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  1. #11
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: 0 size Gruen posted 4 days past is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    I always thought that Breguet used metal dials. How else would he have put his secret signatures on them.....?

    Hartmut Richter
    he did.
    So why did wristwatches move to enamel dial nearly 100% in 1900s and 1910s
    no trick question, it's a very interesting point. I think
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

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  2. #12
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: 0 size Gruen posted 4 days past is not.

    1908 is certainly valid for the movement given the lack of the import markings that were required after 1909. I imagine Gruen's "style" got copied into the following decades.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  3. #13
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    Re: 0 size Gruen posted 4 days past is not.

    It is good grade clean bright one. Seems large in small case. Only 30mm o.d. Mae known for her diamond hoard.

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  5. #14
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: 0 size Gruen posted 4 days past is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    1908 is certainly valid for the movement given the lack of the import markings that were required after 1909. I imagine Gruen's "style" got copied into the following decades.
    If you mean UK
    Then import markings were finally auctioned 1st June 1907 (not 1909).
    Of course they were required before that by law, but a 'quirk' in customs let it slip until it was finally corrected (June 1907)

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    Adam
    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS - D Boettcher - Info UK gold mark hallmarking
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
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  6. #15
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: 0 size Gruen posted 4 days past is not.

    Umm...no. The Gruen Watch Case Company (which at this point was a separate company from the Gruen Watch company) was an american company, and it has no hallmarks, so it was probably made and sold in the U.S. with an imported swiss movement. Prior to 1909, there were no requirements to mark the movement when importing into the U.S., but after 1909 they'd have to mark the country of origin, manufacturer, number of jewels and number of adjustments.
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  7. #16
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    Re: 0 size Gruen posted 4 days past is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    Umm...no. The Gruen Watch Case Company (which at this point was a separate company from the Gruen Watch company) was an american company, and it has no hallmarks, so it was probably made and sold in the U.S. with an imported swiss movement. Prior to 1909, there were no requirements to mark the movement when importing into the U.S., but after 1909 they'd have to mark the country of origin, manufacturer, number of jewels and number of adjustments.
    Cool
    You were talking about US import codes.

    I was just checking to clarify that the UK import mark 'F' for foreign goods was only implemented correctly from 1907

    Regards
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
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    Adam

  8. #17
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    Re: 0 size Gruen posted 4 days past is not.

    I don't know. My gut feeling - and it is only a gut feeling! - is that it was far cheaper to produce an enamel dial than a metal one, at least to the standard that metal dials were produced in those days. Once made, an enamel dial will last indefinitely unless it cracks (even though the lume or paint on it might not) whereas a metal dial will tarnish if you leave it just as a base metal dial (i.e. without gilding or painting it). I suppose that the art of making decent metal dials at a reasonable cost had not advanced far enough in those days. Let's face it: even the modern metal dials are painted and not left bare.

    Hartmut Richter

  9. #18
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    Re: 0 size Gruen posted 4 days past is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    I don't know. My gut feeling - and it is only a gut feeling! - is that it was far cheaper to produce an enamel dial than a metal one, at least to the standard that metal dials were produced in those days.
    Hartmut Richter
    I tend to doubt that this was a cost issue. Remember that an enamel dial is essentially a metal dial with multiple layers of fired vitreous enamel applied. The additional labor for finishing a metal dial would seem to me to be equal to that needed to make (and then hand letter) an enamel one. I rather believe the enamel dials were preferred simply as a matter of style. Consumers familiar with enamel on quality pocket watches, would have wanted the same on their wristwatches.

    With that said, my earliest purpose built wristwatch (as in not a conversion) is this one, imported into the UK and hallmarked in 1912. It has a metal dial.
    Name:  1912.JPG
Views: 159
Size:  116.2 KB

    As does this Longines, reported by the Longines museum to have been delivered as a wristwatch in 1915.
    Name:  1915Long1.jpg
Views: 153
Size:  78.3 KB

    And so does this Gruen, from circa 1918.
    Name:  Cal47.jpg
Views: 130
Size:  55.6 KB

    And these two Illinois, also from 1918.
    Name:  IllMil.jpg
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    But in truth, enamel dials outnumber metal dials in my pre-1920 watches by at least 3 to 1.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Last edited by C. Hurt; June 30th, 2013 at 02:16.
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  10. #19
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: 0 size Gruen posted 4 days past is not.

    I would have to imagine that enamel dials were more prone to cracks and breaks in a wristwatch, given the relatively thinner cases and greater motion they experienced; a metal dial would be more robust. Plus they're a bit thinner then enamel ones for the reasons you mention. So if the goal was to present as thin a watch as possible (something that was kinda central to Gruen's marketing for much of their existence), you'd probably want metal and not enamel.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  11. #20
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: 0 size Gruen posted 4 days past is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Hurt View Post
    I tend to doubt that this was a cost issue. Remember that an enamel dial is essentially a metal dial with multiple layers of fired vitreous enamel applied. The additional labor for finishing a metal dial would seem to me to be equal to that needed to make (and then hand letter) an enamel one. I rather believe the enamel dials were preferred simply as a matter of style. Consumers familiar with enamel on quality pocket watches, would have wanted the same on their wristwatches.

    With that said, my earliest purpose built wristwatch (as in not a conversion) is this one, imported into the UK and hallmarked in 1912. It has a metal dial.
    Name:  1912.JPG
Views: 159
Size:  116.2 KB

    As does this Longines, reported by the Longines museum to have been delivered as a wristwatch in 1915.
    Name:  1915Long1.jpg
Views: 153
Size:  78.3 KB

    And so does this Gruen, from circa 1918.
    Name:  Cal47.jpg
Views: 130
Size:  55.6 KB

    And these two Illinois, also from 1918.
    Name:  IllMil.jpg
Views: 153
Size:  118.7 KB



    But in truth, enamel dials outnumber metal dials in my pre-1920 watches by at least 3 to 1.
    Great post Cary - Thanks. Fully agree with you. Indeed a metal dial is harder to produce (well) than a movement!

    What posts/threads like this teach me is how 'badly' I am looking at timepieces and registering the watches features to dates.
    I am not sure in my collection which has the earliest 'metal' dial, or when 'swivel lugs' started?

    I 'just' considered enamel dial during 1900s/1920s with metal being gradually introduced late 20s (1917/18/19). Of course I knew of exceptions, but in general, i never consider metal dials on wristwatches in 1900s - yet as correctly pointed out pocket watches were well into metal dials then.

    My feeling wristwatches started and stayed mainly enamel was the hermetic need, that made enamel less prone to humidity/moisture etc.

    Very interesting and thanks for your cool watches
    Regards
    adam
    Last edited by HOROLOGIST007; June 30th, 2013 at 09:28.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

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