Over the past decade, the US has seen a resurgence in real watchmaking. No, we are not talking about Shinola, but rather true artisans like Cameron Weiss, R.T. Custer, and Ian Schon. This new group is following in the footsteps of the original group of US watchmakers such as Dietrich Gruen and his two sons who founded D. Gruen & Son, which would later become The Gruen Watch Company, in 1894. The Gruen’s built the reputation of their brand off of invention and innovation. As a result, they found quick success in their home market. Gruen was based out of Cincinnati, but in the early 1900s the company moved their movement manufacturing to Switzerland but all of the watches were adjusted, dialed, and cased in the United States. A formula that remains popular with many US manufacturers today. The original Cincinnati company would close their door in 1953 but the company would see a rebirth out of New York City in the late 50s and lasting until the late 70s. Today the Gruen brand is probably most well known for being the original screen-worn watch of none other than James Bond.
This watch comes from the second phase, or New York City era, of the Gruen brand. At this point in the company’s history, all manufacturing was taking place in Switzerland. While we certainly love US made watches, we can’t be disappointed with the quality coming out of Switzerland at the time. Enough about the brand, you’re here for the watch and this dive watch breaks down into two noteworthy items. The first is the curved block shaped case which achieves a 600 foot depth rating and the second is the internal rotating dive bezel that is set off of the top crown. In the 70s when this watch was produced the internal rotating bezel was a popular choice but in recent years it seems to have all but lost out to the external rotating bezel (see Rolex Submariner).
The 38mm stainless steel case is in very good condition showing scratches commensurate with its age. The curved block shape was popular in the era and remains attractive today. The various components including, crowns, signed caseback and crystal are correct for the watch and thought to be original.
The Dial and Hands
The dial and hands are in matching very good condition. The design is excellent with a black center and a grey roulette-style outer ring with white luminous hour markers. The internal bezel is rotating correctly and all of the components appear correct for the watch and are thought to be original. The tritium lume has aged evenly across the dial and hands and has not accumulated much dirt.
This watch features an automatic Gruen 730 CD movement with day-date functionality. The watch is running and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Automatic Gruen 730 CD|
|Dial||White black and grey roulette-style|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Rubber Strap|