This particular Gruen Alarm watch is seldom seen and what makes it very interesting is the alarm indicator next to 9 o’clock. When the alarm is activated by pulling out the lower crown, the indicator changes to green so unlike wrist alarm watches made by other brands, there can be no unfortunate incidents of the alarm going off unexpectedly. This unique feature comes courtesy of a Venus Cal. 230 movement which has an on/off indicator window. The movement utilized a single, rather long mainspring that allowed for a power reserve of 60 hours without alarm usage. Another practical feature is that when the alarm is active neither the time nor the alarm time can be set by the two crowns, preventing an accidental alarm. If this has piqued your interest in indicator window alarm movement, also be sure to check out the Langendorf caliber 1241 and the Baumgartner BFG 90.
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.
The 35mm yellow gold plated case is in excellent condition. The seller states that he recently had the watch re-plated in 18k gold and the case condition seems to confirm this. It should be noted that the original plating would have been 10k gold. The crystal was also said to have been replaced when the watch was plated and is showing in excellent condition.
The Dial and Hands
The satin silver starburst finished dial is in very good condition. It is signed “Gruen Precision Alarm Swiss” and features gold colored Arabic numerals and batons mark the hours. The hands are in very good shape and the hands are correct for the watch.
This watch features a hand wound Gruen cal. 940 movement (Venus Cal. 230). The watch is running with all alarm features functioning as expected. The upper crown winds both the timekeeping and alarm functions and is pulled out to set the time. The lower crown is turned clockwise to set the alarm to activate at the desired time and is pulled out to activate the alarm with the small circle next to 9 o’clock turning from red to green.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Manual, Gruen cal. 940 (Venus Cal. 230)|
|Case Material||18k Yellow Gold Plated|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|