Gruen Precision

Thread: Gruen Precision

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  1. #1
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Gruen Precision

    This Gruen Precision arrived with a Speidel USA Twist-O-Flex gold plated bracelet, and first impression was not good. Changing into a leather band improved the appearance a lot.

    The case is 32 mm 10K gold filled and stamped inside ‘Cased and timed in USA by Gruen Watch Co’. It opens from the front, the crystal with bezel comes off first, then the dial with movement. The movement is a Gruen Veri-Thin 435 with screw balance, and this I believe should date the watch to the 1940ies rather than the fifties which was my first thought. I would like to get some opinions on this.

    Erik_H



    Back of 32 mm case is stamped 'Gruen 10K gold filled'.


    Case is also stamped 435 with reference to the movement.


    The back of the dial has some discoloring, but the movement looks to be in good order.


    It may need some polishing, but overall condition is good.

  2. #2
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen Precision

    Well this is JohnFs area but I do agree it's from the 1940s. After World War II Swiss watches coming into the USA were marked unadjusted for tariff reasons (of course they were adjusted.)

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  3. #3
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen Precision

    Hi -

    Lovely!

    I would also place it during the 1940s, but more likely during the war years: the hands are one indicator, but also the use of the 435, which really belongs in a square watch, rather than this one. However, the case and all are correct and original, reflecting that this was a mid-tier watch in the Gruen collection and given the relative difficulty of getting movements out of Switzerland during the war - this was done, but it meant a lot of paperwork, etc. - companies would maximize what they could do with the materials at hand.

    Hence the use of the 435, which is a lovely VeriThin movement. According to Ranfft, the 435 is identical to the 440 Curvex movement, but with a straight backplate instead of the curved backplate of the 440; manufacturing was between 1940 and 1948, which places the manufacturing rather directly into that WW2 period and the immediate post-war period.

    And the condition of the face is fantastic: the hands do not have any luminescent filling, which also points to a civilian wartime watch, while the area of the hands is maximized to increase their visibility.

    Lovely! Do you know its servicing history, i.e. when it was last worked on? It looks like the case could use just a tad polishing, but outside of that: outstanding! How is the accuracy? This calibre is not shabby at all, but rather a very high quality calibre, and you should be getting excellent performance from it...

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

    Thanks for the help Ray and JohnF.

    The watch was serviced by watchmaker in USA in April 2007 according to the seller. Anyway the first thing I did after receiving it was to bring it to my own watchmaker where we opened it together. He checked it and assured me it was good to use. So far it has been running for 24 hours, I did not make an attempt to syncronize it to the second but I see no deviation from true time today. I will let it run for the next week and see.

    Here with my other Precision of different origin.


    Erik_H

  6. #5
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen Precision

    Hi -

    Yes, you've made the connection! At one point, Rolex and Gruen used the same calibres in their doctor's watches from the 1930s, and today the Rolex administrative offices are in the old Gruen Precision watch factory.

    If only Gruen had kept its records and if only the company had not lost its way, then Gruen would be as collectible as Rolex. But it didn't, and it did, and now they're fantastic watches for relatively little money, that no one appears to want. A real shame...but good for Gruen collectors!

    JohnF
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