Gruen chronograph

Thread: Gruen chronograph

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  1. #1
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    Gruen chronograph

    I've been looking over Gruen watches of late, and came across this chronograph on ebay:

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/SCARSE-VINTAGE-GR...item2eabcbd2df

    Generally, chronos seem far out of my price range, but this one might not be out of the realm of possibility. Any thoughts? Are chronograph-certified movements any more dicey than other automatic movements?

    What's the general feeling on Gruens from this era?

    Thanks,

    Jim

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen chronograph

    This is a 17 jeweled Venus 188 movement. It is hand wound. This particular example shows no obvious reasons not to buy it to me... but I am not an expert.

    This is another example of the state of Swiss chronographs during this period. Gruen was using movements from specialty vendors just like everybody else.

    It's a fine watch but not one that would be good as your only watch... from reports servicing generally takes several months from most watchmakers nowadays and only the ones that are real watchmakers will do vintage chronographs.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
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    Re: Gruen chronograph

    Opinion from an oldtimer: It is an old 1940+ style with the fine calibration dial and showing 3 minute periods on subdial for telephone time charges. The balance wheel is bimetallic rather than the glucydur normally used when I suppose this was made after 1958. Interesting, archaic style, uncommon, probably durable, no longer waterproof. Probably will go for under $400. If you like the old style, a good buy. Photo here of about same age, post Gruen, Gruen. Has up to that date 1958+ neat movement with right balance. I wonder if the chrono might have an old stock mvnt.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Last edited by artb; March 21st, 2010 at 06:49.

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  5. #4
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen chronograph

    Hi -

    There are three eras to Gruen: the first era was when Gruen made their movements themselves directly in the US; the second was when Gruen manufactured their movements themselves in Switzerland (in the building which now houses the Administrative offices of Omega!), and the third era, where Gruen ceased making their own movements and used ebauches like everyone else.

    The first era is extremely rare, as Gruen outsourced their movement manufacturing rather early to a low-cost county (back then, Switzerland!).

    The second era, when Gruen made their own movements, is the era of the Curvex movements, of a one-pusher chronograph, of their unique movements.

    The third era: this is where you see Gruen alarm watches, Gruen two-pusher chronos, Gruen diver watches, etc. Just one maker amongst all the others.

    This chronograph is from the third era: as Eeeb mentioned, it's a good quality, but bog-standard movement, decently executed and in rather nice shape.

    The one-pusher chrono is extremely rare and colllectable. This one is, as artb correctly points out, is interesting and archaic.

    JohnF
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    Re: Gruen chronograph

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnF View Post
    Hi -

    The one-pusher chrono is extremely rare and colllectable. This one is, as artb correctly points out, is interesting and archaic.

    JohnF
    In other words a perfect WIS watch.

  7. #6
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    Re: Gruen chronograph

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnF View Post
    Hi -

    There are three eras to Gruen: the first era was when Gruen made their movements themselves directly in the US; the second was when Gruen manufactured their movements themselves in Switzerland (in the building which now houses the Administrative offices of Omega!), and the third era, where Gruen ceased making their own movements and used ebauches like everyone else.

    The first era is extremely rare, as Gruen outsourced their movement manufacturing rather early to a low-cost county (back then, Switzerland!).

    The second era, when Gruen made their own movements, is the era of the Curvex movements, of a one-pusher chronograph, of their unique movements.

    The third era: this is where you see Gruen alarm watches, Gruen two-pusher chronos, Gruen diver watches, etc. Just one maker amongst all the others.

    This chronograph is from the third era: as Eeeb mentioned, it's a good quality, but bog-standard movement, decently executed and in rather nice shape.

    The one-pusher chrono is extremely rare and colllectable. This one is, as artb correctly points out, is interesting and archaic.

    JohnF
    Thanks to all - every day is an education on the WUS forum. I don't know that I'll seriously bid on this, deal or not. I keep imagining that I'll stumble across the same thing at a thrift store for $10 - a pipedream, to be sure, but who knows.

    Cheers to all,

    Jim

  8. #7
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen chronograph

    Quote Originally Posted by jimw View Post
    Thanks to all - every day is an education on the WUS forum. I don't know that I'll seriously bid on this, deal or not. I keep imagining that I'll stumble across the same thing at a thrift store for $10 - a pipedream, to be sure, but who knows.
    The problem I have with non-WISes is they mostly seem to think anything old is priceless and quite valuable...

    I did get a nice Timex Electric Diver for $65 in a thrift store in Dayton, 2-3X what I would normally pay but I could handle it and see it was solid... (on consignment from a collector I was told... ).
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  9. #8
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    Re: Gruen chronograph

    I was $100. too cheap according to I presume smarter bidders at $500+.

  10. #9
    Member mrsnak's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen chronograph

    Quote Originally Posted by jimw View Post
    Thanks to all - every day is an education on the WUS forum. I don't know that I'll seriously bid on this, deal or not. I keep imagining that I'll stumble across the same thing at a thrift store for $10 - a pipedream, to be sure, but who knows.

    Cheers to all,

    Jim
    The downside to that is the cost of repair or service to get it into real shape.
    As with my vintage cars, I've learned my lesson (mostly ) to get the best deal on a decent watch rather than getting something that would cost you twice as much to get into the same shape.

    A $10 watch that needs a $300 repair still might be okay.

    I just went through the same thing with a $200 watch that required $243 work to get it where I wanted it (and this was only for the movement).
    Still came out okay, but I'm a WIS...
    "My grail showed up today"

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