Gruen information

Clock Man

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Jul 6, 2010
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Calling Cary....

What information can you tell me about this wonderful Gruen? I love the case style coupled with the black dial/gold combo. (Rolled Gold Plate)

Surely a male style even though about 28mm wide and 15mm lug width, correct?

Can you date it? I think circa 1930 from the looks.

I see it is a cal 705

What significance is the 2015 number?


What era did they use Anchor made cases and Gruen Guild Switzerland on the movement?

Is there a name for the case style? Funky styled lugs with facets intact and no wear through at high points.
 

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Cary Hurt

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Dec 16, 2005
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It is a nice looking watch, but not a Gruen factory issued version. The 705 is circa early 1930s (maybe late '20s), and although Gruen would later use some Anchor cases, this one isn't marked correctly for a factory case. I would presume this one was recased sometime in the 1930s or '40s, when good watches were hard to come by, and a working movement was often resurrected by being placed in a "jobber" case. Anchor was a prominent maker of such cases, as were ID, Star, Rex, Diehl and others. Sometimes these cases came with a new dial, sometimes the original was refinished and sometimes the original was a good fit. This one may be original, or it may have been refinished.

The hands are also probably replacements, as one would expect luminous hands on a luminous dial.
 

Clock Man

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Jul 6, 2010
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Thank you for the information.

I do not run across many black dialed Gruen watches from this era. What has been your experience?

It'll go nicely with my black dial 500.....my Mutt & Jeff combo.
 

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Adam Harris

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May 3, 2012
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Hi
Let me respond as best as I can, I am sure Cary can add more

Surely a male (mans) size watch.
I think more like 1920s, its an early piece with spring bars so mid 1920s The caliber 705 was used prior to 1930.
The box number dial looks more 20s to me.

The lume (radium and radioactive) looks original to me, and if not original, very early - as its Radium, do not get the dust particles in your mouth (from your fingers) or have the bezel off in front of children.

I think 2015 may be any serial number.

If Cary does not respond I will add more
Regards
adam
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS@ Bary C & Mike B - Caliber dating
 

Cary Hurt

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Dec 16, 2005
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Gruen used a few black dials in the 1930s, but many of those were of specific designs that were unique to a particular model. This dial might be original, although I tend to believe that it was refinished, likely at the time that it was installed in the new case. It is of a correct configuration, but original black dials from the period are quite rare. The hands were probably replaced at the same time, as most luminous hands from the period were blued steel which shows up poorly against a black dial.

The 700 series movements (of which the 705 is one) do not appear in the 1926 Gruen standardized parts catalog, nor in the 1929 dealers book (although it doesn't have a comprehensive list of movements). They were used in a variety of watches throughout the 1930s.

The styling of the case, and it's use of stainless steel for the back, tells me that this is a case from the late 1930s or early 1940s. A great many of this sort of "recycled" watches were sold during the first part of World War Two, as there was a shortage of quality watches due to the demands of the war, and the difficulty in procuring consistent supplies from neutral Switzerland.

It's a nice watch and is a part of the American history of watches. It does make a nice counter to your 500.
 

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