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Home » The Gruen Model Database » 1950's and Up » Import 274 (Men's Rectangular Waterproof )
Import 274 [message #3966] Tue, 15 July 2014 15:33 Go to next message
afire is currently offline  afire
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Registered: May 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Gruen Authority
Model Name: Import 274
Type: Rectangular Waterproof
Period/date: Early 1950s, Possibly Late 1940s
Gender: Men's

Case Maker: Unknown, Possibly Gabus Freres
Case Material: Guildite (Stainless Steel)
Case Serial: 17934 B
Case Style no: N/A

Caliber: 430
Movement Maker: Gruen - Precision Factory
Movement Serial:

Bracelet: Aftermarket Leather Strap

Other Info: One of Gruen's few waterproof rectangular watches. Since a round screwback isn't an option, Gruen employed a system whereby brackets between the lugs push the caseback into the bezel and a rubber gastket under the crystal seals to the caseback, rendering the case (at least in theory) fairly waterproof. And there's also a split stem with a rubber gasket. I won't wear it diving, but I might wear it in the rain. Other brands, such as Wyler and Croton, had nearly identical models. In fact, the aftermarket crystal fitted to this watch, and the last one I owned, is the one sold for the Croton Aquatime. My speculation is that the case may have been made by Gabus Freres because I've seen one positive ID of a Gabus Freres case that had the same script for Guildite, but that's not enough to say for certain. I placed it in the early 1950s because I once had an example with a 1950 or 1951 dedication. But it certainly might have been around in the late 1940s.

http://mccarthyorth.smugmug.com/Watches/Import-274/i-2pZNhkT/1/XL/274-2-XL.jpg
http://mccarthyorth.smugmug.com/Watches/Import-274/i-r2Gdvq8/1/XL/274-5-XL.jpg
http://mccarthyorth.smugmug.com/Watches/Import-274/i-jffkjQL/1/XL/274-4-XL.jpg
http://mccarthyorth.smugmug.com/Watches/Import-274/i-wSxZDbv/1/XL/274-1-XL.jpg
http://mccarthyorth.smugmug.com/Watches/Import-274/i-ncbg2Rg/1/XL/274-8-XL.jpg
http://mccarthyorth.smugmug.com/Watches/Import-274/i-38sJSsp/2/XL/274-6-XL.jpg
http://mccarthyorth.smugmug.com/Watches/Import-274/i-rvc6MfP/2/XL/274-7-XL.jpg
Re: Import 274 [message #3967 is a reply to message #3966] Tue, 15 July 2014 21:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barney Green
Messages: 1714
Registered: February 2014
Location: Wolfsburg, Germany
Gruen Authority
Quite interesting watch, congratulations. I have not yet seen a rectangular waterproof version. I agree with you that it looks like a Gabus Freres case, also the serial number on the outer backside would be consistant with this case maker. The use of caliber 430 should also underline your dating assumption as it was to my knowledge used until approximaltely 1951.

Gruen, Gruen, Gruen ist alles was ich habe... Gruen, Gruen, Gruen is all I have...(German folklore song)
Re: Import 274 [message #3968 is a reply to message #3967] Tue, 15 July 2014 21:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gary
Messages: 2108
Registered: May 2013
Location: Left Coast
Gruen Authority
Cheerleader

Refreshing to see watches of this era that are not yellow gold. Is the dial refinished? If so someone did a nice job of including the "Switzerland" marking. Heck it may be original and the watertight seals kept the dial free from the outside elements.

Veri-Nice Veri-Thin!
Re: Import 274 [message #3969 is a reply to message #3968] Wed, 16 July 2014 01:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
afire is currently offline  afire
Messages: 1308
Registered: May 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Gruen Authority
GaryM wrote on Tue, 15 July 2014 16:46
Refreshing to see watches of this era that are not yellow gold.

Bingo. I've just never cared for yellow gold, so that's probably the #1 reason this watch appealed to me.
And the dial is refinished. Fortunately International had the correct pattern. It's not absolutely perfect, but I'm happy with the outcome.
Barney, interesting insight on Gabus Freres. Always nice to have more support for the case maker ID.
Re: Import 274 [message #3971 is a reply to message #3969] Wed, 16 July 2014 12:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Thojil is currently offline  Thojil
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Gruen Master
afire wrote on Wed, 16 July 2014 03:50
And the dial is refinished. Fortunately International had the correct pattern. It's not absolutely perfect, but I'm happy with the outcome.


It turned out very nicely!

I was considering having mine redone by ID as well. The only "issues" I see are that the "GRUEN VERI-THIN" print is a bit too fat and "SWITZERLAND" is too narrow. The last point seem to be a common issue for all Gruen dials that I had refinished by ID. I guess they only use one standard typeface for it. The next time I will ask them specifically if they can print "SWITZERLAND" more matching the original.

index.php?t=getfile&id=1602&private=0
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Re: Import 274 [message #3972 is a reply to message #3971] Wed, 16 July 2014 20:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
afire is currently offline  afire
Messages: 1308
Registered: May 2013
Location: Wisconsin
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Thojil wrote on Wed, 16 July 2014 07:43
The only "issues" I see are that the "GRUEN VERI-THIN" print is a bit too fat and "SWITZERLAND" is too narrow.

Yep. Honestly, I didn't even notice the size of the SWITZERLAND marking. And the logo, while bolder than it should be, is actually quite cleanly rendered, especially in person. Knowing how hit-and-miss redials can be, particularly for uncommon dials, I was actually quite happy that it came out this close.

Re: Import 274 [message #3973 is a reply to message #3972] Wed, 16 July 2014 21:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gary
Messages: 2108
Registered: May 2013
Location: Left Coast
Gruen Authority
Cheerleader

afire wrote on Wed, 16 July 2014 20:15
[And the logo, while bolder than it should be, is actually quite cleanly rendered, especially in person.

I'm quite happy with ID on that aspect as well as the second hand indices. I think that's where refinishing goes south for most. They also print bolder on the hour markers on certain dials.
index.php?t=getfile&id=1604&private=0

Sorry for taking this off topic, we should start a thread of before and after dial refinishing examples to talk about the differences between them.
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Re: Import 274 [message #6956 is a reply to message #3973] Wed, 15 June 2016 14:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
afire is currently offline  afire
Messages: 1308
Registered: May 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Gruen Authority
Here's an interesting addendum to my Import 274's story. I did a load of wash last night, and put it in the dryer this morning. I heard some clanking, and figured it was change or a metal button. But is was louder than usual, so after a while I stopped it to search. Sure enough, I'd left Import 274 in a pocket and it had been through the wash and about 10 minutes in the dryer. The case did its job. There are no signs of moisture and on top of that, I wound it and it took right off.
Re: Import 274 [message #6957 is a reply to message #6956] Sat, 18 June 2016 07:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Thojil is currently offline  Thojil
Messages: 650
Registered: May 2013
Location: Concorès, France
Gruen Master
Nothing beats a real life test 😜
Re: Import 274 [message #6958 is a reply to message #6956] Sat, 18 June 2016 15:18 Go to previous message
MonKee is currently offline  MonKee
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Registered: May 2013
Location: Finger Lakes
Gruen Guildsman
A Hydraulic watch winder, Wow !!
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