Is this Gruen case solid gold?

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Paul Raposo, Nov 24, 2017.

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  1. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User

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    #1 Paul Raposo, Nov 24, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
    I picked up this Gruen autowind that the seller said was solid gold. It's marked on the case back

    GRUEN
    14K
    GOLD

    With a J and an arrow.

    DSCN7610.JPG

    When I took the movement out there were no markings inside the case.

    DSCN7620.JPG

    I found this identical watch on ebay and it has all the correct marking inside the case.

    s-l16001g.jpg

    Is mine solid gold or not? I need some advice on this because if it was misrepresented I will have to contact the seller to get a refund.
     
  2. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Yes, I am sure yours will be solid gold (14Kt)

    If still unsure any good jeweler could test, but markings are correct

    Would love to see the autowind movement!
    Adam
     
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  3. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User

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    Thank you for your reply Adam :) I'm wondering if because it's a presentation watch that maybe that explains the lack of inner case markings. Here's some more pictures

    DSCN7599.JPG DSCN7612.JPG DSCN7608.JPG DSCN7616.JPG DSCN7612.JPG DSCN7619.JPG
     
  4. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Hi
    No nothing to do with the presentation on the back, that is very nice.
    Actually it makes more sense to mark the 14Kt on the back, to quickly identify it.

    Nice watch
    adam
     
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  5. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User

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    Thank you Adam. I'm wondering if the 1947 date isn't too early for a 710RSS movement? The closest date I can find is 1960.

    Looking online I found this WUS thread from nine years ago. Someone posted a friend's grandfather's Gruen identical to this one and it was also an engraved presentation watch from 1961 and lo and behold no inner case markings either. The poster and watch are from Canada too and I noticed the same upper right lug is slightly bent on their watch.

    vintage gruen autowind

    IMG_0920.jpg
     
  6. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Sorry, dont know.
    Iam not where all my reference books and notes are, so I cannot check anything
     
  7. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User

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    Thanks Adam. I'll keep doing some research and see what I come up with.
     
  8. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    Look forward to seeing what you and others come up with
    Sorry, I can not add more
    I return to Spain on Sunday
    A
     
  9. Shawn Moulder

    Shawn Moulder Registered User
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    Hey Paul, your watch case is made by the Jonell Watch Case Company of Long Island New Yorker. They made solid gold cases and gold filled cases. They made cases for Hamilton and a lot of swiss brand watches during the 50s and 60s. Yours is indeed solid 14kt gold.
     
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  10. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    Case marking is very consistent with case markings of the late 1960's to early 70's. Mckinnon was an arm of General motors of Canada. The date likely is the fellows start date at McKinnon would be my guess.
     
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  11. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User

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    #11 Paul Raposo, Nov 25, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
    Thank you for the case maker's name and for confirming that it is solid gold, Shawn :thumb:

    The lack of inner case marking bothered me but seeing the watch above which is identical also without case markings I suppose makes it not unusual.

    Thank you for your reply Jeff.

    I posted about this watch on another forum Jeff and someone also suggested that. McKinnon became General Motors of Canada Limited, St. Catharine's in 1969 so I'm wondering if the newly named company would give a presentation watch in 1972 with the old company name.

    With Shawn stating that Jonelle made cases in the 50s and 60s at this point that is the only answer that makes sense since Gruen was still using bumper movement in the late 40s and early 50s.
     
  12. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    The watch is inscribed 1947, not 1972. I have never heard of, or seen, a presentation inscription that had the date the person started work, unless followed by the end date. I think the watch was presented to Mike Bedrosian in 1947 to mark his 25 years service, meaning he started in 1922. (The style of the engraving is old-fashioned even for 1947 but I think it is very attractive).

    Just my opinion - I'm not a watch man and may be wrong.

    JTD
     
  13. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    I wonder whether McKinnon Industries is this one, which changed names in 1969.
     
  14. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User

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    This is a valid point JTD and there's the rub. The movement doesn't jibe with the presentation date, at least from what I can find online. I found an identical watch on ebay that the seller lists at being from the 1960s and the watch I posted above which is also the same as this one, is also a presentation watch with a 1961 date.

    I think it is Steven. I spent some time looking online and haven't been able to find another Canadian company called McKinnon Industries.
     
  15. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User

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    Something I was thinking about last night--could the watch have been given belatedly in the 60s long after Mr. Bedrosian had achieved his 25 years of service in 1947?
     
  16. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    In my opinion, No. Especially not with that style of engraving.
    And I think that Steven's link is the right one.

    JTD
     
  17. GeneJockey

    GeneJockey Registered User
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    I have seen watches before with service inscriptions that have the start date, not the award date, and only collectors would know because that movement wasn't introduced until years later. I'm pretty certain nobody was selling 25j automatics in 1947, plus which the case is a front-loading waterproof type, which would have been way ahead of its time in 1947.
     
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  18. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User

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    That's an excellent point GeneJockey and something I hadn't even thought about. Mido introduced their Ocean Star one piece case in 1959 and that was a big deal at the time.

    And I really should have considered the 1947 being a start date because recently I sold an Omega Geneve Dofasco award watch that was purchased in 1973--with a 1947 presentation inscription.


    I think the mystery may be solved.

    omega_552 015.jpg omega_552 003.jpg
     
  19. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    #19 Jeff Hess, Nov 26, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
    clearly a late 60's to early 70's watch. great example and nice watch. congrats!
     
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  20. MINI

    MINI Registered User

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    I dont believe that Gruen used that 710RSS movement until at least the late 1950's after the original Gruen company was sold. From what i viewed in Mike Barnett's 'The Gruen Watch Repairer's Reference' book, it doesn't show up in the 1953 Gruen movement catalog but does show in the one from the 1970's.
     
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  21. Diathienthai

    Diathienthai Registered User

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    View attachment 364350
    I think jan.23.1947 is the day Mr. Mike started working for the company. So this watch was given in 1972 (1947 +25 y = 1972)
    DSCN7608.JPG
     
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  22. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    yes. Correct. This is the obvious answer based on style of watch and movement.
     
  23. Diathienthai

    Diathienthai Registered User

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    #23 Diathienthai, Dec 5, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
    In 1947 there was automatic movement, but it was the caliber Bumper.

    Omega Caliber 354 "Bumper" 1950
    View attachment 409544
     
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