Became a watch collector 1979 after scrap value purchase of an 1872 Grossmann in a fine gold presentation case. Was told by a friend it was rare and valuable. Read about Moritz Grossmann and his watch designs that were used by cooperating German makers Assmann and Lange. For more than 30 years these 2 made essentially the same watch. Dietrich Gruen quit his Columbus Watch Co. 1895 to make his own Gruen watches and used Grossmann mechanical designs and production at his production facility in Dresden staffed by Assmann. So he had a fine quality product initially until 1902 when they started using the Swiss based Aeby & Landry and then their own Swiss factory. The expensive German made movements were great for quality reputation but slow sellers. Serial range 62000-67000 in 18, 16, 10 sizes. Mostly 18s, rare in 10s that son Fred Gruen did well with the Swiss Verithin models and w.w.
I consider the first Gruen p.w. to be the same quality of those from the 3 Germans made at the same time. But they are collector valued much cheaper. Why? Samples 18s, 10s 16s, Grossmann, Assmann, Lange much newer ad copy. artb
The reason why collector valued the same quality different is very easy to explain. You're "gruen affine" and if you in the position to elect one of two movements with the same quality and one is a gruen I know your decision. Pocket watch collectors are a small bunch of loonies and qiute a lot of them live in germany. "Glashuette" is a very magic word over here. I know some quite wealthy vintage watch collectors and at least two of them told me, that pocket watches don't exciten them but they think to bought one day a golden "Glashuette".
Another thing is "fashion". I bought one day a single Chas.E. Jacot movement and was completely blown away by the quality. As a collector of watches for use I've never seen such a finish before and I still can't blieve that I own a complete working watch now. But this is not the usual way for collectors. For further information I contacted Toni (Antonias Vassiliadis) a specialist about those watches. He write that the prices have gone through the roof until he wrote a article trilogie 2009 in a watch paper (Klassik Uhren ). This is the way, fashion and desire is born also by awareness. You can see this effect also by special vintage watches or producern.
Outstanding movement :-)
February 20th, 2016
Re: Gruen German p.w.
SilkeN thanks for the German and I expect other collector preference valuation. Another German negative is Gruen movements were sized exactly for American made cases. Here exact no modification replacement of leverset Elgin 18s by me with leverset best Gruen. artb
Another point might be: The escapement is very well finished with golden lever and wheel but as far as I can see a "ligne droite" and not the special "Glashütter escapement". The quality is surely the same but special characteristics from well known makers are always "highly collectable".
February 21st, 2016
Re: Gruen German p.w.
Gruen used his patented safety pinion, poised pallet and strangely complicated regulator as differences from the usual Germans. The pallet and scape wheels were similar appearance using hard alloy of bronze and aluminum wrongly called gold. I do not know what Chronometer Balance term from Gruen means. Art