GRUEN ULTRATHIN p.w.

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by artbissell, May 14, 2016.

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  1. artbissell

    artbissell Registered User
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    The top grade in Gruen ads 1915-25+ was the Ultra-Thin. There were many Gruen special order watches with a variety of high grade Swiss movements sold by Gruen, but the U.T. was standard product. Commonly dial marked DIETRICH GRUEN. Not made by Gruen. I have only 2 but the marking and movement designs are different. I have seen a few. All use 130k-150k serials. LeLocle area Suisse sourced. These 2 are in Gruen spec cases with Wadsworth made serial numbered cases. When were cases made? Movements 148k and 150k. Silver and nickel. Poised pallet and not. Maybe 2 different sources, or more? artbissell

    1331329270x.jpg 1331329656.jpg IMG_9412a.jpg IMG_9405a.jpg
     
  2. artbissell

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    Re: GRUEN ULTRATHIN p.w. sourcegrade

    Do not know how sourcegrade got in title. This written basically for dates OF WADSWORTH case serial numbers 1026418 and G479701. I guess 1919 and 1930. art
     
  3. Tom McIntyre

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    Re: GRUEN ULTRATHIN p.w. sourcegrade

    Art, can you explain why you think these two watches have a different source? (I edited your title.)
     
  4. artbissell

    artbissell Registered User
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    These 2 just look differently finished quality as though made with different hands as well as different escapement and movement plate metal. Sources could be Piquet and Meylan, or? Art
     
  5. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I think the two ebauches look a lot alike. They could be slightly different grades with the Precision Extra being just a bit higher and the period could have changed the finishing standards also.

    I will post my very bad picture of my dietrich Gruen Up/Dn here for comparison to see if folks think all three may have the same source.
    DietrichGruenM.jpg
     
  6. artbissell

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    I have not seen many U.T. and all have 140k+ serials mainly? used for high grade and special Gruens. I see the normal production Gruen serial on this 23j U.T. Hope Shojil sees this who has done much research of Gruen serials. Art
     
  7. Tom McIntyre

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    I do not believe there is a UT mark on the 23 jewel Dietrich Gruen. It is my understanding that these preceded the U.T. many of which were also marked with the same precision and extra marks.

    I have never really studied the Gruen serial numbers because of the presumption that there were no meaningful patterns available.
     
  8. artbissell

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    #8 artbissell, May 16, 2016
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
    Touchon marked Ultra-thin here. Same as Meylan. Very good reasoning about the irregular Gruen serializing. I hope Shojil in Switzerland maintains his very good starting effort to sort out the Gruen numbering . Art
     

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  9. Thojil

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    Unfortunately I have not come across that many UT's either over that last few years. I only have 10 serial numbers of which two are yours ;) The lowest serial number I found is in fact your 148,515 and the highest one 150,720.

    If I start working with the confirmed information that I do have we know that in 1918 Piquet produced 288 units for Gruen and that they produced this movement between 1912 and 1920. If I then in a none scientific way multiply the production years with 288 you get to a grand total of 2,300 produced movements. Now of course this is extremely rough and assuming Piquet produced the same number every year, which was likely not the case, but interestingly enough that is not too far of the difference between the highest and lowest serial I have found so far.

    This drives my belief that the UT serial numbers started with 148,000 and ended somewhere before 151,000 was reached. But again this is just educated speculation.

    I suspect your Wadsworth cased movement is probably re-cased in a case that originally housed a Gruen cal. 380 (17 ligne "new veri-thin"). The Wadsworth "G4" case serial numbers were produced in 1943-1944.

    The original case I would estimate early 20's. I have registered a couple of solid gold Gruen made cases with serials from 101k up to 105k with V1.5 and V2.5 movements that have early to mid 20's dates engraved.
     
  10. artbissell

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    #10 artbissell, May 17, 2016
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
    Very good educated speculation by Thojil. My 1920+ 150k serial U.T. came from daughter of original only owner who got it new from a small town dealer. I neglected to ask when obtained. So it may well have been a used movement sold many many years later originally in its case the seller had available. Art

    IMG_9421acopy.jpg IMG_9416acopy.jpg




    5815B.jpg Auction example same as Tom's using similar serial I see for other Gruen nonstandard specials.
     
  11. Thojil

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    Looking at the case back inscription of the Wadsworth case again I realised that it can't have been a case for a cal.380 Veri Thin as there should have been a movement and model code as well like on the picture. I guess it must have been a stock case then.

    Gruen Veri-Thin 380 9.3.jpg
     
  12. artbissell

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    #12 artbissell, May 18, 2016
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
    Glad to know my photos may be useful for a good researcher. What is date for this G95+ case? Art

    853130-gruen-produced-cheap-1945-50th-img_0816a.jpg
     
  13. Thojil

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    Wadsworth "G9" serials were produced in 1948-1949. To date there is no more accurate dating possible than this.
     
  14. artbissell

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    A time when Gruen was struggling to maintain p.w. sales and these few 50th marked I have seen are possibly a serious Gruen made scarce product. Art
     
  15. Harvey Mintz

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    Interestingly, I have a Bulova Phantom that appears to be identical to the ultrathin Art Bissell pictured above. And that should help me find a couple of parts for it.

    Thanks, guys! :)
     
  16. Ethan Lipsig

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    Harvey, I have three Bulova Phantoms. They all appear to have the same movements, and none of them closely resemble any of the movements in this thread. See https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?114618-19k-Bulova-Phantom&highlight=bulova+phantom+piguet for photos of one of my trio. If you have a Phantom with a different looking movement, I'd appreciate you posting a photo of the movement. If yours is different, that adds to the mystery of who made the Phantoms. The leading contender probably is Les Fils de Louis-Elisee, later known as Frederic Piquet and now part of Blancplain, but some think they were made by Audmars Piguet or C.H. Meylan.
     
  17. Harvey Mintz

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    Ethan -

    I replied to this, but somehow it ended up under a different discussion (in Wrist Watches, of all places).

    So, here it is AGAIN!

    Bulova Phantom.jpg

    The contrast isn't quite enough to make the markings easy to see, so --

    The movement is marked:
    19 Jewels
    Nineteen
    8 ADJ
    Eight
    Bulova Phantom 12P

    The case is marked:
    Platine
    Bulova W Co
    Swiss
     
  18. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    The Phantoms are nice, I think. Harvey's looks like it was once owned by a gorilla though. Unless my eyes deceive me the ratchet wheel is missing some teeth as well as the stem presumably being twisted in two. :mysad:
     
  19. Ethan Lipsig

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  20. artbissell

    artbissell Registered User
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    Very much appreciate the confirming of PIQUET by Ethan and Thojil as one of Gruen's primary high grade movement sources. Art
     
  21. Harvey Mintz

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    Tom -

    You're right about the ratchet wheel, but wrong about the stem - it's intact, it just isn't installed. In fact, the movement is just resting on the case for the picture.

    Also, the staff is broken. I'm looking for parts, which is why I was happy to see a reference to the actual manufacturer of the movement.

    I can't speak to whether the previous owner was a gorilla - it might even be true. :)

    Harvey
     

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