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Strap 184 - Winged Disc [message #17128] Sat, 13 August 2022 05:27 Go to next message
Benjamin_Rush is currently offline  Benjamin_Rush
Messages: 94
Registered: June 2022
Location: USA
Gruen Apprentice
Couldn't find this discussed elsewhere, so I thought I'd start a new topic.

Flipping through the Gruen photo books, I often stop to peer at Strap 184. The winged disc logo stands out, but I couldn't find any info on it, or when it was made. Today, while watching promotional footage celebrating the Lindbergh flight, I saw the watch. Well, almost,
because the watch in the video is labeled Avigo.

Went back to Strap 184 to check the logo, only to be reminded it's obscured by the bulbous luminous hour hand. But there it is, without luminous on the dial, the same winged disc design language, quarter Arabics, and circular lume plots, only aircraft wings instead of Egyptian iconography.

As the story goes, the Avigo was released to commemorate Lindbergh's successful transatlantic flight, which means the design for the commemorative dial on Strap 184 is likely no earlier than 1927. As for the name hidden under the hour hand, who penned the dial design, or who brought it to market first, I'll leave that for someone else to investigate.


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Re: Strap 184 - Winged Disc [message #17129 is a reply to message #17128] Sat, 13 August 2022 07:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barney Green
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Registered: February 2014
Location: Wolfsburg, Germany
Gruen Authority
Strap 184 should be 1930, but I disagree that the logos are the same. I see differences and the full name would definitely not fit under the hour hand.
The Avigo from your photo also has a decorated bezel, while strap 184 appears to have a plain one.
Other than that I agree that there are similarities.


Gruen, Gruen, Gruen ist alles was ich habe... Gruen, Gruen, Gruen is all I have...(German folklore song)
Re: Strap 184 - Winged Disc [message #17130 is a reply to message #17128] Sat, 13 August 2022 15:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ephemerald
Messages: 1000
Registered: October 2018
Location: City of Lake Salt
Gruen Authority
Looks like an Elgin to me!

Matthias
Re: Strap 184 - Winged Disc [message #17131 is a reply to message #17128] Sat, 13 August 2022 16:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ephemerald
Messages: 1000
Registered: October 2018
Location: City of Lake Salt
Gruen Authority
& of course in 1927, Fred Gruen gifted Lindbergh number 53 of the 50th Anniversary watches for his Trans Atlantic flight. I am aware of one other Gruen Lindbergh owned and was presented.

Matthias
Re: Strap 184 - Winged Disc [message #17132 is a reply to message #17131] Sat, 13 August 2022 16:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barney Green
Messages: 1721
Registered: February 2014
Location: Wolfsburg, Germany
Gruen Authority
Yes, the "Avigo" is an Elgin watch, introduced April 1929. It was marketed as an aviator watch just like later the Gruen PanAms. Of cause not only bought by people with a license...


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Gruen, Gruen, Gruen ist alles was ich habe... Gruen, Gruen, Gruen is all I have...(German folklore song)
Re: Strap 184 - Winged Disc [message #17133 is a reply to message #17132] Sat, 13 August 2022 17:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ephemerald
Messages: 1000
Registered: October 2018
Location: City of Lake Salt
Gruen Authority
I gotta say, while the Elgin is cool, I really really love Gruens version & personally prefer by a ton an actual airplane!! on my dial over the "winged disc". No doubt Egyptian iconography had a big impact on 1920s fashion & architecture but that's exactly why I appreciate Gruens modern take on this model, envisioning a new decade.

Matthias
Re: Strap 184 - Winged Disc [message #17134 is a reply to message #17133] Sat, 13 August 2022 19:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barney Green
Messages: 1721
Registered: February 2014
Location: Wolfsburg, Germany
Gruen Authority
BTW, the Gruen model's name is "Aviator"


Gruen, Gruen, Gruen ist alles was ich habe... Gruen, Gruen, Gruen is all I have...(German folklore song)
Re: Strap 184 - Winged Disc [message #17135 is a reply to message #17134] Sun, 14 August 2022 18:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Case is currently offline  Case
Messages: 1195
Registered: May 2019
Location: Cincinnati
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Has one been seen? I’ve often hoped they were lurking out there. It is a grail of mine, and knowing others have found it would at least give hope!
Re: Strap 184 - Winged Disc [message #17137 is a reply to message #17135] Sun, 14 August 2022 19:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barney Green
Messages: 1721
Registered: February 2014
Location: Wolfsburg, Germany
Gruen Authority
I haven't even seen an advertisement Elgin advertised the Avigo just for about one and half years, Gruen must have come after about a year with the Aviator. I think both models did not sell very well. The Avigo had 6 adjustments, it was sold as precision watch, but it had a chromium plated case which at that time was not very reliable and showed wear quite soon. It sold for $23.
The Aviator did come with a good 17 jewel movement, though not that many adjustments, but a good gold filled (most likely Wadsworth) case. But it sold for $42.50, almost double the price of the Elgin.
Considering the short life of the Elgin despite its low price males me think that it has been unsuccessful, and the attempt by Gruen to grab some buyers can't have been much better at the high price of the Aviator.

Just my explanation why we have never spotted one.


Gruen, Gruen, Gruen ist alles was ich habe... Gruen, Gruen, Gruen is all I have...(German folklore song)
Re: Strap 184 - Winged Disc [message #17138 is a reply to message #17137] Mon, 15 August 2022 02:34 Go to previous message
Case is currently offline  Case
Messages: 1195
Registered: May 2019
Location: Cincinnati
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Ah, okay, I’m just catching on to what I think is the major premise: the Gruen Aviator was launched to compete with the Bulova Avigo.
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