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Here is my Gruen pocketwatch, it is a Very-VeriThin model. There is not much information to find about these, the best is probably here:
http://www.pixelp.com/gruen/index.html
The serial number of this is 500502, I believe it could be from between 1920 and early 1930'ies when Gruen changed the name from VeryThin to Very-Thin. I would appreciate if someone could give a more accurate timeframe.

The movement is a VeriThin V4. This agrees with the above mentioned website stating that "Very-VeriThin models combined ordinary VeriThin movements with extra-slim case designs that made the watches look even thinner". Further markings on the movement:
Gruen Watch Co, VERITHIN, 17 jewels, 5 positions, Temperatures, Adjusted.

I am unsure about the meaning of the last bit of the markings on inside of the cuvette: "ULTRA Quality PER.". I do not think this has anything to do with the high grade UltraThin or the slightly lesser Ultra-Verithin. Is it yet another level of grading, but for the case quality? I hope someone has some knowledge about this.







 

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Nothing to tell you - but its a great watch!b-)
 

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I would guess 1925 or later. The metal dial is a feature of the 1920s. I don't see "Guaranteed X years" on the case which was not allowed in the USA after 1924 or so.
Unfortunately the Gruen records don't exist any more so it's very difficult to ID a Gruen watch exactly.
 

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What a great looking watch, and great quality.
We don't see many of these in the UK but seeing this perked
my curiosity and a quote from a Gruen history web site gives
this...

http://www.pixelp.com/gruen/1904.html

"The Ultra-VeriThin was a less-expensive alternative to the UltraThin, occupying a niche between the UltraThin and the regular VeriThin. The Ultra-VeriThin watches were Precision grade; prices started around $100 USD (about $2500 USD today). Like other models, adding a precious-metal case could make the price substantially higher."

Now I know why the confusion arises........ I would have thought your
watch was an Ultra-VeriThin, it will be interesting to see a definitive answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No, it is certainly not an Ultra-Verithin or UltraThin. Just a Very-Verithin which is a variation of VeriThin. Add to that the Ultra marking on the case for case quality. Yes, Gruen can be slightly confusing LOL. :-d
 

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Hi-

To perhaps clarify things: only the case is marked very veri-thin, and it's a marketing thing.

What made the VeriThin movement so interesting - and also, hence, the name - was an innovative nesting of the movement, as can be seen in the way the fourth wheel (the center gear) overhangs the balance wheel, showing in one small way how the essential parts of the watch were done in such a way as to allow a seriously good movement to be made, to coin a phrase, very thin without losing any sort of time-keeping qualities.

I have one - alas, only one - and it's a seriously good watch, extremely thin in comparison with any comparable watch. This type of watch made Gruen the watch company it became before the downfall...

JohnF

PS: Thanks for posting this. Now all we need is some great shots of an ultra-thin, or of some of the gold-train movements that Gruen made...
 

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Hi-

What made the VeriThin movement so interesting - and also, hence, the name - was an innovative nesting of the movement, as can be seen in the way the fourth wheel (the center gear) overhangs the balance wheel, showing in one small way how the essential parts of the watch were done in such a way as to allow a seriously good movement to be made, to coin a phrase, very thin without losing any sort of time-keeping qualities.

JohnF

Do you mean the 2nd wheel overhanging the balance?...this is common
to most watches but doesn't necessarily make them very thin.
 

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Now that's a cute watch! You're lucky to own it!
 

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Here is my Gruen pocketwatch, it is a Very-VeriThin model. There is not much information to find about these, the best is probably here:
http://www.pixelp.com/gruen/index.html
The serial number of this is 500502, I believe it could be from between 1920 and early 1930'ies when Gruen changed the name from VeryThin to Very-Thin. I would appreciate if someone could give a more accurate timeframe.

The movement is a VeriThin V4. This agrees with the above mentioned website stating that "Very-VeriThin models combined ordinary VeriThin movements with extra-slim case designs that made the watches look even thinner". Further markings on the movement:
Gruen Watch Co, VERITHIN, 17 jewels, 5 positions, Temperatures, Adjusted.

I am unsure about the meaning of the last bit of the markings on inside of the cuvette: "ULTRA Quality PER.". I do not think this has anything to do with the high grade UltraThin or the slightly lesser Ultra-Verithin. Is it yet another level of grading, but for the case quality? I hope someone has some knowledge about this.
Wow...Gruen did a great job matching numerals and hands. That movement is lovely.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am unsure about the meaning of the last bit of the markings on inside of the cuvette: "ULTRA Quality PER.".
I have found on different sources on the web that the 'ULTRA Quality' of the casing means simply that it was the highest grade of gold filled case Gruen offered. At one statement it is said 25 years, at another it is said 30 years. Anyway after 1924 they were not allowed to say how many years the gold would last, so they stated 'Ultra' for the highest quality gold filled they offered.
 

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The Gruen caliber/date table places the start of product of the V4 movement as 1910

The 1918 "Gruen Watchmakers Guild" catalog has this to say about the V4 movement:

V4-- 17 JEWELS
Center jewel in gold setting, adjusted to five positions, temperatures
and isocbronisrn. It has every known improvement, such
as double roller, visible steel escapement, patent regulator, time
adjusting screws, brequet hairspring, compensating balance,
safety sliding click, finest hardened materials.

There are watches similar to your watch in the catalog, but not your specific watch. The closest one to your dial is an UltraThin. It too is a 2-toned dial and has the lettering in the exact same place and style. Picture is attached.​

Gruen Verithin.jpg

Gruen Ultrathin.jpg

There were also several Verithins shown.​

There are "Verithins" shown as well as one "Very-Verithin". When will the Ultra's and Very's stop?? :roll:​

An Ultra quality Very-Verithin that Ultrathin dial in a Veri-thin case was recently spotted at a local mart :-d​

Your watch looks to be of similar style as the 1918 watches to me. Many of the Verithins in the catalog are "Ultra Quality" and the V4 movement puts it in the 1910-1920 timeframe. I would guess at prior to 1920.​

Wristwatches were also butting in on the scene, as evidence in the catalog, around this timeframe so I would be surprised if it were much later.​
 

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I wasn't paying attention to the title... oy...

There was yet another plate that showed the Very-Verithin as well as an explanation.

Like your watch, the dial only says Verithin

Gruen Very-Verithin.jpg


The description goes on to say "Any style dial" at the end so it's quite possible your dial is exactly the same as the Ultrathin dial but with the Verithin markings to match the movement.
 

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To add to the marketing sillyness Gruen also made a Semi Thin. Unfortunately when Gruen was sold off in the mid-1950s the company records went into the dumpster. There is some advertising saved from the 1920s-30s and one of the big selling points was the special arrangement of the gears, shown with illustration, to make a thin movement as John has already commented on.
 

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I must be missing something here which is obvious to everyone
else, perhaps somebody can explain why the center wheel overhanging
the balance makes for a thinner watch and put me out of my misery.
 

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Hi -

My bad description of the changes in how the way Gruen restacked the way the gears interact. The center wheel overhanging doesn't make much difference...it's basically all hidden away, but the movements really are thinner...

So, does anyone have an UltraThin so we can see the difference? :)

JohnF
 

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Ah I sussed it out looking at the schematics and when I
look at Erics watch I can see it now. The 4th wheel is turned upside
down so's the pinion is down this lifts the wheel above the third rather
than below it as in a normal movement and so gives one less tier of depth.

I would like to see an ultrathin also, it seems that in these the center wheel
is on the same plane as the balance and so the watch loses yet another tier of depth.
 

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MikeTheWatchGuy, is the 1918 catalog available somewhere on the net? I could not find it on your Gruen forum.

Radger, I think the space saving gear arrangement can be best shown schematically, like here:
http://www.pixelp.com/gruen/1904.html
Hiya Eric

I haven't scanned my copy that I recently purchased (finally!) but we're in luck that one has been posted. You'll find it and several other Gruen books scanned here:
http://www.illotempore.it/Catalogue.html

The originals are quite unique in that each one of those plates is a piece of paper that has been affixed on one side to the page so that they kind of flop outward when you open the page. I'm not too familiar with old books so this may be common, but it was the first time I have seen anything like it.

Enjoy those scanned catalogs!
 

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Hiya Eric

I haven't scanned my copy that I recently purchased (finally!) but we're in luck that one has been posted. You'll find it and several other Gruen books scanned here:
http://www.illotempore.it/Catalogue.html

The originals are quite unique in that each one of those plates is a piece of paper that has been affixed on one side to the page so that they kind of flop outward when you open the page. I'm not too familiar with old books so this may be common, but it was the first time I have seen anything like it.

Enjoy those scanned catalogs!
(OT) I've seen that publishing arrangement in figures for old Patent documents. I guess it was something to do with old printing technologies and the different way of reproducing drawings.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks a lot MikeTheWatchGuy, that was a really good source of information! :-!
 
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