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stainless steel Curvex

Sat, 21 November 2015 16:05

Model name : Unknown
Type : Curvex
Period/date : 1935
Gender : mens

Case Maker : unknown Swiss
Case Material : stainless stamped Staybrite
Case Serial : 21690
Case Style no : na

Caliber : 311
Movement Maker : Gruen
Movement Serial: 365725

Bracelet : na

Other info :

This is the watch that I bought from Mark (on the Vintage Watch Forums) earlier this week. He had little info on the history of the watch (i.e., previous owner, service history, etc). He got it in a lot that he purchased which had Hamilton's in it that he was after. In buying it, I apparently poached it out from under afire as he was thinking on it. Sorry...

The watch features a stainless steel case and is a Curvex. I knew stainless cased Curvexes existed; once had an exchange with Cary a loooooooooong time ago about them and that they are not particularly common as Curvexes go. The unfortunate aspect on it is the dial. It most assuredly isn't original and as vintage redials go... it ain't the best one. Back channel discussions with afire indicate that there is likely little info to be had on the design that was originally there. ...but there are certainly designs on other watches that are likely what the redial was going for. It shouldn't be too far off as long as the dial wasn't swapped at some point. Which is possible but I'll likely never know. Afire also mentioned to me that a good chunk of the stainless Curvex watches he has seen were Alpina's.

This is the only Curvex in my collection. I have had one before, but sold it. That one was a cal 440 in a GF case (on sterling)... This one in my opinion really is a "true" Curvex as it is representative of the long style that Gruen did in the 1930s with the 311's and 330s. This one lug-tip to lug-tip is 44mm long. That 440 was square and not unlike the contemporaneous veri-thin I had too.

Mark sold it to me as running... it does but the action on it is a tad slow so it'll get a COA before it goes into the wear rotation. On that note... it'll be some months. The watch I have on the bench now will be the last I do before packing up the shop to move. My wife and I bought a house.

As to the date: The movement serial fits square between two 311's in the database that both had 1935 dates engraved. Certainly Gruen was't casing things sequentially, but considering those dated watches, the short run on the 311's and the case material (absent the trademarked Guildite), I fell comfortable with being somewhat precise in the year.

For fun, here is the stainless steel triad of the Gruen's flagship wrist watches: Curvex, Quadron, and Pan American.


1930's | 14 comments

Strap 79

Sat, 21 November 2015 06:35

Model name : Strap 79
Type : Wristwatch
Period/date : Circa 1925
Gender : Men's

Case Maker : Unknown Swiss
Case Material : 14k Green Gold
Case Serial : 17548
Case Style no : N/A

Caliber : 885
Movement Maker : Fontainmelon
Movement Serial: 130334
Hand engraved case. Original crown. Fired enamel dial print, including Switzerland marking. Massive case, 42x26mm. Frank Haverfield had excellent taste.

1920's | 9 comments

Precision style 1065

Tue, 17 November 2015 14:21

Model name : (1)065
Type : Precision
Period/date : 1958?
Gender : Men's

Case Maker :
Case Material : Gold on steel
Case Serial : D893233
Case Style no : none

Caliber : 452SS
Movement Maker : unknown
Movement Serial: none

Bracelet :

Other info : I had to pay too much for this, but I liked the lugs and dial, so resistance was futile. Needs a new strap, but otherwise looked good. Arrived running, with the correct time.


1950's and Up | 2 comments

Veri-Thin Princeton

Fri, 30 October 2015 16:15

Model name : Veri-Thin Princeton
Type : Veri-Thin
Period/date : 1944
Gender : Male

Case Maker : Star Watch Case Co.
Case Material : 10k gold fill bezel, case back sterling on sterling
Case Serial : 1009817
Case Style no : 523

Caliber : 405
Movement Maker : Gruen
Movement Serial: 100046

Bracelet : Leather

Other info : Identified from ad on page 133 in Mike & Shari's 1940's book "A Decade of Watches from the Daily News" Interesting to see the "sterling on sterling" label on the case back. 1944...seeing that the Star Watch Case Co. was also using sterling in lieu of nickel for their casing during the war?




1940's | 3 comments

Gruen Carmen

Tue, 06 October 2015 09:55

Model name :Carmen
Type :Precision
Period/date :1950's
Gender :Ladies

Case Maker :Gruen
Case Material :10K GF
Case Serial :
Case Style no :

Caliber :275
Movement Maker :
Movement Serial:

Bracelet :

My mom has passed away so I don't have any information other than this. She received the watch in her late teens/early 20's which would have put it around 1950. She won one of the diamonds and my father bought the other diamond and had them set in the watch. Hopefully the pictures will help with identification. I just had it overhauled but didn't ask the store for any information from the inside of the watch. Thanks for any help given. Ruth


1950's and Up | 4 comments

Alpinas, but not Gruen

Is it OK to post non-Gruen watches here??; Sun, 04 October 2015 14:33

Ironic my first post in this particular section, Watch Tables, would be for non-Gruen watches.

In this case they are new Alpinas I just got! Quite literally new... New Old Stock.

At the moment I have two Alpinas and one Universal Geneve.

you can see them here
(dang I wish embedding was enabled). I'll put them into the message at a later date... for the moment they are in the form of a Gallery.

One thing I found interesting about these is that the movements fit into little "trays" that then go into the case. I'm sure it's a common thing for some manufacturers so I'm showing my ignorance and blind allegiance to Gruen. But these hit square into my checklist of desirable traits for a keeper watch so I went non-Gruen for a change. (White gold or Stainless, light colored dial, simple fonts, new old stock is a bonus)

Here are 3 individual images, the rest are in the gallery



Watches from the Guild | 7 comments

Stainless Steel Quadron

Sun, 27 September 2015 19:45

Model name : Unknown
Type : Quadron
Period/date : ~1935-ish
Gender : man's

Case Maker : Gruen shops in Cinci.
Case Material : Guildite/Stainless
Case Serial : 6025839
Case Style no : possibly Quadron 118

Caliber : 157
Movement Maker : Gruen Guild (via Marc Fabre)
Movement Serial: 1114728

Bracelet : none

Other info : Case is plain without any engravings or decorations. There is a monogram on the back of the case.





Case parts...

detail of inside case...

Gruen markings on outside...

Images are as it came to me. Won it last week on eBay.

Now that I have it and have looked through the information I have on Quadrons and Bruce's and Mike's books, I'm wondering if this is mash-up of two different watches. However, still factory original. Except the crown.

The case is surely the match to Quadron 118 in Bruce's book on page 22. The dial however isn't, but seems to match exactly the dial on the Quadron 57 which would presumably date to the 1920s. The book states that style is the 50th anniversary "157 with gold-plated movement". Say what???? The Quadron 157 didn't come out apparently until 1925; after the anniversary in 1924. Has anyone seen a cal 157 with gold-colored bridges? Seen the gold-bridges on the earlier 119 (or is it the 123?). A gold-bridge cal 157 is a new one to me. I digress... Now those with Bruce's book may say that the Quad 133 dial is similar, but look at the 12 and 6 indices and compare with the Quad 57. Hence, why I say the 57 dial is a better match.

The movement serial is similar to another Quadron (its only a few hundred difference) I have that came out of a trashed Quadron 70 which I'm pretty sure is from the early 1930s. I don't know the name but it appears in Vol. 1 (p.36) of Mike's ID Guide under 1930 and on page 37 of Mike's 1930 decade book under 1932. So I'm calling this date the lower date limit.

I have to admit that I look at pretty much every Quadron that runs through eBay. Many are in the spreadsheet. I've not seen this case before. I've no doubts that it is legit as being originally made by Gruen. It however looks more like the solid gold cases in its construction than any of the cases that were non-precious metal. Its case construction and marking are also similar to the watch I posted the other day... check out the serial numbers. Surely made by the same company and I would suspect that both were in-house by Gruen. If I had to guess on the date of this watch... I'd go with 1935. This late date may explain why the dial is from a different and earlier design and the shift into stainless seeming stamped out of the same molds for the solid gold cases is consistent with a struggling Gruen during the mid-1930s when they were trying to use up stock to to sell watches in a spend-thrift economy.

After I get the 705 finished, I'll get this one COA's. I love Quadrons, wish I had more of them but I am also trying to stick with the concept of buying only solid metal cases. No more goldfill with eliminates a lot of the Quadrons I could afford. I'm quite pleased to have a solid metal Quad for the cost of one of the goldfilled ones.


Post script... Maybe I should repost the other Quadron I have, looks similar to this one in a white GF case (but with an engraved side)

edit - wrong link to online database. sorry.
edit 2 - now I have the link fixed. gack!

1930's | 12 comments

Quadron 61

mart find; Sat, 19 September 2015 21:48

I made my way to the local watchmakers meeting this morning. I was lollygagging around with a five o'clock shadow, maybe twelve o'clock. I grabbed a cup of tea and made it in time for the mart. At the mart a fellow student and well known pocket watch guru hobbyist brought in some watches. Behold was this odd looking Gruen in the mix. The white/yellow gold mixed case looked odd, didn't look like the typical Gruen case. The price seemed good so needless to say I bought it.

Got it home and poped the back, whoa! Anyone know the model and a good band one would go with?

Model name : Gruen
Type : Quadron 61
Period/date : 1930
Gender :Male

Case Maker : Gruen-Weber
Case Material :18K karat white gold (bezel mixed white/yellow gold)
Case Serial : 102279
Case Style no : ?

Caliber :119
Movement Maker :Gruen
Movement Serial: 647119

Bracelet : Generic 12K gold plate band

Other info : Inscription E.P. Dubois Detriot


1930's | 17 comments

Veri-Thin Broadway

Tue, 08 September 2015 03:27

Model name : Veri-Thin Broadway
Type : pocket watch
Period/date : 1939-1942
Gender :

Case Maker : Wadsworth
Case Material : 10k gold
Case Serial : G255564
Case Style no :

Caliber :
Movement Maker : Gruen
Movement Serial: 4-110757

Bracelet : N/A

Other info : I received this as a gift today from my Aunt, it was my late Grandfather's. My aunt didn't know a lot about it. I have tried to do some research and that's where I came up with the 1939-1942 time frame.


Any new or further info would be great!

Thank you

1940's | 8 comments

Gruen Dartmouth

Fri, 31 July 2015 16:15

Model name :Dartmouth
Type :Autowind
Period/date :1952-1954
Gender :Gents

Case Maker :
Case Material :
Case Serial :
Case Style no :

Caliber :
Movement Maker :
Movement Serial:

Bracelet :

index.php?t=getfile&id=2389&private=0Hi. I was wondering if you can help identify this watch. (Gruen Automatic)
L378477 480 729 SS is on the case.

I was trying to look it up and found that 729 is the Style and 480 is the caliber.
Year 1950
BUT, I can't find any pictures of this exact watch with these lugs! I found the dial, but not this EXACT watch.
Help! Very Happy

1950's and Up | 1 comment

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