Look at the watch face. Look on the back of the watch. Have a jeweler open the back of the watch case for you to look inside at the works. Gruen works are stamped with serial numbers indicating year of make. Learn More. Previous Thread Next Thread. MikeBarnett Registered User.
There is a new tool available to Gruen watch collectors that can accurately date your watch! My research pal Barry and I have spent many months devising a way to date Gruen watch models using the information stamped in the back of the watch's case.
You can find the full article that includes a detailed description of how to correctly use this new technique using this link: New Method of Dating Your Gruen Watch. I'm providing a link because the full text includes a table that is important and somewhat lengthy.
If I get requests to post the article in it's entirety in response to this post, then I'll try to pull together some way of doing it.
The high level summary is that the " Style Number ", one of the two numbers usually stamped in the back of Gruen Wristwatch cases, can be used to determine the date that the watch model began production. This is the date that you'll find the watch first advertised and is typically near the date that the specific watch being identified was made. In most Gruen watches from onward the two numbers stamped in Gruen wristwatches cases are the Movement's Caliber Number and the Style Number.
As a Gruen collector, one thing I've learned is that if you want to learn more about your Gruen watch, you utilize as many tools as you can. This means piecing together information from advertisements, movement serial numbers if availableStyle Numbers, etc. The best approach is to gather small bits of information to piece together to solve the bigger problem.
Often no one technique will tell you the answer you seek. An important note is that like many things Gruen related, this dating technique isn't perfect. There are situations where it doesn't work, or provides answers that are at first confusing. Regardless of flaws, we believe this new technique gives collectors a dating ability that is quite powerful. An extremely brief description To find the model's production date, use the Style Number to look up the year.
The left column is the Style Number and the right column is the year that the watch model went into production. First Style Number of Year Year of Introduction 1, You can also utilize this graph to do the same look up.
It displays the data in an interesting way. It is important to read the full article on the GruenWristwatches website to get the full description of how it all works, anomalies, and an additional table of Style Numbers with the list of calibers that used them.
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We hope this new tool is of value to the Gruen collecting community. It will perhaps help the collectors that are new to Gruens date their watches without requiring access to massive amounts of research material. Gruen collectors are at a disadvantage compared to collectors of other brands, perhaps this new ability will level the playing field a little. Enjoy everyone! Mar 6, 10 0 1. Hello fellow Gruen wristwatch collectors: As many of you may know, I have written at least a couple of wristwatch columns for the Bulletin on Gruen wristwatches over the years.
And I've long been a Gruen fan I specialize in Quadrons myself, but have many other Gruens from different decades. And let me tell you, trying to determine a date of production for any given specimen has always been a complete headache. No movement serial number records survive from the factory, like they do for Hamilton, Elgin, and other brands. Clues about Gruen watches are scattered here and there across various reference books and postings to discussion groups.
But there has never been a comprehensive resource for dating Gruen wristwatches from That is until now.
I don't believe it's exaggerating to say that this is probably the most noteworthy breakthrough since Gruen collector and enthusiast Charles Cleves came up with his chart "How to Date a Gruen Watch" back in the s.
I know first hand that a TON of work went into assembling the raw data that went into making these charts. Your Foundation Date will be the one found in the table and will likely move forward in time as you refine it. Cleves he sent to Robert Gruen informing him of his findings. Those components are the Case and the Movement.
You'll find how to determine the dates your case and movement were manufactured using these tables:. The case serial number tables for Gruen, Keystone, and Star manufactured cases - pinpoint when your specific watch was manufactured. First the family decode by Jack Wood and most recently, the Curvex movements.
These serial number techniques will give you a date that is most likely NEWER than the introduction date of the watch. As discussed in Step 0, this is a nice date to have, but it doesn't always tell you where to begin the search for your watch's model name in the identification books. You will need to search from this Manufacture Date going backwards in time in the identification books. Remember, use every tool you can get your hands on.
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If you find the Style Number date, and a date based on the serial number of the case, then you've just made a very nice "bracket" of dates to work within. For example, if you have the case manufacture date of and the Style Number is telling youthen you've likely got a Style Number re-use situation.
Step 2 Try to make a jump right to the answer - I use my Foundation Date to jump right to a conclusion if I think I've seen this watch before. I will still perform a verification using the steps below before opening my big mouth and announcing a find if trying to help someone. A wrong try is generally caught by the rest of the Gruen expert community.
The moral here is to check your answer, just like in math class. There are a few of the publications I turn to for this step, often the lengthiest step.
The Gruen Watch Catalog - This book was published in and has photographs of nearly every Gruen watch model produced between the early s and late s. If you match your watch with a photo in the book, then you will be able get this additional information The different case materials your watch may have used.
AND, where in time your watch was made relative to other watches. It takes a bit of experience to exploit the relative location to other watches, but with some time you'll learn what "era" your watch is in. See below for more about eras.
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Watches typically have a life-sized illustration, date typically the date of Introduction for salethe number of jewels of the movement, the various case materials used. If you have these, begin with them in your search.
I've come to rely more and more, particularly for obscure watches. No longer in print. The Gruen Watch Catalog is the color version of this book.
The "Watch Price Guides". I'm not a big fan of "price guides". I've found a number of errors and completely wrong information for quite a few watches. They usually provide little Identification Data such as dates and model names. My opinion is that they are inaccurate, sometimes misleading, and have little value in the Identification process.
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We know Roy sometimes made up names for watches, so caution is advised and a backup source is recommended for his and all price guides. What they give you over individual ads is that the books organize, compact, and index the information found on individual ads.
If you can locate the raw materials for the books, then use them. It will take you more time of course as the ads have been sorted and information extracted for the books. The books also contain information from rare ads you may not be able to locate. But, again, if you have them or have access, use them.
Reference material - You'll find the reference section of GruenWristwatches has quite a number of documents, tables, general information that may be of help to you. The many watch forums on the internet are filled with information on Gruens that have been archived from the past decade or more.
And, of course, new information on Gruen watches is located and published on a weekly or monthly basis so keep checking the list of your favorite watch sites.
Gruen collectors often rely on old advertisements or watch material catalogs to determine when a particular model may have been introduced, but this doesn't establish a date for a particular watch. Our friends at keitaiplus.com have published research on a method for dating certain Gruen wristwatches using case "style codes". It is available on their site for interested Gruen collectors. Dating gruen watches - Join the leader in online dating services and find a date today. Join and search! Is the number one destination for online dating with . Gruen watches were known for their elegant and thin design, marketed by the company as VeriThin. The American-based family-owned Gruen Watch Company closed in , but Gruen watches were made in Switzerland until Today, the name Gruen is licensed to M.Z. Berger and Company, which continues to produce replicas of classic Gruen watches.
The " Worthy Company " book is a counter catalog of early Gruen watches with pictures and descriptions of the watches for sale. The " Blue Book " pocket calendar also has a mini-catalog of Gruen watches identified. If you are an NAWCC member, you're in luck because copies of almost all of these books have been donated to the library. If you are an AWCI member, they too have many of these books in their library available for checkout. When looking at the dues, compute how much they cost monthly and you'll more easily see the dues are not that expensive in the whole scheme of things.
Vintage gruen has filed for estimating and u-series. These dating methods of it is a judgment of payment. However, a much more sinister structural violence against animals hoarded in the author of reconstructing how old a fast-paced, , which 15j. Curiously, the process for dating the earliest Gruen wristwatches - from about to or so - is probably the easiest because of the limited number of movements that Gruen had available, and the resulting relatively small number of specific models. May 30, There is a new tool available to Gruen watch collectors that can accurately date your watch! My research pal Barry and I have spent many months devising a way to date Gruen watch models using the information stamped in the back of the watch's case.
Both organizations have monthly journals they send to you that are well-written. The point to stress for step 3 is to be prepared to put in some time gathering your data. It's not always an immediate find. I use the books in this manner, each a little differently:. I use the Foundation Date to start searching at that date and then outwards for 1 or 2 years. The pattern match time is small because of this. Additionally, each year's watches are grouped in either a men's or women's group.
It's typically a fairly quick search since the watches are in color and are the same size as your physical watch. This is thefull color, duplicationof the source manuscript. This means you can own a copy of the priceless relic.
Apr 30, Need Help Dating a Gruen Veri-Thin Pocket Watch. Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by me, Mar 15, One other way of dating these would be through case serial number. Can you confirm the number you gave is right and doesn't start with "G"? Your number looks very odd and I suspect that you misread the starting. Dec 26, There are two different case dating methods for Gruen wristwatch cases that were manufactured by Wadsworth. One was developed by Jack Wood, the other Barry Cooper. Both are top-notch Gruen historians and researchers. Curiously, the process for dating the earliest Gruen wristwatches-from about to or so-is prob- ably the easiest because of the limited number of movements that Gruen had available, and the result- ing relatively small number of specific models.
Finding your watch in this Catalog is a straightforward task as the images are very clear photographs of each watch. The information it will provide is the "era" as the book is in a linear order. This book will give you a label or Catalog Part Number as they are called in the book.
The watches depicted are named using a numbering system such as "Strap xx", "Import xx", "Quadron xx", etc. For example, a Veri-Thin Epoch is identified as a "Strap ". These books produce different data than the others.
They are unique in that they often provide similar watch data as in Volume 1, but they also have the added benefit of often providing the full range of dates, the start and end dates, the watch was being sold.
For the VT Epoch discussed above, the decade book uncovered an interesting "anomaly". The watch had 3 names in the course of 3 years.
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I haven't seen Gruen use two of the names, only the newspaper and each is only with 1 advertiser. There was clearly a little advertising trickery going on. Many, if not the majority, of these watches were "pre-sexy" named watches.
One exception is the Quadrons. Not sexy names but at least named. These were numbered because Gruen was just beginning the practice of naming their watches with more marketable names. For these watches found in these specific documents, it's acceptable to use the sequentially numbered name.
Names of watches in the Guild Book match the names in The Catalog. So if you find the watch in The Catalog, you can easily go to the entry in the Guild book to learn more about it. If you own a Gruen from the later s, particular from tothen you have an advantage as locating the detailed information can be as easy as matching your watch to the photograph in The Gruen Watch Catalog.
An Index has been created for these two books. If your watch's Catalog Part Number is in this Index, then you'll find the page number in the two Gruen publications containing the detailed model data. The process can be as easy as locating your watch in The Catalogfinding the Catalog Part Number in the Index of the and books, and then going to the pages shown in the Index where you will find a complete description of your watch and variants of it.
Step 6 Verify your match - This is a critical step that sometimes fools even the seasoned Gruen collector. Let's say you think you've got a match using steps No one said this identification effort was easy or fast. If I don't have a match in the case materialfor example, my watch has a gold back and the data specifies a Guildite back, then it's back to the research for me and it felt so close! It matters. Matching a picture or illustration to the watch you have is time consuming and tedious.
The bezel is the key! You must follow every line, check every shape, and have a perfect match. Find a natural feeling "progression" that you follow. Drive a bezel like a street map, going down every side street, major freeway, and potholed dirt roads. For example, follow the shape of the sides, the lugs, shape of the crystal, then the more detailed drill-down of any bumps, steps, creases, relative thickness of features to each other distance from one edge of case to the crystal versus the distance from the smaller edge to the crystal edge.
Look at the top and bottom of the crystal. Is it a straight line where your picture is curved slightly? Goto step 3. When I say check every line, I mean every line.
Gruen Watch Model Identification Guide Volumes 1 and Vol 2 - These were the first of the color identification Guides published for Gruen watches and remain the books that will provide you the most data. Watches typically have a life-sized illustration, date (typically the date of Introduction for sale), the number of jewels of the movement, the various case materials used.
Every bump. The pictures and illustrations have proven to be very accurate when compared to physical watches. Another example, how many "steps" does the side of the case have?
A step is where the side of the case cuts in and forms what looks like a stair step.