Rare and how early Veri-thin Gruen?

vlieger

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I am also getting an A-one education about Gruen PWs. Many years ago, I also had another and a Gruen wristwatch. unfortunately, they were stolen from me during a burglary of my apartment. I was sadly not able to get them back. I will say that the other Gruen PW I had was a Louis XIV design. I have attached a pic I found on the Internet that resembled mine. I have also attached some more pics of the Ultra thin I now own and I hope that the details on the dial are a bit clearer. As I do not have a decent camera at this time, I am not able to get a better grade of pics. Camera was also stolen. I hope that this will be enough for Thojil. Thanks again. The condition issues of the dial are definitely more visible.

thanks J
 

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artbissell

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Typically inconsistent for Gruen, the sales promoted best models when available 1913-20? were Dietrich Gruens marked extra. They did not have the Grossmann superior escapement as did the other best Gruen models.
Reported to be from Longines, LeCoultre, and my guess from movement, case and dial appearance similarity, Meylan.
Samples here are D. Gruen 1915, real Gruen a little newer.
 

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artbissell

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This posting for me is a real delight. It is forcing me to be careful about making absolute assumptions about anything Gruen and encouraging research effort and broadening my interest in Gruens other than V and UV. For instance I thought all early UUT had 18K cases. Am considering one of a couple very nice Assmann Gruens. One in gold, other in same American plain case gold fill. Never saw a Gruen marked hunter case watch. Any? 2 of 3 shown are hunters. They have the 62xxx numbers which some say is earliest Gruen number.
I have photos from a fine collector of his best Assmann Gruen 16 size. Was surprised to see the fine 14K hunter case is marked Gruen w.c. Co. So for sure Gruen did make hunter cases. 1902 gift with 66xxx number. This the best Assmann 20 jewel Grossmann movement so the best of the first Gruens appropriately dial marked Precision Watch but before they used Extra marking. It is a nicer looking accurate version of the Grossman watch I used to have.
 

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Thojil

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Sep 6, 2008
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So for sure Gruen did make hunter cases. 1902 gift with 66xxx numbe.
Let me give you my theory on this. I think hunter cases were only done in combination with the "standard" 18s movements (i.e. Assmann). Before 1898 Gruens were sold the regular way as a movement + dial only. Customers could choose any case, which already explains the presence of hunter cases for the earlier "Gruen & Son" PW's.

In 1898 the Gruens purchased Queen City Watch Case Company and changed its name to Gruen National Watch Case Company. From this moment on Gruen was starting to produce complete watches. Hunter cases marked Gruen produced after 1898 is logical as the case company was still producing the traditional cases.

I think the hunter cases stopped (obviously there was a run-out period) from the moment Gruen started to produce the VeriThin movements in 1904. These had an unusual size for those days (between 10s and 12s) so they had to deliver a complete watch to the customer, which became their USP. So unless anybody has seen a VeriThin hunter case.......:confused:
 

artbissell

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I am also getting an A-one education about Gruen PWs. Many years ago, I also had another and a Gruen wristwatch. unfortunately, they were stolen from me during a burglary of my apartment. I was sadly not able to get them back. I will say that the other Gruen PW I had was a Louis XIV design. I have attached a pic I found on the Internet that resembled mine. I have also attached some more pics of the Ultra thin I now own and I hope that the details on the dial are a bit clearer. thanks J
Seems like the Bronx has not improved to perfection yet. I thought it was better now. Your photos look good to me. Camera cannot be too close and needs to be firmly stable. The dial looks like it is a managable job to renew. I have no one to refer as I have no experience but there are many good ones you can find.
 

artbissell

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Thojil: Good information about early Gruen cases. Confirms what little I have noticed. Since I have invested in an early German Assmann 16 size with hunter case made by Gruen I notice how movement markings differ from various images. Previous photo of 3 shows 2 16 size hunters and 18 size open face. It and one of the 16s marked D. Gruen and son. Other 16s is marked D.Gruen and sons which was company name change in 1898. So it could have a Gruen made case,but others would not, being made before 98 when case factory started. These 2 16s are gilt plate surface. The one I now have is nickel. I guess they came with different jewel counts and finishes. Was informed that nickel movements were preferred in tropical climates. I thought the company mark DG&s was discontinued because of name change but DG&s can mean son or sons. It is generally considered that DG&s not used after 1910. Shown below.
 

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artbissell

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Thojil: Good information about early Gruen cases. Confirms what little I have noticed. Since I have invested in an early German Assmann 16 size with hunter case made by Gruen I notice how movement markings differ from various images. Previous photo of 3 shows 2 16 size hunters and 18 size open face. It and one of the 16s marked D. Gruen and son. Other 16s is marked D.Gruen and sons which was company name change in 1898. So it could have a Gruen made case,but others would not, being made before 98 when case factory started. These 2 16s are gilt plate surface.
They are not. Photo color excessive yellow. All I have actually seen are nickel or look like it. Actual photo copies from Japanese forum:
 

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artbissell

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[QUOTE=artbissell; This the best Assmann 20 jewel Grossmann movement so the best of the first Gruens appropriately dial marked Precision Watch but before they used Extra marking. It is a nicer looking accurate version of the Grossman watch I used to have.[/QUOTE

The American Swiss and German made Gruen movements of their best performance models used the Moritz Grossmann escapement designs. Google the name to learn why. The fine Lange and Assmann watches were based on his well researched technology. He also made several hundred watches. 40 years ago I bought and sold one. Its sale price got me interested in watches. Cannot find a good image of one although a recent auction sale indicated awareness of Grossmann nothing like that for Brequet. My old image here. Notice similarity to Lange and Assmann. and earliest Gruens. I JUST SAW the fiirst GOOGLE image is excellent report.
 

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mjfefe

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Feb 10, 2009
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Came across this post today. I know how questionable things are when trying to date Gruen's or gain information on them so I thought I might throw some more confusing things on here that may lead to useable info for someone. I have a watch that I bought when I was 15 (so glad i did now since it's still my fave) It's a D. Gruen and Sons. Then Serial# is 129044. It is marked "Madretsch" under the balance (as seen in one of the photos, sry best I could get without a macro lens) The case is engraved with a presentation date on the case of Feb. 27th 1910. The case is also a Gruen 14k case marked Verithin but the movement and face of the watch are not marked Verithin. The Gruen name is very faded on the dial but I still love it because I have never seen another Gruen with the same face (only similar ones with different floral patterns and they are all ususally marked Semithin or Verithin). Enjoy and feel free to comment.
19.jpg

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artbissell

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The Madretsch verithins are uncommon. It has the Gruen gold case and the first of the Gruen metal dials. Marking indicates origin before 1910. I have seen one identical that is after 1912. It is a mystery to me why Gruen would buy movements from Leo Alby, Madretsch after building the Swiss factory to make them. Yours may well be from before factory was built. It looks like it had no regulator spring? One is shown on 1912+ one image here. The series number of 141xxx is not a serial number. It was started after yours was made to designate highest grade movements
 

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mjfefe

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artbissell Thanks for th input. As for the regulator spring, it has not had one as long as I've had it and there is no evidence that there was one (mounting holes, scratches, etc)
 

artbissell

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Photos indicating that the first Gruen watches were among the best available from Dietrich Gruen's association and training with German high qualtiy makers Lange and Assmann, and the refined escapement design of educator and watchmaker Grossmann. Attempt to show so called gold parts that are actually a very special bronze with aluminum alloy, durable and hard to work, unlike any gold alloy. Shown earlier herein. 20j, 16 size, 1902 gift engraved in Gruen made gold case.
 

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artbissell

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Gruens Fred and father wanted to supply the best timekeeper performance. They selected Assmann with the Grossmann escapement in 1894 for their first watches. When they gave up the 16 and 18 size Assmann pocketwatches about 1904 they still used the poised pallet and Grossmann balance in the best grades of their own and from Leo Alby, Madretsch. These were marked extra, precision, and chronometer balance. The 16 size Maretsch even had the Grossmann screw regulator. This done up to about 1920 for movements or dials marked extra. Here shown Assmann movement, lever and Tom McIntyre best Madretsch 16 size. Added my typical Verithin Extra. Marked on dial, later ones on movement. Wish I had kept my 1872 Grossmann.
Repeat this old thread because of variety of good historical info from collectors with odd variety of movements.as well as my good and bad descriptions....art b
 

thesnark17

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It is an excellent thread. This is the one that inspired me to start collecting serial numbers on the Verithin line, due to two comments in the first page. I now have well over 2,000 entries and a pretty good idea of what was made, when it was made, and the quantity it was made in (particularly for the more common grades). I'm continuing work on it, and particularly looking for high-grade and/or dated examples to further fine-tune it.

I can definitively say that Gruen made a hunter version of at least the VE, V3, V4, and LV1 grades (response to post #54). I would venture to say that they are the rarest of all the calibers by far, particularly in original cases. I've only seen 10 movements total (again, of 2,000 entries), and only a few were in a case.
 

artbissell

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It is an excellent thread. This is the one that inspired me to start collecting serial numbers on the Verithin line, due to two comments in the first page. I now have well over 2,000 entries and a pretty good idea of what was made, when it was made, and the quantity it was made in (particularly for the more common grades). I'm continuing work on it, and particularly looking for high-grade and/or dated examples to further fine-tune it.

I can definitively say that Gruen made a hunter version of at least the VE, V3, V4, and LV1 grades (response to post #54). I would venture to say that they are the rarest of all the calibers by far, particularly in original cases. I've only seen 10 movements total (again, of 2,000 entries), and only a few were in a case.
Very much appreciate y0ur serious efforts. art b
 

PapaLouies

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We know it is uncommon but not extremely rare and is 18K probably near 1 oz in not very good cosmetic condition. I would double the gold scrap value. For a near mint condition which like a rare coin makes it rarer and more in demand at 100% more. My guess. Others likely to be much less or much higher. Range: scrap to 3 times. I just bought a very nice 18k pentagon 1922 precision for scrap from a knowledgable seller. an advantage of it is the thick enamel dial with recessed numbers and seconds to me a real advantage over the usual diseased silver. Very easy cleanup to do on this to make it nice. Even 18K gold oxidizes.
Gruen V4.
IMG_2109.JPG IMG_2110.JPG IMG_2111.JPG IMG_2112.JPG IMG_2113.JPG Regards, P/L
 

thesnark17

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Such a fine dial style. I'm a big fan of those engraved gold numbers! The enameled case is a nice touch as well.

Your V4 Pentagon dates to late 1923, +/- 6 months.

Thanks for the data point - I had not seen yours before.
 

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