Vintage Gruen
The forum for Gruen watch enthusiasts.

Home » The Gruen Model Database » The caliber database » Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild (10.5 ligne, 15 jewels)
Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #12084] Sat, 01 February 2020 04:08 Go to next message
Case is currently offline  Case
Messages: 1178
Registered: May 2019
Location: Cincinnati
Gruen Authority
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)


/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6053&private=0
/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6052&private=0
/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6054&private=0
/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6055&private=0


My two caveats:
1) I'm wrong many times a day --just ask my wife!
2) Always seeking to learn more
Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #12085 is a reply to message #12084] Sat, 01 February 2020 17:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Case is currently offline  Case
Messages: 1178
Registered: May 2019
Location: Cincinnati
Gruen Authority
Example 2
Front plate stamped with sn 12191 (other illegible marks)
Dial stamped Singer “107”, etched “641 1/2”

/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6056&private=0
/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6057&private=0/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6058&private=0


My two caveats:
1) I'm wrong many times a day --just ask my wife!
2) Always seeking to learn more
Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #12086 is a reply to message #12085] Sun, 02 February 2020 12:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barney Green
Messages: 1725
Registered: February 2014
Location: Wolfsburg, Germany
Gruen Authority
Very cool finds, Dan!

Cal. 640/641 is the only one I also have ever seen being Factory R stamped. I share Dan's thoughts that also other movements may have come from this source although they might not have been Factory R stamped.
This movement or at least the ebauche for it was in my opinion manufactured by a Swiss maker starting with "R". So I think that the Factory R riddle may be solved. I know that there will be critics which see differences in the pictures but my personal opinion is that I found a match for the movement, so I try to be careful with my writing.
Have a look into the design registration from December 1922, here are two movements, one being an 8.75 ligne, the other one a 10.5 ligne, number 10520:

/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6059&private=0

To me this is a match. A better picture can be found in an ad from the maker. To disclose the name, it is a company called Russbach-Hänni & Co, located in Court. Founded in 1888 under the name Hänni, later Hänni & Cie, it became Russbach-Hänni & Cie, when Mr. Georges Russbach who married the widow of Arnold Hänni, Marie-Eugenie Hänni, nee Frey (don't they belong all together somehow?), took over the company in 1911.

/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6060&private=0

This ad is from August 1922, so we know that the movement must have been available before the registration already. Russbach also supplied to Alpina before the Alpina-Gruen connection, I have one Alpina watch with a Russbach made movement. But all timings here match perfectly with Dan's observations.
The company went out of business about 1928 and Mr. Georges Russbach-Hänni became member of the board of a pharmaceutical company called Pharmasera.

You may now again start throwing stones on me but this is something I owed some members of this forum.
There is also evidence for another factory ID, this time it is one of the suspects named in the movement document already. I may share my findings as well, don't know if someone is interested.

Barney


  • Attachment: R10520.jpg
    (Size: 39.94KB, Downloaded 529 times)
  • Attachment: Russbach.jpg
    (Size: 132.88KB, Downloaded 536 times)


Gruen, Gruen, Gruen ist alles was ich habe... Gruen, Gruen, Gruen is all I have...(German folklore song)

[Updated on: Sun, 02 February 2020 19:47]

Report message to a moderator

Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #12087 is a reply to message #12086] Sun, 02 February 2020 15:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JackW is currently offline  JackW
Messages: 1869
Registered: May 2013
Location: Denver
Gruen Authority
Head Janitor
Site Admin
Barney Green wrote on Sun, 02 February 2020 12:28

You may now again start throwing stones on me...
As long as I'm the resident geologist here, I'll see none of this....

Bernd, the escape finger bridge is very distinctive. It is a match to what you've shown. I've seen this movement with other brands, but that bridge. I think I had previously postulated Font Roberts, but it wasn't based on much. This is far better.


All I know is based on hard work & writing by others. I can only aspire to augment this body of knowledge. If I am wrong it is because of my own failings. -me

"If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Newton
Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #12088 is a reply to message #12085] Sun, 02 February 2020 18:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ephemerald
Messages: 1039
Registered: October 2018
Location: City of Lake Salt
Gruen Authority
I must say to you both, Dan & Bernd, absolutely outstanding work.
Thank you both for sharing. I get very excited when fellow members share their finds and this is a really inspiring motivator to keep going on some threads Ive been discouraged by.
Dan, Bernd, Way. To. Go.


Matthias
Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #12089 is a reply to message #12088] Sun, 02 February 2020 19:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mikey is currently offline  mikey
Messages: 709
Registered: May 2013
Location: Paris, Ontario
Gruen Master
Well done Barney & Case! I think everyone on this site is interested in both of your research findings!

Still here....

[Updated on: Sun, 02 February 2020 19:41]

Report message to a moderator

Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #12090 is a reply to message #12088] Sun, 02 February 2020 19:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Case is currently offline  Case
Messages: 1178
Registered: May 2019
Location: Cincinnati
Gruen Authority
Thanks, guys! Was just sharing my conjectures, but to see it in an ad & trademark, to put a name to it...THAT is something.

Goodness gracious, Barney—what a find!! I’ve been closely examining the movement in the ad, and agree it looks a perfect match. Every hole, screw, and bridge is lining up. I’d been looking for a match, have seen close resemblances, but like Jack have always found multiple differences.

The winding setting mechanism is particularly distinct. I had been thinking this started its life as a Felsa ebauche. Mechanism is similar, but this appears to be a unique adaptation. Had been looking at patents for setting mechanisms, as well as movements from period Record and other candidates. Never anything like what’s on the 641, so came up dry.

Echoing all with a congrats & a HUGE thanks for sharing it with us. The family connections make my head spin Razz


My two caveats:
1) I'm wrong many times a day --just ask my wife!
2) Always seeking to learn more
Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #13390 is a reply to message #12090] Sun, 23 August 2020 03:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Case is currently offline  Case
Messages: 1178
Registered: May 2019
Location: Cincinnati
Gruen Authority
Here’s a curiosity. A 640/641 (stamped “640” as others) with different setting bits. Suggestive of a Felsa ebauche?

Anyway, finishing seems rougher, and the sn is 837. I thought it may be an an early run, pre-Factory R stamp.

/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6878&private=0
/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6879&private=0


My two caveats:
1) I'm wrong many times a day --just ask my wife!
2) Always seeking to learn more
Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #13395 is a reply to message #13390] Mon, 24 August 2020 07:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barney Green
Messages: 1725
Registered: February 2014
Location: Wolfsburg, Germany
Gruen Authority
The differing setting bit looks like a replacement to me, may be the spring was broken like from your second example and the replacement part looks different? Other than that the movement looks the same to me.

Gruen, Gruen, Gruen ist alles was ich habe... Gruen, Gruen, Gruen is all I have...(German folklore song)
Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #13398 is a reply to message #13395] Mon, 24 August 2020 13:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Case is currently offline  Case
Messages: 1178
Registered: May 2019
Location: Cincinnati
Gruen Authority
Could be. There are some differences like the silver vs gilt plate holding balance, but the biggest difference is the finish quality of the main plate, which I can’t really show. Thought it worth capturing.

Btw, I think based on Felsa 71.


My two caveats:
1) I'm wrong many times a day --just ask my wife!
2) Always seeking to learn more

[Updated on: Mon, 24 August 2020 13:39]

Report message to a moderator

Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #13399 is a reply to message #13398] Mon, 24 August 2020 15:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barney Green
Messages: 1725
Registered: February 2014
Location: Wolfsburg, Germany
Gruen Authority
Felsa 71 has different locations for many components, I still believe in Factory R's own development.

Gruen, Gruen, Gruen ist alles was ich habe... Gruen, Gruen, Gruen is all I have...(German folklore song)
Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #13412 is a reply to message #13399] Tue, 25 August 2020 02:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timeliz
Messages: 602
Registered: May 2013
Location: Northern California
Gruen Master
This is an interesting topic. I'm going to throw my 640 into the mix.
Notable is that Record is listed in interchangeability list for these two different movements: 647 (c. pre 1910) & 650 (c. 1918).


Mine has no "R" stamp, yet has same setting bits as R stamped movement:

/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6900&private=0

/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6901&private=0


"Some days are diamonds, some days are stones..." -John Denver
Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #13421 is a reply to message #13412] Tue, 25 August 2020 17:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jenneke is currently offline  Jenneke
Messages: 1853
Registered: May 2013
Location: Netherlands
Gruen Authority
And this is mine after a search under the bridge for a maker a few years ago. Laughing

/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=6903&private=0

And this is my mums factory R Very Happy
http://vintagegruen.org/vgforum/index.php?t=msg&th=99&am p;goto=389&#msg_389


You can only waste time if you forget to enjoy it - Loesje
Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #13422 is a reply to message #13421] Tue, 25 August 2020 17:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Case is currently offline  Case
Messages: 1178
Registered: May 2019
Location: Cincinnati
Gruen Authority
Cool! Never seen one in a case before!! And already here on forum, too.

My two caveats:
1) I'm wrong many times a day --just ask my wife!
2) Always seeking to learn more
Re: Caliber 641 (640) - Factory R Gruen Guild [message #15154 is a reply to message #13422] Fri, 11 June 2021 16:15 Go to previous message
Case is currently offline  Case
Messages: 1178
Registered: May 2019
Location: Cincinnati
Gruen Authority
Well, turns out that Record did use this movement. Here it is under their “ODA” brand.

/vgforum/index.php?t=getfile&id=8324&private=0
Previous Topic: Cal 840 (841) - 5.5’” 18J Extra Precision
Next Topic: The Cal 870/871
Goto Forum:
  


Current Time: Sat Apr 20 04:19:18 UTC 2024

Total time taken to generate the page: 0.07160 seconds