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Paper box Gruen Time Hill

Tue, 11 February 2020 21:38

On the outer box is a picture of the front page of the Gruen book “A worthy Company of watchmakers”. This book is from 1918. The inner box is also made of cardboard. Missing the watch holder.

Period : 1918 - 1928?
Watch type : ladies silk ribbon wristlet (educated guess)
Size : outer box (H=4cm W=11cm D=7.5cm), inner box (H=3.8cm W=10.1cm D=5.4cm)
Inventor : unknown
Patents : unknown

Box maker : Dennison Mfg Company
Impressed in the bottom of the inner box is “Dennison maker”. The Dennison Mfg. Company started in 1844 when Aaron Dennison (a Boston jeweller) began to make paper boxes. His father (Andrew) and he made a machine to facilitatie the making of cardboard boxes. At the time most jewel boxes were imported. In 1863 the company produced lots of paper stuff (jewelry tages, display cards) and in 1914 crepe paper. One of the sales offices was in Cincinnati. Today the factory still exists in combination with Avery.


1910s and prior | 4 comments

template for BOX description

Tue, 11 February 2020 21:17

Please copy the fields below and paste into your post. Attach your pictures and fill out as many fields as you can. Look at other member posts for examples.
Tip: use a SHORT distuinguished descriptive name in your Title.


Watch type:

Box maker:

[Picture Outer box]
[Picture outside]
[Picture inside]
[Picture bottom]
[Picture paperwork]
[Picture ad]

1910s and prior | 0 comments

Caliber 650 (Guild)

17J, 17’’’; Tue, 11 February 2020 04:31

Caliber 650
Maker: edit: Record Dreadnought
Size: 17L
Jewels: 17 (#s only, pre-1922 tariff)
Adjustments: 4 at introduction, reduced to 3 by end of 1921
Dial release: side screws
Dial feet: 10 & 5

Some mentions of this caliber recently, so wanted to share 2 examples in hopes of learning more about it. This caliber appears to have been introduced at the end of 1920/beginning of 1921. When first introduced, it had 4 adjustments, and the serial number stamped on the bridges, in addition to identical sn on the front plate. The earliest Gruen version I’ve seen is sn 101874 that recently sold on the bay—this may have been a first run for Gruen. The earliest cased version I’ve seen is sn 103037 (still w/4 adj & bridge sn), in Gruen/Wadsworth-signed Ultra Qual case # 360419. That puts it at mid-1921, which along with the caliber # stamp on all examples I’ve seen is why i say it may have gone into use in 1921, with first production maybe at the end of 1920. The serial numbers accelerate quickly, seemingly far beyond Gruens usage, so likely it was the common maker’s sn series, not exclusive to Gruen. Hoping others can share any similar examples.

Seemingly still in 1921, this movement was redesigned to 3 adjustments and no sn on the bridges, possibly only a few months after introduction.

Here’s an early example, circa early 1921. Sn 102809, 4 adj. Silver dial stamped “650”. There is an obscured mark between bridges next the “650” stamp that resembles the overlapped “HC” Russbach Hanni logo shown on mikrolisk, but TBD if there is any relationship.


The caliber database | 6 comments

Caliber 740 (Premo, WSC, Guild) - 17J & 19J variants

17’’’ Pocket, extra thin/semi-thin; Fri, 07 February 2020 05:20

Size: 17L
Jewels: originally 17J, later 19J
Config: open face
Negative setting mechanism
Dial release: side screws
Dial holes: 1 & 6 positions
Maker: unknown (same maker as 750 semi-thin series)
Adjustments: 5

Here is one of the later Guild 19J variants. Stamped 740. Circa 1922. Sn 1104688. Silver dial by Zelim Jacot

Note that the 750 series semis follow this front plate number series—but a back plate sn appears on them by 1121000 (front plate). BUT the back plate # is a different series, not a shortened version of the front plate #. For example, the 758 with front plate # 1121471 bears # 16740 on the back (bridges).


The caliber database | 10 comments

Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild

10.5 ligne, 15 jewels; Sat, 01 February 2020 04:08

This caliber appears to have been introduced in 1922, possibly even late 1922. They have pre-1922 tariff markings, but there was a grace period. It’s the only Factory R stamped caliber I’ve seen yet, and the timing would make it one of the later “Factory X” stamps to come into use. But I do find evidence Factory R may have been a Gruen supplier earlier, just didn’t have or use the stamp until 1922. Perhaps a renaming/reorganization—remains to be seen.

These are stamped “640” between plates by the dial screw. All examples I’ve seen are the hunter variant, all marked “641” on the dial back. So they’re stamped for the base 640 open face caliber, the 641 the hunter variant.

Dials are made by Singer SA, all dials bear “107” stamp, which I believe could be Singer’s customer number/reference for Factory R. “107” appears on other much larger Singer dials at this time, too—like the 650. Hope to share an example soon.

Example 1:
Sn (front plate): 11454 (also has a partial “2” stamped to one side)
Markings: 15 jewels, 2 adj. (#s only)


The caliber database | 14 comments

Caliber 1721 (Gruen Alpina Gilde) - 19’’’

17J, Open Face, Flat hairspring; Sat, 01 February 2020 02:47

Here’s one I hadn’t seen before, I presume one of the “white label” Gruens from the Alpina Gilde days. But could be earlier. Wasn’t sure where to post since it’s not listed in the Gruen material catalogs, but going with the Gruen database since it’s stamped as a Gruen. Pardon the front plate appearance—dial was glued on!! Mad

19 ligne, 17 jewels.

Dr. Ranfft shows the Alpina 1721 is equivalent to the Moeris 19D, so lots of info/details there. His example is listed as 1925, but I think it’s maybe a later version, given the regulator.

He says this movement came in either Breguet or flat hairspring. This Gruen looks to be the flat variant.



The caliber database | 2 comments

Liberty Khaki Strap Box

1918; Mon, 06 January 2020 18:40

I got this from eBay the other week:

The strap is also shown in the ad here: mp;a mp;goto=1426&#msg_1426

I'd love to see an original one. I snagged an original WWI strap with the J.F. Sturdy buckle. The site also shows the Gruen "Liberty strap": LINK. I've been able to make reproductions of both. the Gruen one, is far simplier than the others. Seems to be just a simple buckle:


Anyone have an original?

1910s and prior | 1 comment

Caliber 861 -- Factory L -- and a magic show

6.5'" 16J; Sat, 14 December 2019 19:40

Maker: Factory L
Size: 6.5 ligne
Jewel Markings: 16 Jewels
Adj Markings: 4 Adj
Config: Hunter
Dial feet: 1 & 6.25 positions
Dial release mech: side screws
Example date: late 1922-1923

Sister caliber to the 849. Note the difference in train jewel orientation on back plate, setting bits and layout on front plate. This is a later version, now no longer marked "Gruen Watch Co" or "Gruen Watch Co Factory L" but transitioned to "Gruen Guild". This would be ca. 1923, possibly later 1922. Apologies for the poor quality photos of the back plate, it's currently fully disassembled for service, so can't get better for now.

Note that the machining Gruen did to remove any maker's marks has also totally effaced the Serial Number on this one. A little magic trick happened when I viewed the pic I took at the watchmaker's yesterday--some of the maker's stampings that were machined off the front plate by Gruen partially re-emerged! If you look closely at the front plate pic: by the click spring you can see writing ending in "Co.", and more writing in lower/left center. I assure you, these marks are ground completely away and cannot be seen by the eye or under a loup (I also find evidence of machining down on my 849s). No matter what I did, I could not replicate this. Now you know where to look for any remnants on yours--best of luck! So close to Factory L, but so far!

Any forensic science hobbyists out there? Or any idea of the base metal of these plates? I know there are reagents that can make all these stamps reappear clearly.




The caliber database | 4 comments

Caliber 849 - 6.5L, 16J - Factory L

6.5'" 16J; Thu, 05 December 2019 03:11

Maker: Factory L
Size: 6.5 ligne
Jewel Markings: 16 Jewels
Adj Markings: 4 Adj
Config: Hunter
Dial feet: 12.5 & 6 positions
Dial release mech: side screws
Example date: your guess as good as mine... 1918-1920?

Other markings: front plate--"27" lot code & "42796" (sn), "Depose"; back of dial engraved "45252"; signed "Gruen Watch Co"





The caliber database | 18 comments

Caliber 96 (United Watch Co + Gruen Guarantee)

Marc Favre, 10L, OF, 15J; Tue, 03 December 2019 23:47

Maker: Marc Favre
Size: 10 ligne
Config: Open Face
Dial feet: 10.5 & 4.5 positions
Dial release mech: side screws
Example date: ca. 1912
Variants: sister Caliber 97 (possibly hunter config?)

The Caliber date table I've seen lists the introduction date for Caliber 96 as 1917. That is not the case. Here is an early version, made 1912-1913, marked "United W. Co" & "Guarantee Gruen" (transitional, pre-"Gruen Guarantee"). Back plate stamped "Fifteen 15 Jewels", not marked for adjustments. Front plate stamped with lot code "24". Ceramic dial, back marked only "Suisse".


I've noted later examples, with cases stamped "96", and here is the image from the 1939 parts catalog:


The caliber database | 16 comments

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