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Hi guys. Novice here.
I'm looking to acquire my first vintage watch and after looking around for a long time, am drawn to the 20s era Gruen Quadron tank watches.

Two current ebay auctions have caught my eye:

1928 Gruen Quadron 157
RARE 1928 Gruen "Quadron" 157 Swiss Art Deco Men Watch 14k White GF All Orig | eBay

$_12.JPG

From my limited research, sounds like the 157 is more rare. Seller empressissi is apparently a participant here and well regarded, which is a big plus. Sounds like there's no worry that it's been over-restored. But at $879, it's more than I intended to spend.

The other auction is this Gruen 117 with "enameled" case:
Gruen Quadron Caliber 117 Enameled Case | eBay
$_12 (1).JPG

The 117 is more common, from my understanding. Looks like the dial isn't clean and I'm not sure if it would require additional work? I do like the case, but what is meant in the description when they say the case as been "professional cleaned and enameled?" Is that a red flag?

Any thoughts on these two watches? Does the $879 price on the first one seem realistic?

Thanks!
 

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My thoughts: Gruen is a good choise :)

The first one..I'm not sure but there is something that bothers me. Look at the other watches of the seller and their dials.

Personally for a first sell of vintages I would take myself some time and start smooth. Just watching and comparing. Search for all pictures you can get and compare price and if it's a forum read the comments. Within a short time you'll be a specialist for Gruen Quadron.

Kind regards Silke
 

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Those are good looking watches. I don't know prices, but eBay is usually the best way to find what the going rate is. Try searching sold listings. I'm sure the seller has great references so buy with confidence when you are comfortable with the watch and seller.
 

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Two great choices. I love Gruens!

To me the second (117) was the better piece
Dial looks original, but the hands maybe not! surely re lumed. But look at that lovely (fantastic) enameled case!
It means that they have repainted the case with a black enamel paint.
it is not the same as original, but no individual can now enamel a case or dial. So perfectly acceptable.

But The first (157) is very cool but re-lumed dial and hands.
Lovely case with a crown that fits like a glove

Bazzab is our Gruen expert, I hope he pops in and truly gives his very knowledgable advice

Sincerely
adam
 

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Mla - a couple of quick comments from a 'relative novice' but who has learned a lot in 7 months of 'doing' vintage watches: (1) I have successfully bought one late 30s Bulova from the first watch seller, empressisi who is well known and usually is quite clear about redials or not because he sells some to collectors - looks like a redial ? Does he say that ? So 'Buy The seller' is a key commandment in vintage, (2) the second watch IMHO looks more interesting, dial probably original and there is a slight bit of radium burn in the middle of the dial ? If so this is NOT a problem if there's any so don't let that stop you from buying and it's a potential sign the dial is original.

To vintager's on this forum the second motto is 'patina, patina, patina...'. Gruen made good watches in this era and the second watch has more interesting patina, including the slight darkening around the hands.

Finally to really have these great vintage guys here give good feedback or advice, showing movement and hallmark pics help so if they are there, from the seller, post them here - if these pics aren't there ( sorry I didn't check your links) run ! And don't ever buy vintage w/o full pics ! Good luck - as was suggested above, going slow at first is not bad advice... SDA

EDIT - following 007's comment, yes it may be re-enamelled, the black in the indentations on the bezel but these art deco watches to me just add a lot if texture I personally like - now you even tell of it's original enamel of not it's hard to tell so ago cares ?! But also if Roland says it's too expensive - he knows a boatload more than me that's for sure !
 

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To add to my original post
The hands on the second piece puts me off it.
Even if original, re-luming so different to original dial.
That would always put me off
adam
 

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Hi there,

Does the $879 price on the first one seem realistic?
We usually don't discuss prices here, but this is no price, it's a joke (although no good one).

Compare with this watch:
bidfun-db Archive: Wrist Watches: 846: Gents Siegerin KM Manual Wind, Tank-Shape, Steel, ca. 1935 n.o.s.
Gruen 157 movement, case quality and durability orders of magnitude higher, and finally never worn. And now consider that many regard my site as expensive.

Of course the design is not the same, and it is impossible to argue about personal visual preferences, but nevertheless this watch can be taken at least for price/value comparison.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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To vintager's on this forum the second motto is 'patina, patina, patina...'. Gruen made good watches in this era and the second watch has more interesting patina, including the slight darkening around the hands.

... SDA
Not sure I see any "Patina" maybe slight yellowing
"darkening around the hands" - I think not patina just original re-lumed hands.
A
 

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Not sure I see any "Patina" maybe slight yellowing
"darkening around the hands" - I think not patina just original re-lumed hands.
A
Adam that's fine wasn't suggesting it was a lot, just a little more patina than the first watch which still looks on an iphone like a re dial..? I'm kind of 'lumping' patina and yellowing together...
 
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but nevertheless this watch can be taken at least for price/value comparison.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
Sorry Roland, I can not agree.
I think the watch you show is a re-worked dial completely.
In my opinion a far inferior piece.
It is like comparing a 'UNICORN' to a 'ROLEX;

Just my opinion
A
 

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Adam that's fine wasn't suggesting it was a lot, just a little more patina than the first watch which still looks on an iphone like a re dial..? I'm kind of 'lumping' patina and yellowing together...
Well compared to the first watch yes.
But that is because the first watch is a much more recent re-dial, where as the second watch dial is original.

In my opinion
A
 

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Well compared to the first watch yes.
But that is because the first watch is a much more recent re-dial, where as the second watch dial is original.

In my opinion
A
Yes, that's what I suggested in my first post !

But all of this is just to give mla some feedback, cheers, SDA
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, thanks for all the great advice. Okay, I'll try to contain my enthusiasm, eh? ;)

Supposedly the 157 dial is original, just re-lumed. Here is what the seller says in the description:

100% ORIGINAL FACTORY MADE Sterling silver dial with hard enamel print. This is THE original dial from the factory, it is not refinished. The dial has had its radium luminous material removed as originally it contained hazardious radioactive substance. Instead Super-Luminova with simulated radium-tone was manually applied on the original design and now the dial is glowing nicely in the dark and hazard-free! With original set of hands.
007, I've asked the seller of the 117 about the hands. Thanks for the tip. I'll need to investigate what original hands of that vintage should be looking like.

BTW, is anyone else having trouble searching completed ebay auctions? They used to bring up a ton of results, but now a search for "gruen quadron" in completed auctions brings up 14 paltry entries? (and it keeps suggesting that I might have meant "green quadro"?!)

@sda, yes, both auctions have lots of additional photos including the movements, I just posted the main photos here.

Thanks for all the help!
 

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It is like comparing a 'UNICORN' to a 'ROLEX;

Just my opinion
A
Yes Adam but people are different...I'm always happy to catch a unnown brand of a company or without the brand on the dial. For example I've no enicar but an alprosa and a longeau :). No Alpina but a Gilde out of the aera like this gruen with a orginal manufacture alpina movement. You can usually catch them cheaper and I smile bright if some "watch collectors" turn their nose about these "nobodys". I would prefer the Siegerin exspecially because the translation is: Victress . Perfect unfortunately its a wrist watch.

Kind regards Silke
 

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Wow, thanks for all the great advice. Okay, I'll try to contain my enthusiasm, eh? ;)

Supposedly the 157 dial is original, just re-lumed. Here is what the seller says in the description:
##

I never doubted that the dial was original.
But there is 're-lume' and re - pained (reworked dial)

I think the first watch is a repainted (or heavily cleaned) dial.

The second dial is 100% original, only the hands are either re-lumed or possible replaced
adam
 

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Yes Adam but people are different...I'm always happy to catch a unnown brand of a company or without the brand on the dial. For example I've no enicar but an alprosa and a longeau :). No Alpina but a Gilde out of the aera like this gruen with a orginal manufacture alpina movement. You can usually catch them cheaper and I smile bright if some "watch collectors" turn their nose about these "nobodys". I would prefer the Siegerin exspecially because the translation is: Victress . Perfect unfortunately its a wrist watch.

Kind regards Silke
Fair point
Thanks for pointing it out
A
 

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Hi Adam,

you're likely the first to regard an all stainless steel case, especially from the 30s, as inferior to a gilt brass case. But as you wrote:

Regards, Roland Ranfft
Hi Roland
Actually it was the dial. I did not like compared to OP Gruens.

And I am sure you agree, 'dials' are a personal thing.

nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree?

Sincerely Adam
 

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And I predict Barry aka Bazzab will soon post!
 
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