Gruen 179- Valuable or not?

Elgin_Galaxie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2019
47
5
8
31
Batesville, Indiana
Country
Region
I know you guys have to be tired of people constantly asking if their watch or clock is valuable, and I hate doing it, but sometimes, I have to ask an expert. I know to take values on eBay with a grain of salt, but the last time I saw a Gruen like mine, same dial cal. 179 it was going for over a grand. Mine is in beautiful condition, but it's not perfect, it could use a new glass crystal, but the one on it is fine for now, it runs very strong, consistent and keeps great time., and I have an extra 179 movement for parts with dial. My best friend and I are trying to build a shop, we've been working on his garage when we can because he and I are constantly working and he has a wife and 2 young kids, a boy and a girl, I don't know how he does it, but he's an amazing father. I bought a rather large collection of used Bulova, Gruen, and AS parts with the intention of building them, which is still my plan, but I will let a few of these go so our little shop can have all the tools it needs. He cleans/services/restores, any kind of sewing machine you put in front of him. He is 3rd generation, and is the best at what he does. So I am going to list the few movements below, and if anyone can give me just an estimate, or a general Idea, I only took pictures of the 179, because I wasn't thinking. All movements are complete except stem and crown and will be fully serviced,
100% Original and Complete Gruen Cal. 179 in perfect working order with exra movement for parts It looks rather dirty in the photos, but I have cleaned it up nicely.
Gruen Cal. 730CA
Gruen Cal. 500
I was told these last Movements were made by Rolex, but the guy that said that likes to make me look like a fool, so Idk whether they were or not.
2 Complete movements with stem, crown, and dial- Gruen Cal. 835 "Rolex 200"
Gruen Cal. 833 "Rolex" Stem, Crown, Dial, Hands, Runs
If You guys can give me an idea of what to ask for each movement, IF they happen to be worth anything, that would be a Godsend! We are trying to better ourselves for our families, and for each other.

IMG_7830 (2).JPG IMG_8088.JPG IMG_8089.JPG IMG_8090.JPG IMG_8091.JPG IMG_8092.JPG
 

thesnark17

Registered User
Jul 11, 2020
56
34
18
Country
Region
In short, they're not worth a whole lot. The 179 is probably worth the most of the batch, you might get more than $100 for a nice example if you're lucky. There is one particular seller on ebay who gets 5-10x average market value when he sells - I wouldn't be surprised if you saw one of his listings.

Your "guy" is not telling the truth about the Rolex connection, but he's not completely lying either. Rolex was not a "proper manufacturer" of watch movements until recently, when they bought the complete ownership of their movement supplier. Back in the day, Rolex and Gruen both contracted from Aegler SA, a movement (not watch) manufacturer that built the caliber 835 (Gruen)/200 (Rolex) and 833, among many others. Many parts are interchangeable between the calibers, but Rolex used a special balance on most of theirs, and Rolex calibers tend to be more finely adjusted. However some movements are exactly the same quality, with all parts interchanging, between Gruen and Rolex calibers. How similar they are largely depends on era - Gruen relied less and less on Aegler movements over time, while Rolex relied on them more and more. Gruen and Rolex owned equal shares of Aegler in the 1920s, with the Aegler family having a majority stake. In the 1930s, Gruen sold their stake to Rolex, causing the Aegler factory to go under Rolex's de facto control, and finally, in 2004, Rolex bought out the Aegler family to assume full ownership.

In no way were any of your watches built by, or even associated with, Rolex - but they do have some value to Rolex collectors as parts movements. The closest you can get to ethically claiming a Rolex connection is to write something like the paragraph I wrote above.

For the other watches, I would say that $100 would be a hard cap for a 500 or 730CA in good condition.

Sorry about that! I wish you the best.
 
  • Like
Reactions: musicguy

Elgin_Galaxie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2019
47
5
8
31
Batesville, Indiana
Country
Region
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, you saved me from looking like even more of a fool. The guy was my "mentor" and he is not a good person, at all, and I recently found out quite a few things he's done to me just for fun, so bad that I've cut ties with him altogether for my own safety, so I appreciate your help. I live in a small town in SE Indiana and as far as I know, he is the only watchmaker near me, so I'm going to have to rely on the clock and watch collector community for help and advice. I quit tying to learn clock and watch repair because of his cruelty and constantly cutting me down. With that negativity out of my life, I'm getting the spark back and want to continue learning. You obviously know quite a bit about Gruen watches, so I was wondering if you could help me with something else. It's a repair question, so I'm going to post it there, if you have the time, I would really appreciate you taking a look. Thank you again sir, and there's no need to be sorry, I'm actually very happy about it, you taught me something I didn't know, and I truly appreciate that!
 

Similar threads

S
Replies
2
Views
1K
Shaylins
S
Replies
1
Views
968
Royboy
R

Forum statistics

Threads
165,376
Messages
1,439,396
Members
86,181
Latest member
Kevsun
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,873
Last edit
Weekly News 7/7/19 by Tom McIntyre