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  1. #1
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    Default trademarks for Star Watch Case Company

    So I have bought a wristwatch on (ahem) eBay, see the picture below. I've not seen another example of this style trademark by Star Watch case Company before on a wrist watch. Most often I've seen the whole name "Star Watch Case Co." stamped horizontal and I've seen where the word "watch" is arched over a star and "Company" is spelled out on a sub-line on a case. All examples are on wrist watches. The example in the pictured case back is similar to how some Keystone Watch Cases are marked, e.g., the name in an arch) when the case is made of silver.

    My question is has anyone else seen examples of this style trade mark (Gruen or otherwise) and any idea on the the approximate time range that this case was produced?

    Lastly, I've read that after Star WC Co. folded that the original dies were sold. What are the odds that this case might be a "fake"?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails twotone_cs.jpg  
    Last edited by Jack_W; 06-08-2010 at 11:23 AM.
    I like Longines and Gruen. Currently learning...
    -JackW

  2. #2

    Default Re: trademarks for Star Watch Case Company (RE: Jack_W)

    Jack,

    The case is correct, although it appears to have suffered some lead solder repair. Star used several different logos and styles of nomenclature. I've not heard about the "dies being sold." Star was the last surviving American casemaker, lasting until 1980. They went out of business as another victim of the quartz revolution and the centralization of the Swiss watch industry.

    When dealing with watches like these, the number of "fakes" is far lower than some would have you believe.

    Cary
    Cary Hurt


  3. #3
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    Default Re: trademarks for Star Watch Case Company (RE: Cary Hurt)

    Cary:

    I was hoping you'd reply. Yeah, the case has some issues. I've posted other photos at the Gruen Site. I agree that something has happen to the case, maybe in the way of a botched or amateur (home) repair. Shouldn't be too difficult to correct even if it is lead solder. I'm guessing it isn't lead, just a lot of silver solder.

    I've requested a copy of Niebling's book on American Watch Cases. Figure it is a good start to start reading.

    So is this then the type of trademark used with silver? Most of the trademarks I'd seen are either on 10K GF or on karat gold.
    I like Longines and Gruen. Currently learning...
    -JackW

  4. #4

    Default Re: trademarks for Star Watch Case Company (RE: Jack_W)

    Here's the list I have on various tradmarks for the Star Watch Case Co.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC_3212.JPG  
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: trademarks for Star Watch Case Company (RE: AbslomRob)

    Rob:

    Thanks for the list. What is the source for that scan? I'm curious now about why the first trademark shown, which most closely matches the one in the image, is the one used on this watch and dates to 1911. The movement number (411SS) which limits the watch to no earlier then 1941 per this information. Did they reserve this mark for sterling?
    I like Longines and Gruen. Currently learning...
    -JackW

  6. #6

    Default Re: trademarks for Star Watch Case Company (RE: Jack_W)

    Jack,

    I believe that's a page from Kurtis Meyers "US Horological Trademark Index", which is a great resource. Trademarks don't expire, and are often used many years after being filed. The double headed eagle trademark, listed as used since 1910 is seen on Gruen wristwatches from the 1950s.

    You should also understand that the list you cite isn't definitive. It's a list that Charlie Cleeves compiled from correspondence with Henry Doepke, the head of the service department at Gruen when the factory closed in 1958. Henry stated that he was basing it on recollections, and that some of the dates might be off a few years.

    Your watch dates to 1942 or 1943, give or take a year. It's pictured in my 1942 Gruen counter catalog.
    Cary Hurt


  7. #7
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    Default Re: trademarks for Star Watch Case Company (RE: Cary Hurt)

    Cary:

    Thank you again for your reply with the reference and the caveat on the Gruen movement table. Can you provide a scan of the page from your 1942 counter book?
    I like Longines and Gruen. Currently learning...
    -JackW

  8. #8

    Default Re: trademarks for Star Watch Case Company (RE: Jack_W)

    Here it is. It's half of a two page spread, with ladies watches on the other side. Yours is the V-T Practitioner, lower left.

    I know the text says "guildite", which is stainless steel, but remember that the war started very late in 1941, and strategic materials didn't start to be rationed until early 1942, after this catalog was published. My copy has two price revision cards, so it's apparent they just included updates rather than recalling the catalog. Sterling was subbed for stainless as the supplies ran out. That's why you will see examples of the same watch made with either material.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails gruen ad.jpg  
    Cary Hurt


  9. #9
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    Default Re: trademarks for Star Watch Case Company (RE: Cary Hurt)

    So this might be an example of a WWII production watch that is 1) not made by Wadsworth and 2) isn't the tank style? I have been most successful in getting an answer if there are other examples of war produced watches. Makes me wonder if the rest of the case is silver and gold-fill on silver.

    I also am beginning to think I scored a real gem on eBay. Now to see what is up with the case back when I get it.
    I like Longines and Gruen. Currently learning...
    -JackW

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