Gruen and Rolex Similarity
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  1. #1
    Member evozine's Avatar
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    Gruen and Rolex Similarity

    I was just comparing two of my vintage watches: Rolex 6564 & Gruen 23 precision powerdate.

    What they have in common:
    -To the untrained eye, these two watches have lots in common, similar dial colors, hands, etc.
    -The case size and metal also appear to be very close.

    What is different:
    -The Rolex movement has a superior feel to the winding mechanism
    -The larger Rolex crown makes it much easier to wind.
    -The Rolex caseback is boring, the Gruen caseback is just more unique.
    -The cost***, The rolex is priced 10x times of the Gruen.

    It's hard to stomach that the Rolex is worth ten times the Gruen, as the Gruen has
    a lot to offer with the date complication and basic overall feel as this Rolex model.

    I recognize the value of Rolex brand, and I drawn to any vintage brand, such as this Gruen when I see one in person...,
    I guess this means I am hooked on Vintage Watches... !
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  2. #2
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen and Rolex Similarity

    While I don't dispute any of your observations, you're comparing purely the aesthetic components. Even at that, the textured dial of the rRolex (even "aged" like yours) is considered a "step up" compared to your Gruen, and the Rolex is in a Oyster case; good waterproofing with a screwdown crown. Moreover, there's that little "chronometer" tag on your Rolex; which isn't to say that the Gruen wouldn't also have passed chronometer certification, but the Rolex actually did. The quality of the engine inside is what makes the real difference. Gruen made a broad range of qualities, and in their later years a lot of the "high end" terms got rather watered down in the name of marketing. So (from a vintage perspective), when you buy a Gruen, you have to know what you're buying to be sure that you're getting one of their quality products. With the Rolex (notwithstanding the "fake" problems), you know that if it says Rolex, it's a quality piece.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  3. #3
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen and Rolex Similarity

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    ... With the Rolex (notwithstanding the "fake" problems), you know that if it says Rolex, it's a quality piece.
    Well, you know for sure it is expensive!

    I love the brand's casing technology... I'll say that for them. And it has a big fan following... That holds up prices. Yes it is quality. Good as almost any and better than most.

    But cost consious collectors such as myself do seem to avoid them... you can buy a lot of interesting watches for the price of one Rolex... (The same thing can be said for avoiding new watches!)

    (Oh ... are we opening up another one of these Rolex bashings?? Let's see if Vintage can handle this thread better than Public... LOL)
    "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!

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  5. #4
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen and Rolex Similarity

    Quote Originally Posted by evozine View Post
    I was just comparing two of my vintage watches: Rolex 6564 & Gruen 23 precision powerdate.

    What they have in common:
    -To the untrained eye, these two watches have lots in common, similar dial colors, hands, etc.
    Strange I can not see anything in common except they both tell the time.

    That Rolex is an EXCEPTIONAL looking piece - just look at the quality of the dial. The Gruen on the other hand looks a poor reworked dial.

    Sorry that Rolex (dial and case) + OYSTER + CHRONOMETER = Pure Quality,
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
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  6. #5
    Member JackW's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen and Rolex Similarity

    I think you will find that this Gruen is the top of the line for the period it was offered. The case, while some watch aficionados may not immediately see it, it was most likely produced by Taubert and fils: LINK I'm not aware of a better case maker at the time.

    Cary H, suggests that the Cal 560 was an in-house caliber: LINK

    The Gruen certainly isn't a pile of 'crud' which seems to be the subtext in the above posts.
    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."

  7. #6
    Member sherwoodschwartz's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen and Rolex Similarity

    Quote Originally Posted by HOROLOGIST007 View Post
    Strange I can not see anything in common except they both tell the time.

    That Rolex is an EXCEPTIONAL looking piece - just look at the quality of the dial. The Gruen on the other hand looks a poor reworked dial.

    Sorry that Rolex (dial and case) + OYSTER + CHRONOMETER = Pure Quality,
    adam, where do you get off calling that a poor re-worked dial? it's one thing to beleive the rolex is of a superior quality. fine. but it's another to poop on a nice watch with little to back it up.

  8. #7
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen and Rolex Similarity

    That PARTICULAR Gruen is very very nice, I agree. My point was that like many companies, Gruen sold watches that ranged from low to high grade, which (from a vintage perspective) lowers the "average" perception of quality, which is one of the reasons that a high-end vintage Gruen can't even come close to the price of a vintage Tudor, let alone a Rolex.

    Which is good for those of us who know better! ;)
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  9. #8
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen and Rolex Similarity

    Quote Originally Posted by sherwoodschwartz View Post
    adam, where do you get off calling that a poor re-worked dial? it's one thing to beleive the rolex is of a superior quality. fine. but it's another to poop on a nice watch with little to back it up.
    Just MY opinion
    If that is Gruens best dial? I think not.
    Is it equal to Rolex > No not in my opinion.
    Did I say the "GRUEN WAS a re-worked dial"? No. I said "it LOOKED a reworked dial"

    And I have written articles on BOTH Gruen as a GREAT company and Rolex as 'not'
    BUT
    Do 'these' watches compare? In my opinion NOT at all. Sorry
    @ JackW
    We were NOT comparing movements here but looks
    And in MY opinion. That Rolex would OUTsell the GRUEN in seconds

    A
    Last edited by HOROLOGIST007; June 10th, 2013 at 22:07. Reason: sp and response JaackW
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  10. #9
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen and Rolex Similarity

    Quote Originally Posted by HOROLOGIST007 View Post
    Did I say the "GRUEN WAS a re-worked dial"? No. I said "it LOOKED a reworked dial"
    No... what you said was....

    Quote Originally Posted by HOROLOGIST007 View Post
    The Gruen on the other hand looks a poor reworked dial.
    Which is your opinion... fair enough! But, not sure why you would think its a 'poor reworked dial'? The Taubert & Fils patented 'Vacuum' case always appears to preserve these dials very well... and thats from the few I have handled (that shotgun technique to collecting paying off again....).

    But I agree.... its not really the best comparison between these 2 watches.

    Market value.... always going to be the Rolex...

    Value for money... has to be the Gruen.

    But thats just my opinion!
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

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  11. #10
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Gruen and Rolex Similarity

    Rolex vs. Gruen? Or even Rolex vs. the rest? Ye ol' topic?

    While I think that Rolex make top notch watches, I do not consider them better than a few of their peers in terms of durability, accuracy or even value for money. In the old days, make that Zenith, Omega, Longines, nowadays, replace Longines with LeCoultre. And possibly slightly below one or two of those.

    So, when I see Rolex chronographs from the sixties or seventies - Daytonas, manual, steel case, generic Valjoux 72 or 72C watches that are purely objectively not much or even any better than other watches with that movement from the same age - going at the higher class auctions (Christies, Sothebys, etc.) for around half a million US$, i.e. around 100 times (!!) what they are objectively worth (i.e. what other such watches without "Rolex" on the dial go for), I can only shake my head in disbelief at the suckers that fall for the hype. There is simply no way that such prices can be justified objectively. When on top of that I can see a large number of the sort of people one wouldn't want to associate with (pimps, mafiosi or just plain obnoxious show offs) going out of their way to wear a Rolex, I decide that it isn't really the watch for me. There are definitely good reasons for wearing a Rolex, but it can give me absolutely nothing I can't have elsewhere without all the associated hassle.

    Hartmut Richter
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