Gruen pocketwatch marking for 8 position adjustments

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  1. #1
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    Gruen pocketwatch marking for 8 position adjustments

    I believe the only watches ever marked for 8 positions adjustment were by Gruen from before or near 1920
    for a few years. Seen in 17j, 19j and mostly in 21j but not frequently even in their best Extra Precision versions. I have 1922 17j and 1925 21j. Marked always with temperatures, not singular temperature. So I think actually 6 position with a couple repeated after temperature testing. RR watch experts generally disagree this was valid marking, but although Fred Gruen did flamboyant agressive advertising at the time, except for the 50th decorated special, movements were conservatively jeweled and designed for real quality. Their most expensive production model Ultra Verithin at the time, was very plain appearing 17j movement. Notice how the 2 later ones are emphatically marked eight to help validate the marking. Also the odd feature I also think unique to Gruen adjuster screw near 8 marking is missing from later movements. It is for selecting winding or setting when removed from case or without stem. Original with the better grade Verithins, but indicated here obsoleted about 1925. Images here 4 different movements.
    2 cheap ones mine.
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    Last edited by artb; November 28th, 2010 at 16:59.

  2. #2
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen pocketwatch marking for 8 position adjustments

    Eight positions would certainly seem spurious as we all know that six
    positions is the maximum unless testing is done with the watch at some
    strange angle to make up the number.

    Thinking about this, it is entirely possible that Gruen tested his watches
    with two extra positions over the norm...say pendant up and angled forward
    45 deg and pendant up angled back 45 deg and made adjustments accordingly,
    why not if it allowed him to mark his watches thus, and give the impression
    at least, that his watches were adjusted above the norm and that the company
    cared about accuracy so much that they were prepared to put the extra work
    into the minutiae of watch adjustment.

    'Temperatures' would seem to be correct as a high quality watch would
    be adjusted at a high temperature and a low temperature although it is
    true that adjusted watches are marked with temperature in the singular
    but thinking about the useage, then that would be correct also, ie
    'adjusted for temperature' would cover the fact that the watch was adjusted
    at high and low temperatures.

  3. #3
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    Re: Gruen pocketwatch marking for 8 position adjustments

    I have a Lemania w.w. properly marked 7 positions adjusted. 5 while running as watch and 2 while running as chronograph. So repeated adjustment checks for it prompted me to consider similar situation for Gruen.
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  5. #4
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen pocketwatch marking for 8 position adjustments

    I never thought of positions of adjustment being like excessively high jewel count - a marketing ploy.

    Artb, what is your watch budget/month? Must be close to my annual budget!! LOL NICE watches again (... and again!)
    "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!

  6. #5
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen pocketwatch marking for 8 position adjustments

    Quote Originally Posted by artb View Post
    I have a Lemania w.w. properly marked 7 positions adjusted. 5 while running as watch and 2 while running as chronograph. So repeated adjustment checks for it prompted me to consider similar situation for Gruen.
    I follow your reasoning and can see why the extra two positional adjustments could be
    beneficial in a chronograph as more mechanics are brought into the equation as the
    chronograph is running but in the case of the Gruen the temperature compensations
    are regardless of position having the same error or effect through all the positions...so
    re-testing in two previously tested positions at a different temperature would seem a pointless
    exercise....
    But I've been thinking about this and we know Gruen was concerned with positional timing
    hence the five sided case which he developed. Thinking about this, it's safe to
    assume that Gruen was concerned about the pocket watch slipping left or right in the
    pocket so I'll conjecture that before he designed this case he was adjusting his best watches
    in the usual six positions plus pendant up 45 deg left and pendant up 45 deg right rather
    than backwards and forwards as I first suggested.
    Last edited by radger; November 28th, 2010 at 19:11. Reason: are for is

  7. #6
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    Re: Gruen pocketwatch marking for 8 position adjustments

    I have a 40 year profitable hobby with watches. Another with older acoustic guitars; not so profitable. I do not keep everything I buy, cannot afford to. The odd Lemania came from son of original owner who let an old lady estate saler price it at $40. even with gold case. A bunch of buyers an hour ahead of me ignored it. Looking for Rolexes I suppose. I bought my wife a Gucci bag at a sale $20. It was a divorce sale and the seller disappeared before my wife found a small genuine Rolex in it. Do not need to be rich just old and lucky.

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    Re: Gruen pocketwatch marking for 8 position adjustments

    Radger: So I guess any temp adjusts do not affect position performance. Shows what I know. So your reasoning is the only answer. Very good. I have noticed that except for one 19j round case all seen have been in pentagon cases. Your analysis also explains why most movements not marked that way and why pentagons cost more. Thus the 8 position marking would have started in 1922 and ended with pentagon case sales. Also it seems Fred Gruen did not believe his advertisers that pentagon cases kept upright position in the pocket. Fine aswer to a long standing question.
    Last edited by artb; November 28th, 2010 at 18:55.

  9. #8
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen pocketwatch marking for 8 position adjustments

    Quote Originally Posted by artb View Post
    Radger: So I guess any temp adjusts do not affect position performance. Shows what I know. So your reasoning is the only answer. Very good. I have noticed that except for one 19j round case all seen have been in pentagon cases.
    Well temperature adjustment done after the fact could well affect positional performance if the balance were put
    out of poise but the sequence at the factory would be to poise the balance and then correct for any losing or gaining
    due to temperature, by moving the temperature screws in pairs. Should the watch gain in heat it will be necessary to
    move screws from the cut end towards the fixed end and vice versa. That being done then the positional tests and
    adjustments are carried out and the corrections for mean time would be made with the quarter screws or by screws in
    the 'unaffected' area on the balance rim.

    I don't think my reasoning will be the 'only' answer, it may or may not be correct, I'm sure others will have their own
    ideas.
    Youl'd think gruen would have made play of this in early advertising bumf if they truly were
    adjusting their watches to eight 'different' positions...... interesting.

  10. #9
    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen pocketwatch marking for 8 position adjustments

    that movement is stunning ;) thanks for sharing
    Omega the sign of Excellence since 1848. Jaeger Le Coultre Horlogerie de Luxe depuis 1833
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    Omega and Rolex for ever
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  11. #10
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    Re: Gruen pocketwatch marking for 8 position adjustments

    Radger: A collector I also respect tentatively had your explanation for the Gruen 8 positions. There are a lot of pentagon cases without the 8 position marking. I know it started in 1922 with the pentagon case, but apparently did not last long or was inconsistently done. I believe very rare with 17 and 19j movements. I believe a well intentioned effort by Fred Gruen probably found to be impractical so short lived. I am sure you are right but will not get you involved with any arguments.

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