Gruen gold watch value

Gruen gold watch value DEFAULT

Amassing vintage watches is a great way to add value to your collection and your overall style. If you happen to be a watch connoisseur, then you know this and have probably begun looking into obscure watch companies that offer high-quality vintage models. 

Unfortunately, various vintage watches have gone the way of the dodo. However, they can still be found through a little persistence and patience. 

Companies like Elgin, Enicar, and Lemania may not sound familiar to you. But trust us, they sell fabulous pieces. 

One of the best vintage watch companies which has since fallen from the public eye is Gruen (now owned by MZ Berger). Though this company may no longer be producing new watches, their classics from the early 20th century remain spectacular.

In this guide, we look at everything you need to know about Gruen watches, as well as take a little peek at a few of the most important Gruen models you can find. Taking the time to research and find that right Gruen watch can add something special to your collection. It can allow many other watch collectors know exactly who you are.


Gruen Watches, Gruen Precision, 17 Jewels, Calibration, Analogue Watch

As an immigrant from Germany, Dietrich Gruen began with a humble patent for a safety pinion and grew his company into one of the best watch companies of the early 20th century. In fact, Gruen was once one of the largest watch manufacturers in the United States. 

The company went through many name incarnations until it went with Gruen in the early part of the last century. Many things stuck out about this brand, but chief amongst them was the production of their own patented movements in Switzerland. However, though Gruen built its movements in a small factory in Biel, Switzerland, they were an American company which had the rest of their manufacturing process done in Cincinnati.

Much like their first patent, Gruen’s safety pinion helped decrease the chance of marring in the inner movement in the event of a mainspring malfunction. In fact, Gruen helped introduce a lot of new technology to the watch world. 

Though Gruen produced watches for both men and women, it seemed to find a more significant following with women. Perhaps it was because of their penchant for introducing new case shapes and overall designs, including the movements themselves. 

At times, the movement itself precipitated a new design. Models like the Curvex or the Veri-Thin both came about via a desire to keep pushing the limits of watchmaking including the movement. 

Gruen’s innovation and attention to detail ensured its watches’ popularity among wearers throughout the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Unfortunately, the company itself failed to regain momentum during the latter part of the 50s. Though it was purchased by other companies, none of them were able to keep it afloat. As a result, Gruen’s last factory was closed in 1977, and the company’s remaining watches formed part of collectors’ dreams.

Important Gruen Watches

Though there are many Gruen watches out there, including both wrist types and pocket types, the following are a few models that we think you should have a closer look at.

1. Gruen Curvex 1940’s

Though we centre on the 1940s edition of this amazing watch, it actually finds its origins in the 30s. Trends come and go. But in those decades, men and women loved long rectangular watches that curved with the contour of their wrists. The problem with this design was that the need for a flat movement limited the size of the watch. 

Gruen, knowing that they wanted to fix this problem, worked on a solution to move things around in the internal casing. The company eventually came up with a curved movement that allowed them to offer larger models and thinner ones as well. These Gruen watches remained at the height of fashion well into the mid-50s, when the last model was produced.


  • This watch features a case crafted in 14K yellow gold and measuring  24mm x 41mm
  • Included in this watch is a lens that is crafted in acrylic domed crystal
  • This watch has a silver-coloured dial and hands coloured in the same shade
  • Powering this watch is a Curvex calibre 440 Gruen manual-winding movement
  • This watch includes a strap measuring 16mm


$200 – $1300

2. 1974 Gruen Precision

Gold Hands, Leather Strap, Baton Hands, Vintage Watch, Gruen Watches

Known as one of the first James Bond watches, the Gruen Precision is a nice elegant watch with a movement that may not be seen as modern. Nonetheless, it offers an innovative style that is simply spectacular.

This watch gained popularity when it was worn by Sean Connery in the film Dr. No in 1962, though it had been around for many years prior.

There are many varieties of this watch. Though we are centred on the 1974 edition, you can also try your hand with its earlier versions.


  • This watch features a gold plated case with the following dimensions: 33.5mm x 41mm x 10mm
  • Included also is a leather strap measuring 18mm
  • This watch comes with a champagne-coloured dial
  • Illuminated baton hands also adorn this watch
  • Power reserve of up to 41 hrs. is provided by this watch
  • A 510 calibre manual movement powers this watch together with 17 jewels


$300 – $2000

3. Gruen Pan American Pilot 24 Hr. Dial

Gruen Watches, Pilot Watches, Aviation Watches, Leather Watches

This watch’s place in history was established firmly on the wrists of the Pan American Airways’ pilots. 

In the early 40s, this watch was specifically for aviators. This remained even as the company ceased commercial flights and only flew exclusively for the military.

This watch became a great tool to ensure that pilots arrived on time at their designated locations. Once the war ended, Gruen decided to offer this model to the public as well. 

With the launching of this watch to the public, Gruen released more models for both men and women to the market, each with different case designs to enhance its elegance. 


  • A bezel and back crafted with 10K gold bezel adorns this watch
  • This watch comes with a stainless-steel case that is gold-plated and measures 33mm x 36mm
  • This model’s watch face is dual-toned 
  • Powering this watch is a Gruen calibre manual movement (420SS)
  • This watch’s dial comes with a clock in a 24-hour format
  • A leather strap is used to secure this watch on the wearer’s wrist


$300 -$1000

4. Gruen Ristside Drivers Watch

Nowadays, we don’t have to worry about telling time while driving since most vehicles have a clock somewhere on the dashboard. But back in the 30s and 40s, this just wasn’t the case. 

Back then, if you wanted to make sure you were on time for that very special date, you needed to check your watch. However, it was a hassle whenever you had to remove your hand from the wheel to check the time. With that in mind, Gruen Watches decided to design a watch whose case could be worn on the side of the wrist.

This model is a little harder to find as it did not have as much success on the market. In fact, only a limited number of models and quantities were made. The initial lot was produced in the late 30s while the next series wasn’t released up until the 50s. Very quickly, this model’s popularity and novelty faded, and it left the world as quickly as it had come.


  • Adorning this watch is a gold-filled case which is Curvex-designed and measures 21mm x 41mm
  • This watch’s dial is designed in a silver satin shade
  • Glass crystal constitute the lens of this Gruen model
  • Powering this watch is a Curvex Caliber 440 manual winding movement
  • This watch features a strap measuring 7.5-inches


$300 – $ 2000

5. Gruen Veri-Thin

Gold Watch, Gruen Watches, Vintage Watch, Classic

Initially only targeting pocket watches, it wasn’t long before the designers at Gruen realized that a slim design of theirs could be used quite effectively for wristwatches as well.

Looking for a way to stay with the fashion of the day and still give their customers a precision timepiece, Gruen Watches looked for a way to build slimmer watches. When you look at this model however, you might feel confused as to its actual slimness.

With a little inspection, you can see an optical illusion in that the centre of the watch is actually thicker than the sides.


  • A leather strap measuring 18mm is included with this particular model
  • This watch runs and is powered by a Gruen 410SS calibre manual winding movement
  • This watch is distinct as it comes with illuminated watch hands
  • This model’s dial is coloured in a shade of silver
  • This watch comes in many variations
  • Included with this watch is a steel case with the following dimensions: 32mm x 38mm x 10mm


$200 – $1500

6. The Carre

Gruen Watches, Artistic Watches, Vintage Watches, Unique Watch, Carre

Designed at the height of the Art Deco movement, this small pocket/purse watch exemplifies this revolution with class.

Gruen released The Carre in 1931, and it wasn’t long before it became a big success. Its success didn’t last long however as it was released on the cusp of the Great Depression. Its last advert appeared in 1934. With that, the Carre was gone from popular fashion.

While it was still in circulation, this watch came in many variations with different metal finishes and designs. This was one of those timepieces which you could tailor to your style and allow you to make a statement. It can still do the same for any buyer, just like when it was released.


  • This watch is powered by a manual-winding 15-jewel Gruen movement
  • This model measures 1.25 inches when closed and 2.5 inches when opened
  • This specific watch can act as a pocket/purse watch
  • This model’s watch face is available in multiple metal finishings
  • This particular timepiece is available in multiple variations
  • Sliding side button is added to this model


$300 -$1500

These are just some of the amazing unique options available when looking for Gruen watches.

Where to Find Gruen Watches

Gruen Watches are no longer in production. Therefore, you won’t be able to find a website built by the company that can make it easier to locate any of the amazing pieces mentioned. 

However, you can find many of the models floating around on sites like Amazon. There are also other great sites that provide not only a lot of information but also tips on how to find the right vintage Gruen watch for your collection.

Though these watches may be hard to find, it is not impossible. Besides looking at second-hand sites, you can simply Google the brand and find a wealth of knowledge and options for your perusal.

Final Thoughts

When thinking of building your collection, often you may ponder about the value of the watches that you amass. 

In the case of the watches mentioned and other models from Gruen, what you are looking at is a nostalgia piece. Moreover, these are models that will bring you back into the early 20th century with ease. The unique innovations that are come with other similarly-unique designs make a Gruen watch a high-quality addition to your collection. 

Though you can find these watches on the market at very low prices all the way up to a few thousand dollars, remember that the true value of this watch doesn’t lie in its price.

Gruen has brought to the watch world so much class, elegance, and innovation that any budding or seasoned watch collector should know its name by now. So, if you feel in love with the era of old watches and want a piece to showcase that, make sure to check out Gruen watches the next time you find yourself online.

If you enjoyed reading this article, be sure to check out 6 Cool Things to Know About IWC Watches.


Affordable Vintage: 1974 Gruen Precision

Since yesterday was the 4th, we figured today would be a good day to briefly talk about an American brand that once was. A brand that, though one of the original American wristwatch companies, is not often talked about: Gruen. Unlike Hamilton, Bulova, Elgin, Waltham, etc… they simply are not as popular or sought after. Gruen produced tons of watches in the 70+ years they were around, some of which are well known and renowned, such as the Curvex and Techni-Quadron models, but generally speaking they are not very collectable and information on specific models is sparse. A quick browse on Ebay and you will find that they rarely break $300, though on more curated vintage sites, such as, you will find some approaching $2,000.


The history of the brand is very interesting and for a detailed look I recommend reading this thoroughly researched on-line book by Paul Schlisser. Mr. Schlisser breaks down the story of Gruen from the arrival of Dietrich Gruen in America to the closing of their Ohio plant, Time Hill, in 1958. In the time that Gruen was around, they were a truly an innovative watch brand. They designed and manufactured many of their own movements, some of which had interesting complications, in facilities in Biel, Switzerland called the “Precision Factory” (which are now owned by Rolex, and apparently used as admin facilities). That said they were a US based company with headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, where they received the movements, and assembled them into American made cases. Their Ohio facilities were also a thing to behold, with architecture that gave it a fairy tale quality.

Unfortunately, the brand fell apart in the late 50’s following the departure of the original Gruen family, scandal and financial disarray, which led to the selling of the name and closure of their Ohio offices. Under new ownership, Gruen continued producing watches until the mid 70’s, with offices then in NYC. After poor management and financial instability took hold, the second wave of Gruen closed in 1976. Shockingly, the records of the brand pre-1958 were destroyed, which one could only imagine has affected the collectability now as Gruens are difficult to date and price.


Gruens now can be had for fairly cheap. Even remarkable pre-1958 examples are only a few grand, which is nothing considering their age and uniqueness. Though models from the post-Ohio days are worth very little, they are not bad watches, and are an affordable way of getting an attractive vintage piece with a Swiss mechanical movement. I happen to be lucky enough to have been given a nearly mint example from 1974, which has a distinctly mid-century design that is quite beautiful.

The watch is tiny by today’s standards, but feels very well proportioned and perhaps a touch larger than it is. The gold plated case measures 33.5 x 41 x 10mm, making it by far the smallest watch I’ve worn, yet there is something masculine about the design that belies its size. The case has an elegant shape with thin lugs that twist ever so slightly on the inside edge. The bezel is also very thin, barely a millimeter, which transitions the case side into the large domed acrylic crystal. Without the crystal, it actually would have been an extremely thin watch, about 6mm, as the case back is totally flat, but I can’t argue with a nice dome.


The dial is absolutely gorgeous. I’ve never been drawn to gold, but seeing this monochromatic champagne dial with gold markers in a gold case might have won me over. Like most dress watches from this era, the design is simple, minimal and refined. The hour index consists of gold applied triangular markers with numerals for 12 and 6. At 3 there is a fairly large date window (compared to the overall dial size) and at 9 is a slightly different marker, with a Dauphine shape. Running along the outer edge is a printed black index for the minutes and seconds, with cool little domed lume dots at 12, 3, 6 and 9.

Though hard to confirm, the dial reads “Gruen Precision”, which did initially mean that the movement was manufactured in their “Precision” facilities in Biel. Since the watch is from the 70’s, well after the Gruen’s were a part of the brand, I am not sure if that is still the case. Nevertheless, a 17-jewel manual wound movement with date function that still runs very well powers the watch.


When I said this watch was mint, I really meant it. I don’t think it has seen much daylight since 1974, so everything is preserved. This gives you a sense of what exactly these watches looked like when they were new, which is to say, very nice and high quality. When you look at pictures of models with heavy patina, they often look cheap, but these really were great watches in their day. On the wrist, the Gruen is an elegant dress watch with an understated presence. For a gold watch, it doesn’t shout precious, and is easy to wear.

Gruen is a fascinating brand that we hope to talk about more. Their history is very rich, albeit obscure, and this article only barely scrapes the surface. Though they produced their movements in Switzerland, they were a major US brand for a long time, one that produced some pretty excellent watches. Had it not been for mismanagement and a loss of records, Gruen would likely be alongside Bulova today.


The 1974 example seen here is a good look at the second generation of Gruens that could be had for cheap. As far as affordable vintage goes, these are an interesting option for people who are looking for something simply to wear. This watch is likely not worth much, though an exact price is hard to establish. Given its condition, around $500 would be max value, though a lesser price would be likely. So, if you happen to be looking for something to scratch that vintage itch that wont break the bank, add Gruen to your searches. If you are lucky, you might find something pre-1958 that is attractive, rare and mechanically interesting.

enjoy the gallery!

by Zach Weiss

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Gruen watches | Vintage & Pre-owned

Our selection of the best Gruen watches available online. Vintage and pre-owned models for collectors.
Used by 500 collectors everyday. Daily updated, add this page to your favorites if you like Gruen wristwatches.

A selection of the best vintage Gruen for collectors

Is there anything more elegant than a Gruen chronograph? Many collectors are crazy about Gruen watches for their beauty and elegance. That's why there is such a big market online for pre-owned gruen watches. Vintage Gruen watches can take a lot of value as you can see below. On Watch-Deal, we help you find the Gruen wristwatches of your dreams. What is your favorite Gruen watches ? Here you will find the famous Veri-Thin, vintage Gruen Precision featured in James Bond and Gruen women's wristwatches. We will also select some rare Gruen Curvex and other pre-owned models from the Gruen Watch Company. 


What is the worth of a Gruen watch ?

The value of a Gruen watch depends of the rarity and the quality of the model. Some old Gruen watches can reach an important level and gain value year after year. For example, a vintage 14K Gold Gruen Veri-Thin Precision Pocket Watch will be found around $400 if the watch is still in working condition, and a rare Gruen Barclay aka the Spider21 wristwatch serviced and in mint condition will reach a level of $200. If you are looking for more common Gruen timepieces, have a look to the bottom of our selection. 


Gruen watch
A vintage men's Gruen Curvex 14k Gold from the 1950s which was available at $335 on Watch-Deal

Where to find a vintage Gruen ?

On this page, you will find both Gruen watches for men and Gruen ladies watches. Look at our list of vintage Gruen watches, click on the wristwatch you like and you will be automatically redirected towards the merchant site like eBay where you can get it. Hundreds of Gruen collectors are using Watch-Deal every day, add this page to your favorites. And feel free to send us an email if you have any question about a Gruen timepiece, we will be happy to help. 

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