Dietrich Gruen" instead of just "Gruen". Very interesting history lesson for me. I still haven't found an exact match for the one I have although the closest match is the pic of the watch with the wind indicator at the top and roman numerals; mine looks the same but with English numbering. I'm guessing the only safe way for a fumble finger such as myself to get the watch opened is to take it to a jeweler (the nearest to me is a 3 - 4 hour round trip). I'm guessing I need to get pics of the inside workings and serial numbers in order to continue my quest. Thanks again.

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timeliz
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Re: Dietrich Gruen Precision Watch - HELP!

#6 Post by timeliz » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:13 am

rw...,
I have never seen one in person, only in the small amount of published literature available.
As stated in the article, There were three original models so the different font style shoudn't be an issue as
these were made for public sale.
Here is the page from a marketing pamphlet for the "Dietrich Gruen" models:
Book1918-28.jpg
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Opening the case to see the movement is key to determining the movement caliber and authenticity.
It really isn't difficult to do...Just need to get your courage up.
I use a small pocket knife blade inserted under the tab on the back cover, to the right of the winding stem, and gently yet firmly finess the cover to pop open. (You may hear a faint choir of angels upon opening it :D .)
I always do this over a soft surface.
If you do take it to a jeweler you don't know, make sure it doesn't leave your sight.
Take some good clear photos and please post here for all to enjoy...
Good Luck!

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Bazzab
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Re: Dietrich Gruen Precision Watch - HELP!

#7 Post by Bazzab » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:11 am

The plate from Timeliz is taken from Gruens catalog.
"A Worthy Company of Watchmakers 1918"
The catalog also gives a price for the standard model, as shown, of $315
A rare and valuable watch
B

rwlewis_ct27
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Re: Dietrich Gruen Precision Watch - HELP!

#8 Post by rwlewis_ct27 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:42 am

thank you both for your replies. timeliz, I heard a choir of angels. thank you for talking me through that, and thank the lord I had a magnifying glass handy. the watch has 2 covers hinged together at the bottom. when I popped the outer cover I found "GRUEN 18K CINCINNATI 1010979", and my father's initials carefully scratched into the outside of the inner cover (remember my 1st post my grand father's initials are professionally engraved on the outside). Then I popped the inner cover to expose the workings and found the same serial number as listed above, again the 18K stamp; both on the inside of the cover. stamped on the mechanical parts in various places are the serial number 42050, 25 rubies, EXTRA, Dietrich Gruen, etc. I will try to get some 'in focus' pics and post them tonite. thanks again

rwlewis_ct27
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Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:24 pm

Re: Dietrich Gruen Precision Watch - HELP!

#9 Post by rwlewis_ct27 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:00 pm

here are some new pics since I got the watch opened up.
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timeliz
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Re: Dietrich Gruen Precision Watch - HELP!

#10 Post by timeliz » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:16 pm

rwlewis...,

Beautiful watch! To me everything looks totaly legit.

So the issue of insurance value would depend on many factors:
The market value of the gold, how many were actually in circulation, and the price others have sold for recently are just a few considerations.
The problem is Gruen's records were either lost or destroyed when they went out of business in the mid 50's.
As far as I'm aware, no production records have been found for the Dietrich Gruen models.
Because of your Grandfather's watch, we now know that # 42050 belongs to a Dietrich Gruen model. But how many did they produce? 50K? 100K? or only 20K?

Personally, I consider it very rare. Your watch is the only one I can recall seeing in my 20 years of collecting.

Thank you for posting & sharing your treasure.

I hope other hope members will join in with their insight.

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