Vintage Gruen
The forum for Gruen watch enthusiasts

Home » General Talk, Buying and Selling » Open Discussions » Process for determining original movement/case combinations (Verithin pocket watches)
Process for determining original movement/case combinations [message #14480] Sat, 06 February 2021 17:40 Go to next message
thesnark17 is currently offline  thesnark17
Messages: 461
Registered: January 2017
Gruen Guildsman
As I just ran through my checklist for determining potential original case/movement combinations for a particularly nice watch on Ebay, I thought I might put the steps up here.

This watch: ebay 164689291418

1. Assess case type and damage
-- 18k green gold case with fancy enamel work
-- Enamel in excellent condition
-- bow replaced in wrong gold color -- okay, it happens I guess; still, it's rather jarring
2. Assess dial/hands for originality
-- Egyptian multicolor dial is original, and style does not clash with case
-- Dial marked Gruen Verithin (no Precision) with 18k case: should mean V3.5 or V4 of SN <520k
-- Hands are likely not original, since Gruen did not prefer this hands style -- STRIKE 1
3. Check movement against expectation
-- V7 -- ??!!! STRIKE 2
-- However, dial would be correct for a V7, since it is not marked Precision
-- Also V7s in solid gold were made in the early range, maybe this is one of them? Though this style case is high-end.
4. Date case and movement, date ranges should overlap
-- case dates to ~1920/21 -- V7 not introduced until 1922...
-- movement dates to ~1923/24/25 -- STRIKE 3, YOU'RE OUT!

Clearly the movement was replaced. The original movement should have been in the SN 504-506k range. It could have been a V3.5, but much more likely a V4. The movement and dial markings match, which is either a fortuitous accident, or done on purpose to mislead.

This could not a factory movement swap from Gruen's "put the latest and best movement in your old watch" program. Gruen would not have replaced a V4 with a V7, and anyway this would not have been an old watch at the time. I suspect that a jeweler needed to replace a trashed V4, and a V7 was all he had on hand. The hands and bow also look like "on hand" sorts of parts, rather than putting effort into matching parts.

Without some sort of serial number check to work from, all a potential buyer would have to work with is the fact that the watch has not been well-treated (bow, hands) and a sense of vague unease about that movement. Without being able to date both case and movement, there's nothing to prove that it wasn't an original combination.

Which makes me wonder how many more watches have similar problems. I suspect rather a lot of them!
Re: Process for determining original movement/case combinations [message #14482 is a reply to message #14480] Mon, 08 February 2021 14:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Case is currently offline  Case
Messages: 752
Registered: May 2019
Location: Cincinnati
Gruen Master
Agree with that assessment. I did find something of note: the outer case is marked ā€œ18k Wā€. The cuvette marked ā€œ14K Gā€ but matching numbers. Curious.
Re: Process for determining original movement/case combinations [message #14484 is a reply to message #14482] Mon, 08 February 2021 17:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jenneke is currently offline  Jenneke
Messages: 1043
Registered: May 2013
Location: Netherlands
Gruen Authority
Hmmm.... is it white or green. I would go for green. But does that mean it is in fact 14k... Could it be some sort of factory replacement part with wrong markings.

Anyway. Nice checklist! Number 5, gut feel?


You can only waste time if you forget to enjoy it - Loesje
Re: Process for determining original movement/case combinations [message #14488 is a reply to message #14484] Mon, 08 February 2021 19:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
afire is currently offline  afire
Messages: 1002
Registered: May 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Gruen Authority
I'm wondering if it's two-tone, 14k green with an 18k white center back.
Re: Process for determining original movement/case combinations [message #14490 is a reply to message #14488] Mon, 08 February 2021 22:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
thesnark17 is currently offline  thesnark17
Messages: 461
Registered: January 2017
Gruen Guildsman
It's really hard to tell, but I guess the back "must" be white. I have seen these markings on two-tone cases before, never on single tone. And it does show G for green, W for white.
Re: Process for determining original movement/case combinations [message #14501 is a reply to message #14490] Tue, 09 February 2021 16:19 Go to previous message
afire is currently offline  afire
Messages: 1002
Registered: May 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Gruen Authority
If you look at the image of the back, it does appear that the center of the back is a separate insert into the perimeter. And it would make sense with the white bow and two-tone chain.
Previous Topic: Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Next Topic: Nurse Cartouche
Goto Forum:
  


Current Time: Thu Apr 22 00:31:16 UTC 2021

Total time taken to generate the page: 0.01070 seconds