Review: Barett: Gruen Watch Model ID Guide, Vol.2 (2014)

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, Jul 2, 2014.

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  1. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
    NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Life Member NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    Horological Bibliographer -
    Sussex New Jersey USA
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    Bookreview 2014

    Gruen Wristwatch Model Identification Guide Vol.2

    Gruen – Watch Model Identification Guide, Volume 2. By Mike Barnett. Published 2014 by Second Hand Press, Pittsboro NC, USA. No ISBN Paperback, 162 pages, 28 cm. Fully illustrated in color. US$ 60 plus postage. Available at or consult at the National Watch and Clock Library in Columbia Pa.

    Longtime regular readers of these pages may recall my March 2010 review of Volume 1 of this publication, in which I wrote “Hopefully at some time in the future Mike Barnett will find the time and enthusiasm to once again selflessly share his new discoveries with the community of Gruen collectors in a Volume 2”, and actually in January 2014 that time has come.

    Most serious afficionados of Gruen wristwatches probably are (or certainly should be) familiar with the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] volume. Most of what I wrote then about the book (see: ) applies to Volume 2 as well. Volume 1 featured reproductions of about 350 images from Gruen advertisements published between 1912 and 1951, but Volume two adds over 600 additional models, bringing the total to nearly 1000. Particularly significant additions have been among early Gruen watches (up to 1933) and images from the twilight years of the brand in the 1950s.

    Like volume 1 this is strictly a reference book, a tool, and not a book with a storyline. 126 of these pages are reproduced ad images captioned with a caption consisting of: 1. Year advertised, 2. Model Name, 3. Movement info, 4. Price advertised, 5. Equivalent price in 2013 Dollars. The remaining pages include 26 pages of two index tables (chronologically by launch date, and alphabetically by model name), and 6 pages of introductory matter. It is most helpful that the index combines the content of volume 1 and volume2.

    More books like this are urgently needed by watch collectors who are systematically cataloging and complementing their collection. Researching, creating and publishing them is tedious and time consuming work, and most readers never thank the people who reate them. But ths reviewer wants to say ‘Thank you’ to Mike and others who provide this valuable service to our global community of horological collectors.

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki (Sussex, NJ)
    March 2, 2014

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