Christie’s will offer two iconic pieces from the Duchess of Windsor’s famous collection later this year.
Antique and vintage Gruen Watches are watches produced by the American manufacturer the Gruen Company.
These are American produced timepieces made by the Gruen Company that moved its headquarters from Columbus to Cincinnati Ohio in the early 1900s. Since Gruen imported movements from Switzerland then cased and timed its watches in the USA, most people consider its products Swiss.
Its early offerings were pocket watches which were signed DGS (initials which stand for Dietrich Gruen & Sons) on the movements. in 1915, Gruen made its first true wristwatch –caliber 99. Prior to that, only small pocketwatches which were mere movements mated to case with wire lug, were on offer. The Gruen Curvex Majesty measures 52mm from one lug tip to the other. The stubby Curvex can do 40 mm or less in terms of length. Gruen also made driver watches which came in two varieties; a C-shaped lug and a hinged-lug.
The story of Gruen starts when a man who’d apprenticed in notable Swiss watch factories emigrates to the US and starts to work for a jeweler and watchmaker in Delaware, Ohio. Later he forms his own company co-owed by himself and his sons. In 1925, the company introduces its first Quadron movement.
Ten years later, the caliber 311 Curvex made it appearance on the Gruen production list. The Curvex brand name followed up its 1935 issue in 1937 with the caliber 330, then the caliber 440 rolled out in 1946 and the caliber 370 closed the chapter in 1948. In 1928, Gruen offered the first doctors’ watches made of 877 caliber movement. Doctors could also enjoy the services of a 500 caliber movement watch by 1936.
The year 1950 saw the introduction of the first series of selfwinding watches as well as jewel movements for both sexes. The vintage watch production wheels came to a stop in 1958.
A gold filled watch 51 mm Gruen Curvex 292 dated 1935 went for $2000 in 2001. It was cased with light brass and carried a nickel 17 jewel caliber 300 movement. Normal Veri-Thin pocket watches opened carrying $50 price tags. Today one needs to ready $1275 to own an example. As of 1929, the cheapest Pentagon model went for $75 but today its price stands in the vicinity of $ 1800. The Curvex started at $50 which is equal to today’s $1000.
Popularity with Collectors
The Gruen Curvex Majesty remains the most sought-after watch in the entire Gruen family. The Quadron, which came in different caliber movements, are also highly prized by collectors. Collectors are aroused by the mention of the dual-dial watch from the Gruen doctors’ watches category. That is because of the varying functions that it was used for one of them being timing patient’s pulses. The Pentagon 50th Anniversary watch is highly sought after model hence its price tags are considerably repellant to badly-heeled prospective buyers.
Notable Auction Sales
On auction sites such as eFind.com, a 1960’s Precision Gruen watch can sell for around $349. Another unidentified offering from the Gruen basket is tagged at $911. A 1927 Precision would require an interested person to exchange $1200 with gaining its ownership. On December 12th 2010, an eBay online auction sold a copper trimmed clock that was in perfect working condition for $1050. Overall, the auction trend for Gruen products has been that he older the merchandise the higher the price it fetches.
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