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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello.

I recently inherited this Gruen pocket watch and have been unable to find anything like it in on-line searches. I am not a 'watch person' and would rather not take it out of the case to get pictures of the movement because I just paid a rather sizeable repair bill to get this beautiful watch running. I may be able to get information from the watchmaker who repaired it, if it would be helpful. I apologize for the quality of the pictures. I am not very good with the digital camera.

Does anyone have any idea as to where I can further research this watch or what the age might be?

Thanks!
 

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That's a humdinger of a watch, but unfortunately, records for the Gruen Watch Company were destroyed in the 1950s. So it's impossible to tell it's age. It would have a serial-number on the movement, but without the records from the company, (which don't exist anymore) we couldn't tell you the age.

What's the history of it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I neglected to include measurements. The watch is 1 1/2" from the bottom of the case to the top of the stem, 1 1/4" from side to side and just a little more than 1/4" thick with the case closed.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My maternal grandfather owned a jewelry store in the 1920's. We found it while cleaning my mother's house after her death. I don't know if it is part of the inventory of that store or something Mom picked up somewhere along the way.
 

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Thats an uncommon 0 size hunter in a fine Gruen made gold case. I have one gift dated 1907. They put various high grade movements from 2 or 3 Swiss sources in these. Best is marked Madretsch as in mine. Mostly 14k since 18k a little soft for these small ones. Gruen did very fine case work at that time. If yours is nearer 1920 it will not likely have the Mad. movement although Gruen sometimes used movements from years old stock. Get your expensive servicer to show you how to carefully open it. The Gruen Swiss movements are as good as the best of their time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow! Your watch is beautiful. I will try to get a picture of the movement from mine to post. Thanks for the information. Like I said, I have not seen any Gruen with such an elaborate case in any online searches.
 

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The Gruens always sought quality in cases and movements. They had a new york office 1920-30 for doing platinum and jewel decorated specials. After 1929 and even before, commercial pressures (need to make a profit), forced less quality and specials. Another small Gruen case job ~1910 sold by dealer Bogoff:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, this is not the best picture of the movement, but here is what the jeweler got. Pics from iphone.jpg
The Gruen case number is #99810, 14K stamped.
Movement # 126333 Swiss adjustable, jeweled

That is all he could find. He was amazed how new this movement looks.
 

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That is much smaller than 0 size. Has before 1907 movement and case numbers. Probably Swiss size 101/2 ligne. It is a little larger than a U.S. quarter. Very like the 17j Bogoff fancy case one. I have a couple 15j similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thanks so much for the info. What are size 0 dimensions out of curiosity?
I wish I had met this watch while Mom was living. I would love to quiz her about it.
 

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O size is approximately 30mm or 13 ligne measuring the base plate of the movement. The Swiss used an old French measurement of ligne. Americans used a system of standard sizes ranging from 20/0 to 18. Today we all use metric when comparing. Art thinks that your watch is approximately quarter size which would be a 10.5 ligne size, 10.5, 11.5 and 13mm are fairly common Swiss sizes.
 

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very nice watch thanks for sharing
 

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O size is approximately 30mm or 13 ligne measuring the base plate of the movement. The Swiss used an old French measurement of ligne. Americans used a system of standard sizes ranging from 20/0 to 18. Today we all use metric when comparing. Art thinks that your watch is approximately quarter size which would be a 10.5 ligne size, 10.5, 11.5 and 13mm are fairly common Swiss sizes.
Nice clear explanation of the small sizes. I three times bought from photos the 10.5L thinking they were 0s. Not any more.

A third slightly different 17j 1904 gift with special order 7000 serial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Also, sort of off-topic but sort of relevant...

I read in the Gruen history that records were destroyed by new owners in the 1950's. I cannot understand how new owners of a company, who plan to expliot the original founding date of the company for their benefit, see no need to keep records prior to their ownership. I have a Ridgeway Grandfather at my Mom's house that I am also unable to find any details on because Ridgeway was bought and new owners did not keep previous records. Very frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Is there a good reference book for looking up these old Gruen pocket watches (or any old watches)?
 

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After a year of hoarding 43 different Gruen p.w.; no. Googling will get a lot of info and the 3 best reference info histories, but nothing really specific.
 
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