Gruen Curvex 280-330 - too thick crystal?
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Thread: Gruen Curvex 280-330 - too thick crystal?

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  1. #1
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    Gruen Curvex 280-330 - too thick crystal?

    Just when I was getting my watch budget balanced, I found this:
    1936 Vintage GRUEN 280 MASTER Curvex 45mm WWII Business Man gold DeCo A+ Watch | eBay
    (Auction is closed.)

    Couple of questions rise to my mind:
    - This can't be a driver's model? I already have one of these but with copper dial. It can't be worn on the side of the wrist.
    - Why "280"? The caliber is 330.
    - Do you think the crystal is too thick? Crystal of the Curvex 330 I already have doesn't protrude as much.

    And if you have other comments, I am of course interested.

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    Last edited by _XII_; September 8th, 2012 at 15:33.

  2. #2
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    Re: Gruen Curvex 280-330 - too thick crystal?

    I like Gruen Curvex watches. I have a similar model, like this one that has a Curvex movement, but doesn't say Curvex on the dial. Strange!

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    As far as the crystal goes, it would be personal taste. The one above has a low crystal, but I have another one with a thick one. The thicker crystal will just magnify the dial a little better:
    Attached Images Attached Images


  3. #3
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    Re: Gruen Curvex 280-330 - too thick crystal?

    I will soon get the watch and see if I like the thick replacement crystal. Still, it would be nice to know, what kind of crystal there was originally.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Gruen Curvex 280-330 - too thick crystal?

    Hi,

    There are a couple of things that come to mind with this watch. First, the case is imprinted with the case style number: 280. Recently a dating method was featured here on WUS in a thread that lets you look up when a case style was introduced. In this example 280 is from 1937 or so.

    There are only 4 calibers of Curvex:

    The 311 (c. 1935)
    the 330 (c. 1937)
    the 440 (c. 1940)
    and the 370 (c. 1947)

    Anyone that says a watch is a Curvex, and the caliber is not in that above list is plain mistaken at best. The movement is the Curvex, not the case. In your example, case style appears to be only associated with the cal 330. That is a Curvex watch and it is pre-WWII. It isn't what any Gruen collector would consider a 'Driver's watch' those are designed to sit at the side of the wrist; this one like any modern wristwatch is designed to sit on top.

    As to the crystal, well I'd certainly say it was a replacement. Vintage or otherwise, it seems a tad thick. The original was likely a glass crystal.

    As to your dial, it appears to be done quite nicely, but I doubt it is original or even a vintage re-dial.

    If you are happy, and you enjoy wearing the watch then it was a good purchase for you.
    All that I know is based on the hard work and writing of others. I can only aspire to augment this body of knowledge. If I am wrong it is because of my own failings. To quote Newton, "If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

  6. #5
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    Re: Gruen Curvex 280-330 - too thick crystal?

    Thanks. So 280 refers to the case. That makes sense.

    Indeed, the dial and everything else seems very clean and contrasted. (Although there is no reason to doubt the sellers photographing skills...) I am not expecting to get a true vintage collectors item here. If the restoration and service is done nicely, I am happy. I already have a presumably authentic Gruen (280-)330. It might become for sale later.
    JackW likes this.

  7. #6
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    Re: Gruen Curvex 280-330 - too thick crystal?

    not really sure about this but I believe the curvex requires a bubble crystal otherwise the hands catch on the glass.. I think this means the underside is cut in & is not the same shape as the top

  8. #7
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    Re: Gruen Curvex 280-330 - too thick crystal?

    I received the watch. For the naked eye the dial isn't that thick. There is no magnifying effect either. This is a keeper because I like the (historically incorrect) black dial. However, the sellers ebay pictures are misleading as they show no scratches.

    My other Curvex 330 with copper and a spare silver dial is now listed on the Sales Forum. Honest pictures.

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