A real Gruen 12 size p.w. NOT

Thread: A real Gruen 12 size p.w. NOT

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  1. #1
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    A real Gruen 12 size p.w. NOT

    Recently have the scarce Madretsch marked of 1905-10 U.S. size 12. Has same fine design and appearance as the others made in 0s, 6s, and 16s. Noticeably bigger than the common popular Gruens commonly called 12 size although only 0.01" bigger than 10s. Shown here with Louis 14th dial Semithin Gruen Guild 10s 1918. Also with a 1917 Verithin mvnt. Added 16s with 0s photo for comparison.

    CORRECTION: Measurement by Thojil prompted me to also carefully measure the so called 12s to be same diameter as the 17 ligne Verithin. Bigger only because a little thicker.
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    Last edited by artb; January 30th, 2011 at 12:41. Reason: correction

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    Re: A real Gruen 12 size p.w.

    Quote Originally Posted by artb View Post
    Louis 14th dial
    Art, what material is this dial. I notice it was a $5 premium in the 1918 guild book. I see yours shows tarnish.

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    Re: A real Gruen 12 size p.w.

    I have several variations of these dials patented by Fred Gruen. They seem to be gold alloy plate with printed numbers, or solid gold numbers. Both numbers and surfaces can be discolored with age so low gold content alloys. The center area looks hand or machine carved fairly deeply. A reason to use low alloy gold. I am not sure where made. I saw one of the best variations on a Swiss Vacheron 17 ligne size watch (Verithin size) so inclined to think Swiss made. Cheapest version photo. Looks hand worked to me.
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    Last edited by artb; January 18th, 2011 at 13:38.

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    Re: A real Gruen 12 size p.w.

    Hi Art,

    Interesting, I wasn't aware there was such quality variation in the Louis 14th dials. Do you know the reason for this? Was it early vs late or derived from the quality of the watch it was being ordered for? Seems the cost was flat rate on the dial options, so perhaps the optional ones were all lower quality.

    Sadly my only one is only a little better than the cheapest one you show above, so I guess the basic option. Still, even in this form they are beautiful things, and I very much enjoy the one I have.

    Kris.

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    Re: A real Gruen 12 size p.w.

    I think Fred was not an engineer like father Dietrich, but a g ood promoter for case and dial designs that were popular for the time.I have 3 of the L. 14th. All have lost a lot of their lustre to aging. The best one is on solid gold special cased 1919 gift which is larger diameter than usual Verithin case and with 3 colors of gold, hard to see because of aging, in center area and 2 color around edge. There is printing on it so not a simple matter to reclaim its brilliance. Any suggestions? Why does this case have hinged glass front?

    On this special large gold watch it would be a special probably made by the Swiss supplier of the usual dials I do not know how to define.
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    Last edited by artb; January 23rd, 2011 at 23:31.

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    Re: A real Gruen 12 size p.w.

    That is indeed beautiful. I see what you mean by the difference between Dietrich and Fred. Somehow I can see your watch going to a museum conservator. Not sure I would like to see it looking new. But you and I often differ on this point.

    My apologies for derailing this thread into a discussion of L.14 dials.

    I looked again at mine, and is definitely and slightly disappointingly the same grade L. 14th as your cheapest above. Octi-thin, I think 1916-17, need to double check my memory. Photos here for your comparison.



    Not the best grade of their production, but still Adj 5 pos and temperatures V4. Fun shape, so worth a place in my early collection.

    Last edited by trim; January 24th, 2011 at 00:15.

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    Re: A real Gruen 12 size p.w.

    Appreciate your showing a very good one. The one I show magnified has really poor printing. It seems these were all hand carved. Never
    saw 2 with the same pattern. Maybe they used a pantograph? And had a lot of patterns. Definitely cut, not pressed. Yours is a majority opinion about refinishing and cleaning and the old even surface looks good on yours. I assume you have noticed how old Brit 18k dials stay bright. Also easier to clean without printing on most.
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