DOXA forum member seeking knowledge

Thread: DOXA forum member seeking knowledge

Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11

    DOXA forum member seeking knowledge

    I have lately become fascinated with the Gruen Curvex models, particularly the 46mm and 52 mm sizes. Seeking enlightenment as to critical variables to assess quality and best places to purchase. Thanks for the knowledge.

  2. #2
    Member JohnF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Oberstedten, Germany
    Posts
    9,650

    Re: DOXA forum member seeking knowledge

    Hi -

    A man after my own heart.

    The Gruen Curvex models, especially the bigger ones, are highly collectible, especially those in excellent shape, as these are very elegant and unusual watches.

    That said, there are a number of things to be aware of.

    First and most unfortunately, there are no records of what Gruen produced. None. Zip. Nada. During one of the reorganizations of the company in the 1960s, all documents pertaining to what watches were sold when and where and to whom were destroyed, not by accident, but deliberately.

    This makes identifying any particular Gruen very, very difficult. The only ones that are "truly" collectible are ones with complete documentation, and this is about as rare as hen's teeth. I know that I've never, ever seen one being offered anywhere. Doesn't mean that there aren't any out there, just that I've never seen one.

    The critical variable here is condition, condition, condition: the more pristine and unblemished the face of the watch is, the higher the value, all other things being equal. This is also true of the condition of the calibre inside: the cases for any Gruen of this type, in comparison to modern watches, do a very mediocre job of protecting the watch itself. Further, the condition of the case can tell you how the watch was treated: battered and badly scratched are generally bad things.

    So what should you look for? First of all, these models of Curvex usually have three things written on the dial: "Gruen", "Curvex" and "Precision", with the latter usually being flush above the subdial for the seconds. A face with only "Curvex" or "Gruen" is probably a re-dial. A face with only "Gruen" and "Precision" may be a redial, but also may be a replacement face from the original (Gruen stopped selling Curvex faces due to misuse).

    That said, let's suppose you've found a lovely Gruen Curvex in 52mm that looks cosmetically good. What's to go wrong with that?

    Lots. The calibre inside is fundamentally excellent, one of the better quality calibres you will find anywhere. In an assessment by Consumer Reports in 1949 (!), Gruen was ranked in quality with Omega and Longines.

    But has it been taken care of?

    Ahhhh, there's the rub. Watches of this vintage are now at least in their late 60s, and there is no way that the watch cannot have been serviced in the mean time; further, if you were to find one NOS (New Old Stock, i.e. never been sold), that would mean the watch hasn't been used at all and that the lubrication has probably hardened by now into dried varnish.

    Hence you need to know something about the maintenance record. A good watchmaker will have worked on the watch and will know how it is performing after complete disassembly, cleaning, reoiling and reassembly. They should be very good performers: not perhaps COSC chronometre class without some tweaking, but should definitely be quite accurate.

    But the real problem is spare parts and finding someone who actually has worked on these things so that you don't end up paying someone to learn how to do that on your bill. I can recommend one watchmaker here in Germany who really enjoy working on Gruens, but it costs an arm and a leg (a hand and a gear?) as he is very expensive as well. Worth it, though: he has rescued a number of Gruens for me.

    So you need to "buy the seller" and less the watch. It's simply too dangerous to buy sight unseen online unless you've had really good dealings with the seller.

    Best place to purchase? Can't help you there: I don't see enough of these as is, let alone an inkling of who may have one on offer.


    You'll pay more, of course, for gold versions, rather than gold-plated, and even more for those in really good shape with documentation and even written maintenance reports (and maybe even a print-out of timing results!).

    Before even looking, I'd find out who can repair these and maintain them for you: you don't want to go spend real money and then find that your purchase is useless because your watchmaker can't find any parts to repair it with (and won't make them himself!). It's sort of like old Jaguars: you didn't buy one, but rather entered into a decades-long relationship with mechanics instead.

    Hope this helps...

    JohnF
    コスト下げ やる気も一緒に 下げられる


  3. #3
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Almonte ON Canada
    Posts
    23,771

    Re: DOXA forum member seeking knowledge

    Just a brief additional note to JohnF's extensive reply.

    Check out the Gruen Curvex for sale at Darlor Watch and the proprietor's rather pithy comments about fakin' it with Curvexes. They are such desirable collector pieces you have to be careful. Be prepared to pay top dollar for a good one.

    http://www.darlor-watch.com/wrist_watches_4.html

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member JohnF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Oberstedten, Germany
    Posts
    9,650

    Re: DOXA forum member seeking knowledge

    Hi -

    Ray, thanks for that link! I can only underscore what the proprietor there said, and can also only underscore that a Gruen Curvex in really great shape will cost you real money...

    JohnF
    コスト下げ やる気も一緒に 下げられる


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. New to the forum and Doxa
      By Milamber in forum DOXA Owners Club
      Replies: 12
      Last Post: September 27th, 2006, 02:25
    2. A thank you to DOXA
      By consult in forum DOXA Owners Club
      Replies: 24
      Last Post: March 4th, 2006, 15:06
    3. Seeking for a watch design forum !
      By Timewarp in forum Public Forum
      Replies: 2
      Last Post: February 17th, 2006, 23:30

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •