Questions about a Rectangular Filled-gold Gruen 148

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xdaft96
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Questions about a Rectangular Filled-gold Gruen 148

#1 Post by xdaft96 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:52 pm

Hello world,

I have acquired a Gruen 148 10K filled rose-gold rectangular watch.
I don't know much about this watch or its value, and was interested in finding out some additional information..
I found a site that goes a little further into detail, although the color of the face is a different shade:
https://www.righttime.com/rt/pre-owned/ ... -409_a.htm

I also took a picture of the face and back showing some of the details:
https://imgur.com/a/4DDfa
Here is another image I took of what gives it life.. sorry for image quality :)
http://imgur.com/fgMEJwb

I can try and take some more pictures later on, but was wondering what everyone's impressions are: is this something worth holding on to for a while?

Thanks for your time. :D

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Barney Green
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Re: Questions about a Rectangular Filled-gold Gruen 148

#2 Post by Barney Green » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:26 pm

Hi from the old world,
it is hard to tell you more about the watch without seing the inside. The inside of the case back and the movement usually hold valuable information to classify and date the watch.
There is a "strap 312" and a "Import 124" which look at least quite similar to your watch. As you might already know the Gruen documents are lost or destroyed, it is only possible to name watches from old ads or stickers which might remain on some NOS watches or watchcases.
Having said this I would date it to approximately 1936.In this year Gruen sold the biggest number of small mens watch models without a second hand. The Staunton and the Convoy had at least a similar styling.
One question: why do you call it a Gruen 148? Is there such a number inside?
BTW, in my opinion every Gruen is worth holding.
Barney

xdaft96
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Re: Questions about a Rectangular Filled-gold Gruen 148

#3 Post by xdaft96 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:09 pm

Thanks for the quick reply!
Sorry I hadn't specified that -- when I looked at the inside of the watch I saw the number 168 engraved. Unfortunately I don't have access to it until tomorrow, but I will take a more detail picture & document everything I see!
I'll update this forum when I get some more info.

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Barney Green
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Re: Questions about a Rectangular Filled-gold Gruen 148

#4 Post by Barney Green » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:35 am

168 makes perfect sense as the caliber number. This was used in 1936 for the Cartouche like mens watches as well as the 165 and 167.
Awaiting your photos for further investigations.

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afire
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Re: Questions about a Rectangular Filled-gold Gruen 148

#5 Post by afire » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:59 pm

Barney Green wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:26 pm
There is a "strap 312" and a "Import 124" which look at least quite similar to your watch.
Then I would think that it's a Strap 312. I've never seen a gold filled Import model, at least not from the pre-WWII era.

In fact, I don't recall hardly ever seeing any gold filled Swiss cases. Kind of like how the only gold filled Rolex Princes I recall seeing are for the Canadian market usually have American gold filled cases. It makes me wonder if the Swiss case makers just didn't do a lot of gold filled cases, or whether there was some sort of legal standard that prevented them from doing so.
Real men wear small watches.

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Barney Green
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Re: Questions about a Rectangular Filled-gold Gruen 148

#6 Post by Barney Green » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:07 am

It has not been that common to uses gold plated material in Switzerland, but there were quite a lot of gold filled swiss watch cases. I think Gruen just did not import them because there was no benefit in doing so. Importing solid gold watches saved tooling cost as the sales quantities were much lower, so that an industrial production in the US would not have made sense and importing stainless steel watches made sense because there was no good stainless steel available in the US which was usable for making watch cases. Just my personal thinking, I might be wrong...
And it was a tradition in Switzerland to stick to high material purity. They long time refused to produce watch cases below 14k as anything below 50% purity was considered to being worth called gold. Even when the English watch industry has long accepted 9k as a standard most of the Swiss manufacturers did not want to build such cases for export.

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afire
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Re: Questions about a Rectangular Filled-gold Gruen 148

#7 Post by afire » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:22 pm

Barney Green wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:07 am
And it was a tradition in Switzerland to stick to high material purity.
I guess that's kind of what I figured. I know I have seen gold filled Swiss cases, but they're so rare compared to US gold filled cases, I wondered if there might have been some regulatory reason. But I'm sure tradition is reason enough.
Real men wear small watches.

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JackW
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Re: Questions about a Rectangular Filled-gold Gruen 148

#8 Post by JackW » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:53 am

Barney Green wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:07 am
It has not been that common to uses gold plated material in Switzerland, but there were quite a lot of gold filled swiss watch cases. I think Gruen just did not import them because there was no benefit in doing so. Importing solid gold watches saved tooling cost as the sales quantities were much lower, so that an industrial production in the US would not have made sense and importing stainless steel watches made sense because there was no good stainless steel available in the US which was usable for making watch cases. Just my personal thinking, I might be wrong...
And it was a tradition in Switzerland to stick to high material purity. They long time refused to produce watch cases below 14k as anything below 50% purity was considered to being worth called gold. Even when the English watch industry has long accepted 9k as a standard most of the Swiss manufacturers did not want to build such cases for export.
To add to what you've said...

From what I've been able to discern, in the 1930s, the two sources of stainless steel that were of quality for forming were coming out of Germany or England. This became problematic for the US about 1942. ;)

My understanding of Goldfilled cases vs. the 9k case is that the quantity of gold in either is about the same during the era of "guaranteed" cases. I think it came down to marketing: Having '14k' stamped on a robust case, even if it is a veneer of the metal seems more acceptable then 33.3% gold content of 9k. Then things seem to have been less robustly made in the 40s.... gold fill and rolled gold are not the same; the latter uses less gold in the process. 9K cases seem to get thinner and then use internal parts of base metal to add strength and rigidity. The Swiss also seem to have started down the path of case making using gold plate, ie 20-micron gold plate, before US case makers.
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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Barney Green
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Re: Questions about a Rectangular Filled-gold Gruen 148

#9 Post by Barney Green » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:30 am

Yes, I agree with what Jack said, but one point.
A 9k case does not have any wear through as it is an alloy. Gold plating compound even if "ultra quality" or "reinforced with extra gold" or "guaranteed for 25 years" or whatsoever, faces easy wear through at sharp edges. Although the gold conect of the case may be the same, the alloy has advantages in terms or reliabilty.

The German / Swiss gold plated materials were mainly marked with the words "Walzgold" or "Doublé" and often the thickness like 10, 20 or even 40 micron. Later French and some Swiss cases with gold plating often weren marked G10 or G20 on the outside, depending on the thickness.

xdaft96
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Re: Questions about a Rectangular Filled-gold Gruen 148

#10 Post by xdaft96 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:22 am

So I was able to take some pictures over the weekend!
Here is a link to the album: https://imgur.com/a/5DRiVdr

Some of the numbers & Engravings I noticed..
[On movement mechanism]
Gruen Watch Co: I-84869
Seventeen 17 Jewels

[On Case]
Cased and Time in USA by Gruen Watch Co.
Stap Watch Case IDK6FD Bezel-Guildite Back
806941
168-409

I'm going to do some research and see if I can find any similar watches!

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