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Quadron 139 with Caliber 355 movement

Sat, 16 November 2013 12:15

Model name : Quadron 139
Type : Quadron
Period/date : 1930s
Gender : Male

Case Maker : Cannot identify
Case Material : 10kt yellow gold filled
Case Serial : 2305466
Case Style no : 197

Caliber : 355
Movement Maker : unknown
Movement Serial: 309392

Bracelet : Leather band (aftermarket)

Other info : I have come across a Gruen that, as best as I can tell, is ID'd in the factory records at "Quadron 139." The case is marked with the style number 197, and the watch contains the Precision (17J) Caliber 355 movement. According to factory records, Gruen only made 25 models with this caliber (possibly more, but 25 is the number pictured). The case style number of 197 would seem to indicate manufacture circa 1935 according to the Barnett/Cooper dating chart. I don't believe I've ever had a Gruen with a 355 movement before, so I have to believe these are kind of rare, or at least unusual. I love the patina on this older refinished dial ... a rich caramel color. I did a search of "355" on this forum, and came up empty, even on the Caliber database. I would enjoy hearing comments from Forum members, and of course will update the template with more information if anyone knows who made the case, the movement, etc. I would be interested in knowing what anyone might know about the movement, especially why it seemed to have such a short production run. Maybe Gruen thought the movement was redundant with the introduction of the Curvex?

Sincerely,

Bruce Shawkey
brtime

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1930's | 4 comments

707 - Lavina connection?

Mon, 04 November 2013 16:52

In one of my other collecting guises, I like "trench watches", an outgrowth of my looking for early Gruens. Recently, via eBay UK, I purchased a nice 9 karat gold Lavina trench watch...

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Now, I knew I recognized the movement, which led me to pay a bit more for this one than I normally would have.The recent discussions on the board regarding the possibility that Lavina was an early contractor producing movements for Gruen sealed my interest...

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When compared with these spares from my movement stash, one can see that it's obviously the same movement as the Gruen 707 (as well as the gilded example from West End).

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While I would initially jump to the obvious conclusion that Lavina was the maker for the 707, I am hesitant, because I have two different documentary sources (not from Gruen) that indicate that the base movement for the 707 is the Record 022K. At this point, I don't know if Lavina and Gruen (and West End and others) were all buying movements from Record, or if the interchange manuals I've consulted simply missed the boat on who actually made the movements.

The Lavina is hallmarked for the Australian market, meaning there is no date mark, so I can't use the date to try to prove a "first maker" assertion. I assume from it's styling that it's no later than mid to late '20s, contemporary to my Gruen 707 models.

Any thoughts?

It was also an excuse to post photos of another new acquisition.

Watches from the Guild | 19 comments

The caliber 3157

Fri, 01 November 2013 12:46

Caliber 3157 is a 17-jewel movement and is 10-1/2 ligne or 23.69mm in diameter. More frequently seen is the 15-jewel version, called 315. Production start of the 315 was 1929 and the 3157 followed in 1930 (Barry C. & Mike B. dating table). Unknown if this movement was actually produced by Gruen?
Three other variants exist; calibers 344, 345 & 347 (7j, 15j & 17j). These were introduced between 1934 and 1935. No information is is known to me as to what the differences were versus the 315/3157.

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The caliber database | 0 comments

The caliber 480

Fri, 01 November 2013 10:42

Caliber 480 is a 17-jewel patented Auto-Wind movement and is 9-3/4 ligne by 11 ligne (453 Material Catalog). Two other variants exist, the 480SS (sweep second) and the 480-3SS (23 jewel sweep second).

It was introduced in 1951 according to Barry C. & Mike B. dating table and was the first Gruen Auto-Wind caliber with a 360º rotating rotator. Inventor of the new winding mechanism was Henri Thiébaud (Patent US2661591).

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The caliber database | 0 comments

Curvex Peer

Wed, 30 October 2013 21:54

Model name : Peer
Type : Curvex
Period/date : 1939
Gender : Male

Case Maker : Wadsworth
Case Material : 14k gold filled
Case Serial : G063298
Case Style no : 330/295

Caliber : 330
Movement Maker : Gruen
Movement Serial: 518167

Bracelet : Leather with original Gruen buckle

Other info : The Peer is the second largest Curvex and is with 50mm only 2mm smaller than the Majesty. The same model with a metal link band was called Triumph.
Dial has been refinished by Int. Dial. This type of Curvex also featured a dust proof crown the same as for example the Quadron models.

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1930's | 1 comment

Siegerin marked watch

with Alpina/Gruen cal 485; Tue, 22 October 2013 18:41

Here is a watch that contains an unmarked caliber 485. Watch is branded Siegerin, which was a brand name marketed by Alpina/Straub in Germany from about 1930 through 1940. The movement is identical to Gruen marked caliber 485.
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Came with a dust proof crown similar to other Gruen watches.
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The case is all stainless and recently I found some evidence that Krupp, a well known metal working company in Germany which specialized in stainless steel may have made the case.

Watches from the Guild | 0 comments

Curvex Chandler

Wed, 16 October 2013 21:40

Model name : Chandler
Type : Curvex
Period/date : 1950-1953
Gender : Male

Case Maker : Wadsworth
Case Material : 10k Gold Filled
Case Serial : G964408
Case Style no : 370-601

Caliber : 370 Curvametric
Movement Maker : Gruen
Movement Serial: B815682

Bracelet : Original Gruen signed pigskin with Gruen signed buckle

Other info : New old stock Curvex with original labels and warranty booklet. Case number starting with 'G9' puts the watch production date in 1949-1950. However assuming the warranty booklet came originally with the watch, the sales date was likely 1953 or later. Warranty booklet is dated 1953.

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1950's and Up | 11 comments

Veri-Thin Submarine

Tue, 15 October 2013 21:18

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.

Model name : Veri-Thin Submarine
Type :
Period/date : 1951
Gender : Male

Case Maker : Star
Case Material : Guildite
Case Serial : 0504299
Case Style no : 725

Caliber : 421 in this example
Movement Maker : Gruen
Movement Serial: need to dig up from original photos

Bracelet : All ads I have show leather bracelet

Other info :

The submarine is one of the few Gruen's I've seen that the model name and look stay 100% the same, as does the Style Number, but the movement switches. It not only switches, but it goes from a round to a rectangular model.

Interesting that the 'migration' as coined in the Style Number dating article, was done in a purposeful way as can be seen using the casebacks. In the photo, one indicates a caliber 421 movement is in the watch, the other a 426.


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[Picture Front]
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[Picture Side]

[Picture caseback inside]
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[Picture movement]
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[Picture ad]
(post by MB - From the book - Gruen Watch Model Identification Guide Vol 2, page number TBD
Illustration used with permission
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1950's and Up | 7 comments

The Caliber 94

Mon, 07 October 2013 18:36

Thanks to Thojil for the extra information: 11 lignes, 15 jewels, United Watch Co (not quite sure how they fit into the Gruen picture yet) and a "Guarantee" movement which i'm guessing is from the early 1920's?:
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The caliber database | 0 comments

The caliber 266

Fontainemelon (FHF) movement w/51482 winding patent (Factory "T"); Sat, 05 October 2013 00:15

This unknown caliber is a 15 jewel, 10.5 ligne movement. Not a lot is known about these movements and even more of a mystery is the factory "T" marking.

Bazzab started an identification thread on the vintage forums awhile back. A Gruen dissecting team was formed, Bazzab and I dissected both of our movements.

http://vintagewatchforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=2658

The only conclusion is the movement is a Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon make.

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The caliber database | 3 comments

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