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Cartouche 366

Mon, 08 February 2021 22:42

Model name: Cartouche 366
Type: Cartouche
Gender: Female

Case Maker: Wads
Case Material: White gold filled
Case Serial: 5408223
Case Style no: 0S-63

Caliber: 165
Movement Maker: Marc Favre, Madretsch
Movement Serial:1434340

Bracelet: Kestenmade. Of period.

Other: Missing crystal.










1920's | 5 comments

Lavina supplying Gallet (Gruen 766)

Tue, 02 February 2021 15:00

Not much discussion of Lavina lately, and scarce info on the forum on the early Lavina calibers like 720, 721. But even less on the caliber 766--have never even seen one actual picture. I wanted to share an interesting specimen, reported as 12 size, finished by Gallet & Co.

It has the characteristic setting bridge on the 720, 750 variants, as well as the Lavina serial number and "Deposé" markings placed exactly as seen on the open-face ones made for Gruen/Premo/WSC. Likely there's a Lavina or Paul William Brack deposé hiding somewhere for this bridge layout.

But this Gallet is Swiss set, so here we also see the setting bits just like the Gruen Caliber 766.

edit: (capturing info) dial-side sn 836156; 17J/3ADJ

Watches from the Guild | 7 comments

March 10, 1925 Patent Box ( & Pat Pending ) with a false bottom.

Sat, 23 January 2021 19:38

Period :Mid 1920-1930
Watch type : ladies
Size :tbd
Inventor :Harold R. Haerr (assigned to Gruen Watch Co)
Patents :66772 (Filed May 20, 1922. Patented March 10, 1925)

Box maker. Unkown.






1920s | 9 comments

Another 885

...and a question about condition; Wed, 20 January 2021 23:37

Members of the collective kindly identified a Gruen Guild 885 movement a couple of weeks ago for me; well, I have found another one (2242 production units later than the first), so I have been able to impress myself with my movement identification sagacity. If anybody knows of a model name, I would love to know.

I would also value opinions about condition. The gold filling is plainly and tragically worn through on the corners of the bezel, which is obviously suboptimal and goes a long way to explaining why I got it in an appropriately priced batch. But I think the age, 1927/8, is such that it at least has some value. So here is the question, which is not specific to this watch: is there a watershed moment before which bad-condition gold filling is, at least to an extent, forgivable, and after which it reduces value to parts/scrap/sentimental only? Perhaps the war, if that can be thought of as a moment? Or perhaps there is no such moment, and badly worn corners are devastating to value however old the watch. Thoughts?

FWIW, The dial and hands look as if they are in reasonable shape, hidden under the badly scratched crystal. And with luck a clean and oil will get it going.


Model Identification and discussion | 6 comments

Caliber 200 & 201

Round, 8.75L, 15J & 16J Factory D & S; Wed, 20 January 2021 15:23

Size: 8 3/4 ligne
Jewels: 15 or 16 (#s only) - possibly cal 200 is 15j, cal 201 is 16j variant
Adjustments: 4 (#s only)
Configuration: hunter
Signed: Gruen W. Co. ("Factory D") or Gruen Guild ("Factory S")
-Factory D - TBD
-Factory S - Straub/Alpina
Example date: ~1919-1921
Serial number(s): front plate only
-Factory D: 38997
-Factory S: unobserved
Dial markings: unobserved


Other info: Re-posting Liz's Factory S "200" variant (with 16J) from previous forum threads. This began its life as an FHF ebauche, but it has a modified setting bridge and custom setting bits--so the usual FHF setting patent is not stamped on it. Noting it, as it explains why the setting bits shown in later movement catalogs (1939, etc.) are different: they reflect a modified/custom version of the "new" FHF setting works patented in late 1926. I doubt this caliber was actually in use past 1926, but Gruen was apparently still buying movements & parts to provide factory repairs.

The caliber database | 2 comments

All of Gruen's standard-production shape pocket watches

Mon, 18 January 2021 17:40

For some time, I have been working on collecting a representative sample of all the shapes of case that Gruen used over the years. There are quite a few. And there would be even more if I included some of the really rare early Swiss ones (spoiler: I don't).

This thread is intended to show each of the regular-production shapes that Gruen made. I exclude all Swiss-made cases to focus only on American cases.

While a number of these shapes were used on both VeriThin and SemiThin production, I will focus on the VeriThins here. At least at first. So, let's get down to business!


The first shape I will present is the Standard Round. Hey, it's a shape too! I present a very early V4 in a case typical of early V-series production. It carries an enamel dial with the old-style logo. Fairly sure that enamel dials are thicker than the later metal ones...


With a serial number of 451089, it is definitely within the first 500 V4 "standard" movements made (probably within the first 100) and dates to c. 1912. All features of later production are here, unlike in the prototypes that came earlier.


The Wadsworth case is incredibly thin, but somehow still fits a dust cover in. The case serial number is extremely low - 311018. The first Wadsworth-Gruen contract numbers appear to start at 300k. (These cases were also used on the LV-series, which accounts for most cases from 300-310k or so.)


As befits a new prestige model, the case has fantastic ornamentation.

The scariest thing about this watch is, that it seems obvious that it could be even thinner with a few small changes! It's already incredible as it is.

Watch Tables | 21 comments

Caliber 615

7.75L, Round, Extra Precision, 16J; Fri, 15 January 2021 03:16

Here’s one I forgot I had—can’t locate movement but stumbled up on old pics. I could never ID until Gary’s post on the Cattin/mystery 8L thread.

Size: 7 3/4 ligne
Jewels: 16 (#s only)
Adjustments: 4 (#s only)
Configuration: hunter
Signed: Gruen W. Co. Suisse
Supplier: unknown (possibly Aegler by the markings)

Example date: ~1913-1915
Serial number(s): has two:
-bridges: 12?223 (perhaps 122223)
-front plate: 2223
Dial markings: unknown (didn’t capture)


The caliber database | 10 comments

Unknown 5th Avenue

325 Quadron; Thu, 14 January 2021 04:14

Model name : unknown
Type : wristwatch
Period/date : 1932
Gender : men's

Case Maker : Gruen 5th Avenue
Case Material : 14k gold
Case Serial : 55123
Case Style no : none

Caliber : 325 21 jewel variant
Movement Maker : Gruen Guild
Movement Serial: 235033
Other: Marked 5 Adjustments






I had no idea what I was getting with this one... it has definitely surpassed expectations, even if it's only a 20 jewel watch at the moment! Anyone got a scrap 21 jewel variant lying around, and if so, can I buy the pallet cap jewel setting?

Did any of these 5th Avenue models have names, or were they all unique?

1930's | 4 comments

March 10, 1925 Patent Box for Strap

Tue, 12 January 2021 21:56

Period :Mid 1920-1930
Watch type :Men's Strap.
Size :tbd
Inventor :Harold R. Haerr (assigned to Gruen Watch Co)
Patents :66772 (Filed May 20, 1922. Patented March 10, 1925)

Box maker. Unkown.






1920s | 3 comments

Quadron 120 (Caliber 485 variant)

Style pair 485-99; Mon, 11 January 2021 15:31

Model name: unknown
Type: Quadron 120
Period/date: ca1934
Gender: Men's

Case Maker: Gruen (House GF line)
Case Material: 10k Gold Filled (stamped "Gruen 10k Gold Filled" on outer caseback edge)
Case Serial: 2,279,103
Case Style no: 99

Caliber: 485
Movement Maker: Alpina / "Guild Watch"
Movement Serial: none on bridges--not brave enough to remove dial

Bracelet: Sturdy gold filled link bracelet with adjustable clasp

Other info: According to the master book, this model was introduced with caliber 681. This is a later, raised gold numeral dial variant, which now uses caliber 485. Some places note 485 was introduced in 1935, but I would say this is earlier, ca. 1934 production. I think 681 may have been discontinued by that time. Of note, there also appears to be a Caliber 179 model that uses Style number 99. Perhaps a lady's variant, or at least a strap variant to use a round caliber? I have never seen an example.


The bracelet fits like a dream. Amazingly lightweight, but a large size for its day. Surprised I haven't seen other examples.

1930's | 1 comment

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