Enter your Style Number in the box below to find your watch's date and additional Style Number information. You are encouraged to read the article for important information about using Style Numbers. This version extends the Style Number dates back to ! The online version above also provides dates for Style Numbers as far back as This update was written to help distinguish Case Serial Numbers from Style Numbers, plus more explanation on anomalies that may be causing you trouble in finding your watch's date. The Style Number Dating Table has been extended back as far as it will go, which seems to be Last year this table was incorporated into the Online Style Number Tool and the Windows software version 4.
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. 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 you , then 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.
Need Help Dating a Gruen Veri-Thin Pocket Watch
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. 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.
If you have these, begin with them in your search. The Gruen "Decade Series" - Four identification books using newspapers as the source and include these books: 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. 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.
The " Worthy Company " book is a counter catalog of early Gruen watches with pictures and descriptions of the watches for sale.
Dating a gruen pocket watch
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. 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 the , full color, duplication , of the source manuscript.
This means you can own a copy of the priceless relic. 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. 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 to , then 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.
Brief History: Gruen Watch Company
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 Catalog , finding 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 material , for 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! 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? When I say check every line, I mean every line. 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?
They are not the same. As I said there are many parts that are interchangeable however not all! For example the escape wheel and bridge are different between the 15j and 17j versions. So again, the safest solution is finding a , but depending on the parts that need replacing you could cover it with one of the other calibers.
At the moment, I see none of those at any kind of reasonable price for parts at eBay. I was going to do that -- now -- but it turns out the watchmaker is out of town today, so I can't do that until tomorrow. And, among other things I will see if the watchmaker can tell me the name of the specific parts I need. I know they are up around the gear at the opposite side of the movement from the balance.
O, I have visited with my watch today, and I have a picture to post now, and some additional info from it.
Thojhil, yes you are right, using a magnifying glass, the case number starts with a G, not an 8. Also, in addition to the other info in my first post, it also says "unadjusted. And, for whatever it might be worth, after the word "Switzerland," it has a tiny "gxc," which also is nearly impossible to see and does not show up in the picture.
I tried as hard as I could to read the caliber number while the balance is in it -- even knowing what the number is, , it is impossible to read any of the digits with the balance in. So, I have no idea how I identify the same movement from sale off of something like eBay, as eBay people generally can't be taking balances out to look.
Any help with a way to identify the proper movement would be appreciated. And, when you look at the pic, you can see the corrosion around the gear at top right. That and under it is where the parts are that I will need to replace. Its a bit uncertain from the watchmaker he doesn't speak very good English , but apparently I need the stem and crown, the clutch wheel, and the winding pinion. But because of the language, I hold out that it is possible he has misnamed them.
So I will have to keep looking at eBay for a movement. So, Thojhil, for those three parts, do you know what, if any, other caliber number movement would have the same of those parts as mine? Sep 26, 4 18 Country Flag: Just above the name "Gruen" and down between the plates is there a number written there? Mikeyt, so you mean the stem and crown, the clutch wheel, and the winding pinion would be the same for the , the , the and the , right?
OK, that allows one to look at a wider selection in order to find the proper [parts. Let me ask re caliber numbers: Will all movements of that brand with the same caliber number be the same size?
Is the caliber number definitively linked to size, or do I need to make sure it is both the right caliber number and the right size movement? I have been surprised to find other jewel Gruen Veri-Thins that looked just like mine and had the very same writing on them be a different diameter did not know the caliber number of the others in that comparison. Yes, my serial starts with a 2, and those started with a 4. I'm skipping one on eBay that closes bidding today for that very reason.
A better range would be to about Jul 15, 4 0 0 Ret. Hi, my first post here. I very recently became interested in pocket watches of which I own three. I have been helping a friend identify watches in his collection I'm a bit bolder about cracking open cases than he ; it has been a lot of fun. I'm researching Gruens at present and am considering a purchase tonight.
I have examined a Verithin belonging to my friend, and examined photos of other movements, all of which bear a 6 digit number on the movement: I assume this is the calibre , which means nothing to me. Is there any on-line reference for Gruen calibers? I'm somewhat confused because approximate serial numbers and dates are posted at: I know the Gruen records were destroyed upon closure of the business.
I would like to use the calibre to expand my knowledge of these watches, particularly the approx. Where would one find the serial number on the watch, or a cross reference to the calibre? Without it, the above SN reference would seem to be useless. I have seen 2 Gruens and own a Hamilton all with the illustrated very characteristic style of numerals on the dial.
These might be a clue to a date range, but I have found no dated examples. Please excuse the unprofessional image, done in haste. Gee, I see I should have rotated it - sorry. The two calibers I would like to date and learn more about are the illustrated Verithin and a watch that has Ultra-thin on the case I'm wary of case data, but "cased and timed in US by Gruen Star Case Co" seems reassuring , on mvmt.
Both watches have very similar, though not identical mvmts as seen from the back. My Hamilton has the same problem: Mvmt also bears which appears to be the grade, not listed in several sources I reviewed, but close numbers suggest ; reasonable?
So what is the 6 digit number, and why is a SN number not seen on any of these 3 watches? Any assistance with helping this newbie answer these basic questions would be most helpful. Thank you in anticipation. Tom McIntyre Technical Admin. I believe the numbers that appear on Gruen pocket watches are serial numbers. One problem is that the company had watches made by different sources over the years and the numbers are not necessarily consistent.
Here is a link to a few Gruens in my collection, http: The best general site for Gruen is Time Hil l which does a really good job on the company history. However all the slides are still there and can be seen by clicking the links in this search result.
Enter Gruen when you get to the form. Don Dahlberg Registered User. Aug 31, 3, 9 The Hamilton serial number corresponds to an 18 size from The was a 16 size watch adjusted to three positions. It was used for Inter-urban and Electric Railroad service. It was discontinued in the early s. Did you drop a digit in the serial number?ST Seiko 6306-7001 & Gruen pocketwatch, original owner
Aug 26, 18, 1, Country Flag: I don't think that the No. Interurban or Electric Street Railays trolley cars were a whole other type of service, not having such stringent requirements if any at all for the watches. The dial looks appropriate for the date approximation. Kent, thank you for the clarification of the "electric cars"; I was rather wondering about that matter.
And I'm pleased to have an approximate date for the dial style. There are very good Wikipedia entries for Trams and Trolley Buses, for those who enjoy side stories arising from horology.