The best Gruen p.w. collectible

artbissell

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Generally considered to be the 650 quantity 1924 50th Anniversary with its solid gold movement plates and finish work. However, I believe the most interesting is the original 18 size hunter and open face cased made by Assmann specified by Dietrich Gruen to establish quality standard for his new company in 1894 after leaving Columbus Watch Co. His education and early experience was with the Germans Grossmann and Assmann for designs and high quality production. So he designed a combination of the best of both that was started with serial 62000. I have seen serial numbers for these indicating about 6000 made, and would like to know of any serials exceeding 67000. Here shown with roughly similar age Grossmann and Assmann. Notice poised pallet in Gruen and most have the aluminum hard alloy escapement wrongly called gold. artbissell

grossmann a.jpg P1000304a.jpg 856715-gruen-produced-cheap-1945-50th-s0430275acopy.jpg

grossmann a.jpg P1000304a.jpg 856715-gruen-produced-cheap-1945-50th-s0430275acopy.jpg
 

artbissell

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Here is the rarest of my GRUEN collection if not most collectible ASSMANN made 10 size with serial exceeding 67000. Never saw another anywhere. Unable to determine if it was ASSMANN made standard model for them. artbissell IMG_0045a.jpg IMG_0053a.jpg IMG_0056x.jpg
 
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Ethan Lipsig

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Jon, you don't mean that every Dietrich Gruen was at the top of the range, do you? For example you wouldn't consider this 14k Dietrich Gruen in my collection, though very nice, at the top or the range?
 

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artbissell

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No question that the several different Dietrich Gruen marked watches used the highest grades of Le Locle area based movement makers and are great collectibles. Ethan's pentagon Verithin is certainly the best grade of a completely Gruen made product. My purpose here is to show my personal preference interest, as a best collectible Gruen, as being the ASSMANN sourced ones. Most GRUEN collectors seem to prefer the GRUEN CURVEX w.w. There are many unique fine p.w. movements marked and cased by Gruen that were special orders that would themselves make a fair sized collection. artbissell
 
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Dr. Jon

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Ethan, my taste is that the Deitrich Gruen up down is the best of the Gruens. All teh Deitricj Gruens marked ones are nice but to me there can only be one best. My taste is to simple watches and an up down indicator is as complicated as I like it and I accept this one only because it harks back to marine chronometers and does not have much impact on performance as a timekeeper.

It's a matter of taste and that's mine. I love the Assmann Gruens too but my take is that the up down is better. Now, thanks to Art, I am going to be looking for a 10 size Assmann.
 

Thojil

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Ethan's pentagon Verithin is certainly the best grade of a completely Gruen made product.
I don't want to destroy an illusion ;) , but there was one grade positioned above Ethan's beautiful "V1" caliber, which was the "VE". Of course this is not considering the "50th Anniversary" calibers that Art referred to, which were a class in itself.

The specs are identical, but the VE level of finishing was higher. The description below is taken from the 1916 Gruen Blue Book.

VE - 21j EXTRA PRECISION
Finest ruby jewels, raised solid gold settings, chronometer balance of stationary adjustment, patent gold train wheel system, isochronal brequet hairspring, double roller precision steel escapement, stop guard, poised fork, gold train, patent regulator, extra finely finished in all details, accurately adjusted to all temperatures, isochronism and all positions, solid gold dial.

V1 - 21j PRECISION
Fine ruby jewels, etc., same description as VE, excepting the details of finish and adjustment, adjusted to all positions, temperatures and isochronism.


Gruen cal.VE 21j 2.1.JPG

Gruen cal.VE 21j 2.1.JPG
 
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Tom McIntyre

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I think we all love what we have and maybe a few others we really want.

For me the first Dietrich Gruen is the top Gruen even considering the 50th Anniversary and the VE.

I like my example with the enamel dial a little better than Doc Jon's. I also have one of the Sears Roebuck specials that were obviously produced as an obsolete stock recovery scheme.

DietrichGruenD.jpg

I need to photograph my Gruen collection. The pictures on my site are all 15 years old and badly done.

DietrichGruenD.jpg
 

Ethan Lipsig

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I am not crying in my beer or surprised to hear that my Dietrich Gruen is not at the top of the Gruen heap. I never thought it was. I've been looking for an up/down Dietrich Gruen and a Gruen/Assmann, but I just haven't managed to acquire one yet. They are uncommon.
 

artbissell

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Reponses here indicate GRUEN p.w. and as well w.w. are a fertile field for a variety of collectible categories. Member Hess had a 0 size special minute repeater p.w. There are more "BESTS" from Gruen than any other watch producer I can think of and I appreciate present indications of better appreciation of Gruens as fine and odd collectibles. I like the Gruen ASSMANNs because they represent well that Dietrich was intent on providing a truly fine quality watch from the start and he had considerable design influence with his movement supplier ASSMANN. None were very popular because of high price and Swiss manufacture. 16 size Assmann Gruens were also not popular. art bissell

gruen hc ass2.jpg
 
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Tom McIntyre

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Art, if you are going to the start, you need to include Gruen & Savage with the early Columbus Gruens. The company claimed those dates as their beginning. Gruen's patent center pinion date is generally taken as the starting date.

Grossman's escapement was an important part of the early Gruen labeled watches. In some ways Assman was a foundry for Gruen, building designs from Grossman. One of the younger Assman sons came to America to work for Gruen and was with them about 50 years, I think.

That history may be in Gerrit Nijssen's book on Glasshutte.
 
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Tom McIntyre

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The Assmann period is very well documented here and here.

There is one challenge though, you have to understand German or use Google translate and hope for the best...
Very nice info on the Glasshutte operations and history.

My reference to Gerrit's book was about the later history from the grandson of Ernst Julius Assmann and Ernst's diploma watch from Glasshutte and a Gruen that he received from the company for 25 years service in 1930 (so engraved). The award was a white gold pentagon, I believe. I have not seen anything written on Ernst Julius' role or impact on Gruen's American operations.
 

artbissell

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Concerning Ethan Pentagon Dietrich Gruen p.w.: I consider it more interesting as a collectible Gruen than the Gruen marked Dietrich Gruens from the LeLocle Swiss manufacturers that do not have any D.GRUEN design improvements as in the ASSMANNS and are merely very fine Swiss movements cased and maybe adjusted by GRUEN. Also it is unusual in 14k rather than 18k or platinum without probably the solid gold dial normally supplied with the VE movement which it also does not have. I am assuming it is all original. artbissell

Vs.jpg

Vs.jpg
 

artbissell

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Disclosed in this thread that there are many interesting highly collectible Gruen p.w. Here a couple odd ones with the usual DIETRICH GRUEN movement. A 1928 round 14k case and D.G. marked dial, and same D.G. movement in fabulous yellow and white gold Gruen 18k case from before 1922 without D.G. marked dial. One of their special order presentation ones. Bought for scrap value both, but movement in 18k was unknown until I got it. So however defined it is fun being a dedicated GRUEN p.w. collector.

1294493140.jpg 1354244812.jpg 1358378338.jpg

1294493140.jpg 1354244812.jpg 1358378338.jpg
 
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masterwatchmaker

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hi guys i found this babe i didnt know about gruen establishing the Columbus Watch co
thanks for all this knowledge

take a look my early Columbus movement it have a very special and unique micrometer regulator

armstronng.jpg

closer look

colombus.jpg

my movement need a new escape Wheel i will take off rust with my tiny fiberglass brush but it will remain ugly i will try sand blast to see what it gives

also it missing a bronze bushing at barrel and mine is mirrored and not key wound

mirrored i mean if you put them togheter mine is at left other at right exact same design but reversed

oups mine is on the right side like the original gruen colombus is later and at left of the mirror
 
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masterwatchmaker

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today i received the movement in mail and i was very happy to see the escape Wheel is not rusted at all !

on the photo it look like rusted

but the Wheel is in pink gold !

pictures is comming soon

i found gruen secret signature Under the cock

the Watch is dirty and run like new with great amplitude

Gruen Watch Company history: 1894-1904: D. Gruen and Sons

this movement is so special

designed by a german
Under the dial it look swiss
the stud look English style
the bridges look american

so its an international watch

mine is almost 4 digits 9999 its 11443 so its in the begining of the 5 digits

obviously this movement is a male not female lol

ps;sorry i know its not pertinent

to me it look like an erotic watch
 
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masterwatchmaker

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wow my movement in fact is the no 6 of this serie caliber II like 2 in roman numeral
all bridge exept one is 11443 all other bridge and main plate are 3006 !!!
the 6th one with safety pinion invented by Dietrich Gruen when he was only 27 y.o.
in 1876 he patented is invention brevet

the no 3000 start in 1876

20180205_213948.jpg 20180205_183906.jpg 20180205_213948.jpg 20180205_214240.jpg 20180205_214205.jpg 20180205_214219.jpg 20180205_214030.jpg 20180205_214146.jpg

infortunately someone switched one bridge in the pas

i have a clue this bridge is missing a bushing maybe its a recurrant problem that hapen often on this caliber i dont know but it maybe a lazy watchmaker instead to replace the bushing he replace the all bridge

or someone in the bizness maybe a jeweler not honest and stealed the low number bridge

i dont belive a watchmake would do this to a watch

Mr Gruen secret signature is on all bridges

look the no 11443 down and right

a little g stylized like a c finishing with small Arrow doing G

80% no 3006

20% 11443

i heard this movement is the very 1st one 16 size made in amerika
also the very 1st one with safety pinion made in amerika
also the very 1st one with gold escapement Wheel in amerika
also the very 1st one movement with a stem (not negative system that require a sleve in the pendant) made in amerika

so it hold many title total of 4 !

its an exeptional amerikana historical time piece

and only the 6th one made in this serie cal. II

wow what a find !

the person whom sold me this mvt was 100% sure it was swiss made

the only shadow to this movement is the bridge that been switch :(:?|:sour:

i want to thanks Mr. Tom Mc Intyre & Mr. Artbissel

they both helped me a lot in my research about my fabulous Columbus movement

you guys are living encyclopedia of american watchmaking

and i respect all your knowledge

i am a rooky compare to you
 
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masterwatchmaker

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i found the problem with barrel bushing its not a recurrant trouble but a stupid watchmaker maybe the same that made the switch
he transform the plate if you look the dial side you will notice where the barrel is there is a depression he hit hard there with a punch
and doing so he raised the hole so the the barrel arbor is too high and pushing the bushing bridges side that bridge that been switched
its a cause to effect it may be also a separate Watchmaker made the hard hit and another one later made the switch the Watch didnt been Lucky

she endure accident made by no good watchmakers

a good Watchmaker will never hit there without put an anvil Under hit where to work the bad watchmaker wanned to reduce the hole but he hit direct on his bench
doing the depression

now she in good hand all dismantle and cleened and i will put it back only when i put back a bronze bushing in the barrel bridge

i think at first to put a jewel but for respect for Mr. Gruen i will put same what he did

i fixed the depression amazingly i heard the Watch whisper ``thank you``

now she sexy her tomy his flat lol

the bad watchmaker could do much less damage just working on the other side of the plate if he simply turn over the plate he would made any damages
he is stupid for sure the one whom made this mess

you can see better the depresion on this picture

20180205_183910.jpg
 
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masterwatchmaker

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today i instaled a bronze bushing

i had to do it by hand on my lathe because bergeon bronze bushing for clock the smaller diameter is 2 mm but i needed 1.5 mm

so i modify it and also pierced the bushing hole was 0.3 and i need it 1.0mm

now its all done and look awsome instaled , i made a well for oïl and a bezel around and i leave it little higher to look like a raised chaton

photos come soon

thing said thing made

1518202390973.jpg

one of my hair is on the pict lol
 
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Jeff Hess

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upload_2018-2-11_17-20-49.png not that anyone gives a pooh, but this pic is likely one of my favorite pics ever on this board. This watch should be at the Glashutte museum. It would fit in very nicely there.
 
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LloydB

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Perhaps a moderator can
combine the 30+ posts from
Masterwatchmaker into
a single post? All were
posted on the same date.

A marvelous series, but
cumbersome to read.
 
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John Cote

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I was doing some Gruen research when this thread popped up. In reading down the thread I noticed that Art posted this very intriguing 10s watch, (see below) which I had never seen before. Only Jeff Hess ever seems to have replied directly to the below, saying that the watch belonged in a museum.

My question is, has anybody seen any more of these smaller Assman made Gruens and have we seen any which are simply marked "Gruen" and without the PL marking?

Thanks


Here is the rarest of my GRUEN collection if not most collectible ASSMANN made 10 size with serial exceeding 67000. Never saw another anywhere. Unable to determine if it was ASSMANN made standard model for them. artbissell View attachment 256511 View attachment 256512 View attachment 256513
 

John Cote

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Just so the photo is fresh in our minds (it did not show up in my above post) here is the photo that Art posted originally of the 10 size Assman Gruen movement.

Are there others? Are there others private label marked or factory marked? The movement sort of looks like my A. Lange.

Gruen_Assman-10s_ArtBis.jpg
 

Tom McIntyre

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If my eyes do not deceive me, the winding wheels are brown from being heat treated (for color, not performance). I have seen a couple of other examples and may still own one if I can find it.

I think that represented something to Lange at the time it was done. All the examples are very fine. The finish itself is pretty fragile, but could probably be renewed by reheating. I would never have the nerve to do that.
 
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John Cote

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Interesting. My pristine Lange does not have brownish wheels, nor do any of the Assman Gruens I have seen but who knows? It may just have been cleaned off?
 

Tom McIntyre

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It had occurred to me that many watchmakers might clean them thinking some damn fool had left them in the drying oven too long. :)
 

roughbarked

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Just so the photo is fresh in our minds (it did not show up in my above post) here is the photo that Art posted originally of the 10 size Assman Gruen movement.

Are there others? Are there others private label marked or factory marked? The movement sort of looks like my A. Lange.

View attachment 719955
Well if I was ever going to pay for a collectible it would be for something like this so I could clean it and respect it..
 
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John Cote

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Well, thanks to a prominent Gruen Collector on the west coast, here are a couple of catalog pages from an early D Gruen and Sons catalog showing first, that this is a 12 size and not a 10 size watch and that Assman made 18, 16, 12 and a lady's size watch for Gruen.

Gruen-1.jpg

Gruen-2.jpg
 

thesnark17

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That was fascinating reading. Thanks for posting!

This is the first I've ever heard of a Non-Magnetic version of a Gruen. Has anyone ever seen one?

I have heard that the escapements on these watches is made of gold-colored aluminum bronze (see, for example, the first post in this thread). After reading that ad copy, it's easy to understand why there is confusion on the point!
 

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