Swiss Mystery - Can you tell vintage makers by looking at movement? Gruen? Longines?
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Thread: Swiss Mystery - Can you tell vintage makers by looking at movement? Gruen? Longines?

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  1. #1
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    Question Swiss Mystery - Can you tell vintage makers by looking at movement? Gruen? Longines?

    Mystery - This watch pictured below is posing a challenge to identify the maker. Prior to posting here I have done lots of digging but am coming up blank on info and watch remains unseen anywhere else. This watch movement would have been made by a Swiss maker for the high end Canadian jewellry store Birks for there in house line known as Rideau. They had enough influence/buying power that all reference to maker is not on movement.

    The marks “Birks”, “17 Jewels”, “Swiss” is there. Inside bottom case reads “Pioneer” (Assuming that’s Pioneer Watch Case Co. but almost zero info out there on them), Scratched in mark read “R 3538 L” (Model/Movement number?), Also, scratched in, what looks like “DG 486” (assuming a previous service date Apr 1986?), On bottom of lugs scratched in “291” on one and “154M” on another.


    It’s possible this is a rebranded version of an existing model in a watchmakers line. There are some Gruen models I have seen from late 40’s early 50’s that are close only. It’s also possible the Swiss movement was put into a case chosen by the jeweller that didn’t exist in the line of any maker.


    The closest visual that I am identifying with is Gruen watches (a 420 or a 422 movement?) Also, some Longines look similar. Do any of these clues and pictures help any members here make any guesses or conclusions? Please let me know if anything comes to mind, any ideas appreciated. Thank you.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Swiss Mystery - Can you tell vintage makers by looking at movement? Gruen? Longines?

    Looks like an ETA cal. 900 (10.5 ligne) or 930 (11.5 ligne).
    Last edited by Gumby992; 5 Days Ago at 19:44.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Swiss Mystery - Can you tell vintage makers by looking at movement? Gruen? Longines?

    Hi there,

    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyLux View Post
    ...Do any of these clues and pictures help any members here make any guesses or conclusions?
    No guess, but a conclusion:
    bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: ETA 900

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
    LuckyLux likes this.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Swiss Mystery - Can you tell vintage makers by looking at movement? Gruen? Longines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gumby992 View Post
    Looks like an ETA cal. 900 (10.5 ligne) or 930 (11.5 ligne).
    BINGO! Thank you very much! Seems so simple now. I will report back here once I have more details. This now may shoot me down the Bulova track as they used a ETA 900 movement marked as 10BA

  6. #5
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    Re: Swiss Mystery - Can you tell vintage makers by looking at movement? Gruen? Longines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Ranfft View Post
    Hi there,


    No guess, but a conclusion:
    bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: ETA 900

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
    Thank you Doctor! I was researching after the first note by Gumby992 and one of the first pictures was yours. Then I came back to the forum to discover your note. Thank you for such an amazing archive. Conclusive :)
    Last edited by Hartmut Richter; 5 Days Ago at 00:56.

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