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This Gruen Precision is the first vintage addition to my collection - unless you count the ones that I bought new when I was a much younger man!:-d

I became interested in Gruens after I bought a couple modern ones under the resurrected name. I did a little research on the internet and found some good articles on the real Gruen's history. I even noticed that Gregory Peck used one in The Guns of Navarone when I watched it a few months back. I've been watching eBay and the sales corners for one in nice shape. This one popped up on a sales corner at a great price, so now it's in my collection!

I had some disconcerting minutes when it didn't want to run for more than a few seconds when I took it out of the box. However, a few taps on the caseback eventually got it going and it's been running fine ever since and keeping very accurate time.

This is a manual winder from, I'm guessing, the mid to late sixties. Considering its age, this watch is in almost pristine condition. The gold plating is completely intact except for the tiniest bit of flaking on the underside of one lug. The plexiglass crystal must be a replacement because there's not a mark on it.

I love the dial on this watch. It's in flawless condition and positively gleams! The applied markers show no signs of corrosion even under magnification. The tips of the minute and second hands curve downward to match the curvature of the crystal. It has ~34 mm case size, but about 33.5 mm is dial so it wears very large. I'm mightily impressed with this watch and I can see it stealing a lot of wrist time from the big dogs in my collection! In fact, I've been wearing it daily since it arrived last week.






pics by David Reynoldson
 

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congrats on a nice looking Gruen!

Hi there, I have to congratulate you since it's a Gruen, my favorite watch brand of all time! Of course this watch is made after the Gruen family sold their name to outsiders, but I bet it still has a solid Swiss movement inside that rivals any mid-grade watches of its time. Your watch looks to be in very good condition, but you said it had to receive a couple of knocks before it started running, which probably means you want to get it serviced at some point. As your knowledge of the illustrious history of Gruen grows, you will probably move into older watches, such as the VeriThin and Curvexes. Gruens made in those eras were really hi-grade watches of exceptional style and still affordable to the average man. If then you decide to go hardcore, then you will learn to exploit Gruen's finest products: pocket watches, and especially the ones from 1895-1928. At that bygone time Gruen was considered similar to today's Rolex in their reputation, partly due to their fine gentleman's watches and partly due to their successful national ad campaign. I own several specimens of the finest Gruens from this era, and I can say that their craftsmanship is up there with the finest Pateks in the era. So enjoy your new addition, with an understanding now that Gruens don't just sell in WalMart.

Ben
 

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Congrats, Lee. It looks like you're hooked! That's a very nice looking Gruen. Vintage collecting is great fun. One aspect I like about it vs. buying new watches is that you can wear them as long as you want and then resell them for the same or more than what you paid.

It's 'time' to look at vintage Hamiltons now...
 

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Sweet! I've got three of these in my collection, one of which is just for parts (damaged face, got it for €3 on eBay), and it is one sweet performer. Finding it in such excellent condition is the real challenge, great acquisition!

You'll probably find as AS inside, as this was fairly commonly used by Gruen (albeit with the Gruen name on the calibre) during that time period. Any chance of an innards shot?

The only thing nicer from this time period is the automatic version of this watch (got two)...and you're right, they do wear larger than they would seem.

Does it have the ultra-fast date change or a slower one? On the automatics I have, the date-change mechanism is spring-powered, resulting in an instant change when the pinion pushes the catch every 24 hours. :)

JohnF
 

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Thanks guys.

I'd love to get a Curvex in wearable condition. From the little I've read about them they are a very unique design and I do like the look of them.

The movement on this one has been running strong with no hiccups since I got it going last week. As to the date change, I wasn't really paying attention, but I think it snapped into place. Thanks, John, :-x I guess I'm going to have to stay up until midnight now just to find out. No hope of an innards shot at this time. I don't have a caseback tool and my skills/patience for photography are minimal.

Oh yeah, since you've got a couple of these, John, am I right in placing it in the mid-to-late sixties? (I know, I know, a pic of the movement would be a big help...).

Hamiltons, hmmmmmmm.......
 

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Mid-to-late 1960s is fairly accurate. Later and the psychadelic influence starts to show up; earlier and you wouldn't have those lovely sword hands filled with lume. Those hands are about as much lume as Gruen ever made available...

JohnF
 
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