Gruen - Frankenwatch - Precision or Curvex

Thread: Gruen - Frankenwatch - Precision or Curvex

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  1. #1

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    Gruen - Frankenwatch - Precision or Curvex

    This watch is listed as a "Curvex" however there is no side view picture nor is there a "Curvex" marking on the dial. There is a precision marking on the front, and its supposed to be 14kt solid gold. The confusing part is that the movement says "curvex" and "precision".

    Is this a case and movement mismatch or is this just a real Gruen precision. Confusing!

    Ed
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  2. #2
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen - Frankenwatch - Precision or Curvex

    Hi -

    I think it's okay: the critical thing is that the movement is a Curvex.

    Gruen made a number of Curvex movements, and not all of them are documented. I've got several movements similar to what you show.

    The lack of Curvex on the dial is not that unusual, but does point to a contemporary re-dial towards the end of the 1950s. Gruen ran into significant trouble with unscrupulous dealers buying dials alone with the markings "Curvex" and "Precision", and since those terms have very specific meanings - Precision movements were almost always 17-jewel, quite high for that time period - you could foist off a lower-cost model as something worth more by replacing the dial. After this became a problem in the late 1930s, Gruen ceased selling dials with both Curvex AND Precision on them without receiving first a damaged dial and serial number. Hence this might have been a redialing with a real dial, but without the Curvex name on it.

    Whew. Make sense?

    If it is on that famous auction site, then you should ask the seller for a picture of the side view to show that it is, indeed a Curvex. Not all Curvex were long and thin, and indeed many were not, as the 3xx series caliber was very, very high quality and quite expensive, leading Gruen to introduce the 5xx series caliber, which had only 15 jewels and was not nearly as nice. These smaller watches appealed to those who didn't like the long and thing movement and didn't want to pay the high prices that these commanded.

    Doesn't look bad at all: dial is fairly clean (although that smudge at 4 doesn't help...), case does look to be gold. However, the pictures are far too small to be really sure...

    JohnF
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  3. #3
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    Re: Gruen - Frankenwatch - Precision or Curvex

    Hi there, i have only been into vintage watches for a short time but looking at the pics of the movement i would say it is a curvex. Looks like it has the 440 cal movement in it. Im sure someone will tell me if im incorrect. Hope that helps. A quick search on Google will help loads too. Loads of info out there in cyberspace.

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  5. #4

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    Re: Gruen - Frankenwatch - Precision or Curvex

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnF View Post
    Hi -

    I think it's okay: the critical thing is that the movement is a Curvex.

    Gruen made a number of Curvex movements, and not all of them are documented. I've got several movements similar to what you show.

    The lack of Curvex on the dial is not that unusual, but does point to a contemporary re-dial towards the end of the 1950s. Gruen ran into significant trouble with unscrupulous dealers buying dials alone with the markings "Curvex" and "Precision", and since those terms have very specific meanings - Precision movements were almost always 17-jewel, quite high for that time period - you could foist off a lower-cost model as something worth more by replacing the dial. After this became a problem in the late 1930s, Gruen ceased selling dials with both Curvex AND Precision on them without receiving first a damaged dial and serial number. Hence this might have been a redialing with a real dial, but without the Curvex name on it.

    Whew. Make sense?

    If it is on that famous auction site, then you should ask the seller for a picture of the side view to show that it is, indeed a Curvex. Not all Curvex were long and thin, and indeed many were not, as the 3xx series caliber was very, very high quality and quite expensive, leading Gruen to introduce the 5xx series caliber, which had only 15 jewels and was not nearly as nice. These smaller watches appealed to those who didn't like the long and thing movement and didn't want to pay the high prices that these commanded.

    Doesn't look bad at all: dial is fairly clean (although that smudge at 4 doesn't help...), case does look to be gold. However, the pictures are far too small to be really sure...

    JohnF
    Thanks John, you are an encyclopedia. I'm started to like the old Gruens, I guess I'm going to build up a collection! I asked the seller and he said the inside of the case says "curvex" I'll ask for a side view.

    On a side note, in terms of dial cleaning is it risky to give it an ultrasonic bath?

  6. #5
    Member pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen - Frankenwatch - Precision or Curvex

    Quote Originally Posted by freeriderdave View Post
    Hi there, i have only been into vintage watches for a short time but looking at the pics of the movement i would say it is a curvex. Looks like it has the 440 cal movement in it. Im sure someone will tell me if im incorrect. Hope that helps. A quick search on Google will help loads too. Loads of info out there in cyberspace.
    I think you're right...looks just like a 440 Curvex.
    Regards from Sunny San Diego..........Tom
    ____________________________________________________
    "There are two kinds of people in this world, my friend, those with loaded
    guns and those who dig!"................Blondie to Tuco in TGTB&TU (1966)


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