Gruen "Vintage" Legit?

Thread: Gruen "Vintage" Legit?

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  1. #1

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    Gruen "Vintage" Legit?

    I want to buy my first vintage watch and start up a collection. I really like the look of this watch (and other older Gruens as well as Hamiltons) the dealer seems reputable and says it has been "restored." I'm guessing that means the dial has been refinished. Does such a restoration lower the value of a watch? Is this worth more than $150-200?

    Thanks!
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    Last edited by Unicron500; January 15th, 2008 at 21:51.

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen "Vintage" Legit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unicron500 View Post
    ...
    I'm guessing that means the dial has been refinished. Does such a restoration lower the value of a watch?

    Is this worth more than $150-200?
    lower the value: Yes... but sometimes you have to do it if the dial was a disaster. It looks like a nice clean job.

    Is this worth: Only if someone will pay that for it...


    But John will soon be around and will give definitive answers ... except on the valuation. That's not done here... see the sitckies (beat you to it John!)

    Gruens and Hamiltons are WONDERFUL watches to start with (and even end with) in vintage collecting. They were the best of their era and can be had for close to their original selling price!!

    My watchmaker's eyes just lit up when I brought in my first Hamilton. He just loves working on them. (He's doing a COA on a family heirloom 1940 Hamilton... I was amazed it even worked let alone kept accurate time after sitting in a drawer for 30 years... "Of course, it's a Hamilton!" he said.)

  3. #3
    Member pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen "Vintage" Legit?

    It looks like a really fine, restored example - - maybe late 1920s even. I would also make sure the inside of the caseback is also Gruen signed. Great pick!
    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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    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen "Vintage" Legit?

    I think you've got pretty good advice so far. Tom may be right and it could be 1920s although I was thinking more 1930s.
    JohnF is our Gruen expert so I'll leave it up to him for the definitive answer.
    Note that a good dial restoration - while it may lower value - is not of real concern unless you are investing in very high end watches. All that matters is if you enjoy the vintage piece. Just make sure it's serviced and in good running condition. Generally we don't advise anyone to redo the dial unless it's illegible, but in this case...
    And you can't go wrong with Hamiltons - all American ones that is.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  6. #5

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    Re: Gruen "Vintage" Legit?

    Thanks for the replies guys, I'm guessing its really hard to get a good "deal" on a vintage watch since most dealers probably know what they are worth before they list them. This would be a daily wearer though, I like the look of it, here's to hoping I get it for a decent price!

  7. #6
    Member pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen "Vintage" Legit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unicron500 View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys, I'm guessing its really hard to get a good "deal" on a vintage watch since most dealers probably know what they are worth before they list them. This would be a daily wearer though, I like the look of it, here's to hoping I get it for a decent price!
    Not true. Or rather, it's true that SOME dealers don't know what they're selling. Just today I took delivery on a Hamilton I bought for a fraction of it's value. Fortunately for me, the seller didn't state the model name (rare and desirable) in his listing. If he had, it would have drawn the collector crowd. The cheap expansion band in the photos also served to obscure its identity.
    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)


  8. #7
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    Re: Gruen "Vintage" Legit?

    Tom,
    Is it true there is a thin line between jealousy and hate?

    Remembering your recent beautiful aquisitions (Hammy Wilshire and Longines), I would hate you if i hadn't had my first winner with a NOS Lord Elgin.

    So I'll settle for jealous...
    John

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    Member pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen "Vintage" Legit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freddo_in_Oz View Post
    Tom,
    Is it true there is a thin line between jealousy and hate?

    Remembering your recent beautiful aquisitions (Hammy Wilshire and Longines), I would hate you if i hadn't had my first winner with a NOS Lord Elgin.

    So I'll settle for jealous...
    John
    See PM...
    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)


  10. #9
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Gruen "Vintage" Legit?

    Hi -

    It's a lovely restored late 1920s/early 1930s vintage Gruen. The "Gruen Guild" movement is of particular interest, as it dates from the cooperation that Gruen and several other companies had with Aegler, who of course was in turn acquired by Rolex: this is not your average movement.

    Hard to identify the actual movement, though, as Gruen destroyed its documentation in a fit of corporate stupidity after a management buy-out in the late 1950s. Ranfft only has the 876 movement in his database, but this is definitely not one of those.

    Now to the dial. While it's always best to have a perfect unrestored dial, this is one of the better redials I've seen: very, very clean from the photo. The hands are period and work very, very, well: the seconds hand is a tad beat, but that is par for the course.

    Congratulations on an excellent find. We don't, of course, do valuations, Having the restored face does hit the resale value significantly, but given the high quality of the movement it should continue to command a decent price.

    JohnF
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  11. #10

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    Re: Gruen "Vintage" Legit?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnF View Post
    Hi -

    It's a lovely restored late 1920s/early 1930s vintage Gruen. The "Gruen Guild" movement is of particular interest, as it dates from the cooperation that Gruen and several other companies had with Aegler, who of course was in turn acquired by Rolex: this is not your average movement.

    Hard to identify the actual movement, though, as Gruen destroyed its documentation in a fit of corporate stupidity after a management buy-out in the late 1950s. Ranfft only has the 876 movement in his database, but this is definitely not one of those.

    Now to the dial. While it's always best to have a perfect unrestored dial, this is one of the better redials I've seen: very, very clean from the photo. The hands are period and work very, very, well: the seconds hand is a tad beat, but that is par for the course.

    Congratulations on an excellent find. We don't, of course, do valuations, Having the restored face does hit the resale value significantly, but given the high quality of the movement it should continue to command a decent price.

    JohnF
    Thanks for the great info John. Unfortunately I didn't win the auction, it went for $300. Here is another restored one but the dial doesn't look as nice as the first one:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA:IT&ih=011

    I would probably be willing to shell out 300 bucks for such a nice watch but the bright green numerals ruin it IMHO. I guess I wait!

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