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Developing the Tank / the Strap “Tank”

Sat, 18 September 2021 11:34

All of this Tank talk recently got me looking. Take a look at Strap 23. Sure looks like all the tank features: Bieser case, 997 caliber. Was there a Strap model made before rebranding to Tank, like Straps 37-40 before Quadron?

Edit: no takers yet, so I’ll build what I think is the timeline:

1921: Fred filed the design patent in May, but it’s just a concept. It’s a solid watch, with integral bar lugs.
1922: design patent approved. Still no watches—working on the process? Too much gold in a solid one imo.
1923: the process is ready as Beiser files his patent in April; production begins. I believe this is Strap 23. On July 25, the first Tank ad runs in Jewelers Circular. It is not Tank 1: no subseconds. It looks like the radium dial variant of Strap 23. By Q4, other Tanks were already being made and advertised (and we see ones in the Master Book). This seems to be around the 1,065,000 house case number.

Research | 11 comments

Brown leather Quadron service box

Thu, 16 September 2021 19:41

The hand of this box feels like real leather. Mine is missing the insert. I’ve seen another, with a late 20’s Quadron inside, and I’m thinking that’s what it’s for. Came with Wrist Watch guarantee paperwork inside.

Period: late 1920s
Watch type: Quadron ?
Size: 2” W x 2.875” D x 2.75” H
Inventor: Harold R. Haerr (University of Michigan grad, class of 1921 early)
Patents: Mar 10 1925 & color scheme Pat pending

Box maker: Star Case Company

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1920s | 2 comments

Caliber 515SS

Thu, 16 September 2021 14:16

Here’s a later caliber, found in style number 1046 cases (1960s?). The case & movement are made in France. Imagine my surprise to see it stamped for Alpina!

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The caliber database | 13 comments

Cartouche 260 - diamonds with enamel

Wed, 15 September 2021 18:17

Model name: cartouche 260
Type: cartouche
Period/date: 1927/1928
Gender: ladies

Case Maker: gruen
Case Material: 14k white gold
Case Serial: 1146665
Case Style no: 66

Caliber: 107 (precision 17 jewels)
Movement Maker: gruen
Movement Serial: 618155

Bracelet: tbd

Other info: 6 diamonds and inlaid black enamel

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1920's | 15 comments

Gruen article on watch boxes. May 1931.

Wed, 15 September 2021 17:16

Article on Gruen boxes that gives insight into relationship w Star Case Co & ID's Star as maker of one type of Baguette box, a Carré box, and cedar lined Quad box.

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1930s | 4 comments

Red & cream Plaskon boxes - ribbon identifier

Wed, 15 September 2021 01:58

Here are the men’s and women’s boxes, I think early 1940s. Outer box style was used for several years with different interiors.

On this version, ribbon identifies if it is Precision or Veri-Thin. The men’s measures 3.75” x 5.75”, the women’s 2.875” x 4.75”, and there is a different holder for the watch. I have one with a broken base, and I found a mark imprinted in the glue residue: “Rathbun”, from somewhere in NY. Could that be the maker?

Period: 1940s
Watch type: Verithin & Precision
Size: men’s/women’s wristies
Inventor: ??
Patents: ??

Box maker: possibly Rathbun

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1940s | 5 comments

Import Tank

14k green gold; Wed, 08 September 2021 18:01

A new addition today. I'd like to give it a name, but I'm coming up with bupkes. I've checked the Master Book, 1927 Stock Record Book, and the 1920s advertisements thread to no avail.

All I can say is that it runs a cal. 98, has a June 8, 1926, inscription, and a 14k green gold Swiss case with a four-digit serial number of 7979. And the presumably original B&N buckle has no patent date, rather patent pending. It would presumably have been a Strap model, because I don't think the Import designation existed this early. But it might also predate the Strap designation. Tough to say exactly what was going on in the early 1920s (and the inscription gives the latest possible date, but I'm open to the possibility that it was actually made a few years earlier). Here are a couple of pics:
https://photos.smugmug.com/Music/Hotlinking/i-PNxbDM8/0/27871ec2/XL/IMG_0663-XL.jpg
https://photos.smugmug.com/Music/Hotlinking/i-6TB664t/0/2140ffc7/XL/IMG_0664-XL.jpg
And if you think the case and buckle look like they're tinted blue and purple, they are. All I know is that the previous owner stored his watches in felt-lined leather binders, and all the green watches developed this patina. I'm bummed that it'll probably fade with use, but enjoying the look for now.

I'm not sure anybody's going to find anything on it, but if anybody has a cache of mid-1920s ads that haven't been posted, let me know if you find anything. If nothing turns up, I'll do an entry in the 1920s database. I'd prefer to have an ID first, but not holding my breath on this one.

1920's | 23 comments

Gruen Military Wrist Watch

Plate 23B Out o' Doors ; Wed, 18 August 2021 17:02

Here is Plate 23B Out o' Doors if you call it. I got this watch from Thomas (Timeticker) many years back, don't see him around today. The watch has a 870 15J Premo Rebberg movement. The watch just came back from a good COA, new mainspring and hands re-lumed. The hairspring was all "jacked up" and had to be reshaped. The upper cap jewel is cracked but keeps oil, was decided not to replace and risk getting it back to running OK level that it's in now.
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Watch Tables | 11 comments

1933 Gruen Advertisement Announcing Connection with Pan American Airways Clipper

I found this Saturday Evening Post ad. Is this the earliest Gruen/Pan-Am Airways connection? ; Wed, 28 July 2021 16:55

I have a large collection of Gruen magazine advertisements. In briefly reading recent postings of Gruen ads in the Forum, I read of the earliest evidence of a business connection with Pan American Airways and their flying boats was the 9 Nov 1942 ad in Time magazine (I have my own copy). However I found the attached 1933 Saturday Evening Post ad that Gruen was providing accurate wristwatches to pilots of the first Clipper airboat. A Captain Sullivan is shown at the controls of the American Clipper Sikorsky s-40 that connected the U.S. east coast with Latin America and the Caribbean. The Captain is shown wearing a rectangular Gruen wristwatch. I have an original page with this ad with publication date in my collection, so there is no question of its authenticity. There is more to the story about Captain Sullivan and Pan Am Clippers to be told if there is interest. Steve

Reference | 9 comments

Serial numbers and production dates of Gruen Verithin pocket watches?

Dating Gruen Verithin pocket watches; Sat, 24 July 2021 21:01

I own a number of Gruen pocket watches of various shapes and sizes.
Most of these have movements labeled Verithin, Ultra Verithin, or
Semi Verithin and all have serial numbers. Is there a table of
serial numbers with production dates that I can obtain that would
help me date these watches?

Research | 3 comments

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