Help with age please

Vintage Gruen Watch Discussion Forum
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Gerryd
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:57 am

Help with age please

#1 Post by Gerryd » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:56 am

Hi
I'm new to this forum usually find me on the MWR. i bought this foe my wife at auction and I'm curious to its age. It came in a Gorham Co USA box but that might be a red herring. I'm also curious about the strange mark under the XII, it looks like something has been ground out not un similar to reissued military ATPs. Any help would be appreciated.
Gerry

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timeliz
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Re: Help with age please

#2 Post by timeliz » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:10 pm

Hi Gerryd,

You have a pre 1920 Gruen cal 820, 9 ligne movement.
A very nice example that includes a matching bracelet!
The blank space on the dial is missing the "Gruen" name.
You didn't post a photo of the inner caseback marks but I
imagine it is a swiss sterling? Can you post a photo?

I have an 820 cased in a similar oval sterling ...
unfortunately mine had lost all the enamel.
I'm tickled to see another such example.
Thanks for posting!

Liz
Last edited by timeliz on Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Barney Green
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Location: Germany

Re: Help with age please

#3 Post by Barney Green » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:15 pm

Hi Gerry,

first of all I have to say: I love this watch! Very nice case design with fitting bracelet with this stunning blue enamel.Gorgous!

But I think that someone married this nice case with a Gruen movement and dial. The golden dial does not correspond with the silver case and I have never seen such a watch sold under the Gruen brand.
The field below the 12 is were Gruen usually placed its name. Someone seem to have removed the Gruen wording may be because this watch has never been a Gruen.
Regarding the age I would say 1918 to 1920...

If you could please provide a photo of the inside of the case back just in case there are any markings inside?

Barney

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Barney Green
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Location: Germany

Re: Help with age please

#4 Post by Barney Green » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:17 pm

Ah, Liz was faster...

Liz, do I get you right, you have a similar watch sold by Gruen? Stunning!

Gerryd
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:57 am

Re: Help with age please

#5 Post by Gerryd » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:44 pm

I hope you can see the back ok it is stamped 935 and Gruen watch co. The case has the number 41 stamped on it as does the back, there is also RG and what looks like a crown.
Thanks for your response, I'm pleased its early. I've been trying to get a silver 1 WW1 watch with a similar strap though not enamelled silver. my wife is particularly fond of silver enamel so I've learnt a few brownie points here.
The watch wasn't running when i got it and had been wound tight not that that should stop it but by letting the main spring down and rewinding it began to run but has since stopped so ill service it maybe tomorrow.

Gerry



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afire
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Re: Help with age please

#6 Post by afire » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:45 pm

Gerryd wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:56 am
I'm new to this forum usually find me on the MWR. i bought this foe my wife at auction and I'm curious to its age.
It's going to be in roughly WWI era. Gruen had a somewhat complicated structure involving sub-brands and a network of suppliers, in addition to its own movement and case factories. And they had a very sprawling product line at any given moment compared to many competitors. It makes for some great and unusual watches like this one, but doesn't make identifying them very easy. And most of the companies records were destroyed in the late 1950s. It's not like with Hamilton, where you can just look at the catalogs until you find it. With Gruen, even if there was a full set of annual catalogs, I wouldn't be so sure that every model in the early days would even be pictured.

But here are a couple of clues. This is a page from the 1918 catalog. Check out plate 47. Not an exact match for either ornamentation or materials, but it gets you in the ballpark stylistically.
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And this page is from the 1917 pocket calendar/product guide. Notice model 761, silver wristlet with enamel bracelet. Wrong movement (7j) and no mention of enamel on the case itself, but again, something similar.
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Gerryd wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:56 am
It came in a Gorham Co USA box but that might be a red herring.
I don't know of Gruen ever having a relationship with Gorham, or Gorham retailing things like watches, but you never know.
Gerryd wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:56 am
I'm also curious about the strange mark under the XII, it looks like something has been ground out not un similar to reissued military ATPs.
On guilloche dials like this, that line is milled flat to provide a spot for the logo to be printed. It appears to have worn away, or maybe it was always blank.
Real men wear small watches.

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afire
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Re: Help with age please

#7 Post by afire » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:49 pm

Sweet fancy Moses! Nothing but crickets for a month, and I take a little time putting together a reply and you buzzards sweep in and beat me to the punch. :lol:

Good to see we're all still paying attention.
Real men wear small watches.

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timeliz
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Re: Help with age please

#8 Post by timeliz » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:50 pm

Yes I do , Barney.
My dial is also gold and the Gruen name is still readable on the dial.
I 'll take some pics and post them.

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timeliz
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Re: Help with age please

#9 Post by timeliz » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:58 pm

Gerry,

Awesome!
Thanks for posting the photo!

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timeliz
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Re: Help with age please

#10 Post by timeliz » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:17 pm

As promised, this is my cal 820 cased movement -
I have to admit I was confusing aspects of this watch and the second watch posted below this.
This is not a wristlet but a pendant.

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The back is what I think may have lost its enamel
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This is the enameled wristlet with a cal 126 and pretty special, I think, because of the engraving on the back...

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casemaker is Kramer & Moser...
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Souvenir from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco is my guess...

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