Gruen Watches – A Sampler


Gruen watches have always been desirable and popular.


If a Gruen also bears the Precision name, it tells you the watch was made at Gruen’s Precision Factory in Switzerland.


Gruen Watch Company was among the foremost watch brands. In years from 1894 through 1958, the Gruen Watch Company of USA & Switzerland was one of the leaders in wristwatch design and quality.


Operations in the USA were based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Starting in 1921, Gruen made and imported watch movements from abroad.


The highest-quality Gruen movements were produced in Europe, and only the watches containing these better calibres were marked “Precision” on the dial.

Copy from a 1952 magazine: “When you give a Gruen Watch, you are giving the world’s most supremely beautiful and modern timepiece … a watch as fine and faithful as nearly four generations of watchmaking skill can make a watch. So let your heart choose a Gruen.”


These are a sampling of some of the fine Gruen vintage watches that have been part of our collection over the years.  There are many more for you to see.  Simply select this link to look at gorgeous Gruen watches today: GRUEN


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Bulova Watch Company – An Appreciation and a Bit of History

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One of the most famous names in watches, Bulova, was founded as the J. Bulova Company in 1875 by Joseph Bulova (1851 – November 18, 1936), who came to the USA from Louny, Bohemia.


Bulova created and sold outstanding watches, importing quality, dependable movements from Switzerland, and placing them in a dazzling array of stylish cases, which were always named and which changed each year, just as auto manufacturers still do.

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Bulova was an innovative company, and is credited with the first commercial radio ad, as well as the first commercial TV ad using their slogan: “America Runs on Bulova Time”.


For many years the largest lighted sign in New York City advertised Bulova watches. Bulova was in the forefront of creating watches that did not need to be wound up, which they called the Accutron, introduced in 1969.


Bulova watches are eagerly collected; you can find several outstanding websites where their models are pictured and discussed.

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Joseph and Bertha (Eisner) Bulova’s son Arde Bulova (1889-1958) joined the J Bulova Company in 1905.  At that time the jewelry operations were centered in New York City.  The J Bulova Company was incorporated in 1911, with Joseph Bulova as president and Arde Bulova as vice president and treasurer. In that same year arrangements were made to open their plant in Providence Rhode Island.

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In 1919 a factory was established in Bienne Switzerland, to manufacture watch movements.  A plant was also established in Woodside New York for the manufacture and assembly of watch parts but the majority of the manufacturing continued to take place in Switzerland.  Each year, however, more manufacturing capacities were added to the US operations.

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In 1923 the company was reincorporated as the Bulova Watch Company.  In 1930 Arde was chosen as chairman of the board, a position he held for the remainder of his life.

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In the 1930s, Bulova began to acquire a number of subsidiaries, including: Sag Harbor New York Guild, Westfield Watch Company, a plant at Lac-on-Villiers, France, and Bulova Watch Co, Ltd, Canada.   Plants were built in Valley Stream NY, in1941 and Jackson Heights MI in 1952.

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Bulova introduced their Caravelle line in 1961. The concept was to present jeweled movement watches competing with other watchmakers’ non-jeweled movements, to give consumers a quality product at an affordable price.  These are among the most interesting watch designs of the 1960s and early 1970s, and still a collecting bargain today.


When you hear the name Bulova, you think of their stylish design, and you think of their lasting quality. Bulova offered both. Bulova was always a leader in creating fashionable watches that were in step with larger design trends. Their vintage watches are always chic, often elegant, with dials, cases and lugs that make them stand apart from other watchmakers’ offerings of the same era.


These tasteful creations were always named, so it is a relatively easy task for watch collectors to identify their Bulova model. This is a key feature in their desirability today. A vintage Bulova watch is a statement about lasting style that one wears on the wrist.

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The Bulova watches that appear in this post have been part of our collection over the years.  We have found that they are excellent timekeepers. Bulova watches never fail to satisfy.

We are huge fans of vintage Swiss made Bulova watches – they are comparable to Hamilton or Gruen or Longines/Wittenaur watches in style and quality. In many instances a vintage Bulova’s dependability and aesthetics surpass these and other well known names from the classic era of mechanical wrist watches.


You may read more about these and other fine vintage Bulova watches by selecting this link: BULOVA


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Cyma 1920’s Men’s Watch

Gentlemen’s 1920’s Swiss Cyma windup cushion shape watch.

The gold tone dial is remarkably crisp, in near perfect condition, showing no deterioration whatsoever, with its well defined, very attractive stylized Arabic numerals, full chapter ring and sub second hand. The dial is signed CYMA and SWISS. The blued spade hour and minute hands and modern seconds hand are original. The Swiss made movement is running well and keeping good time. The crystal is original and has light wear. The crown is nicely knurled.   This is in remarkably good condition for a 90 year old watch.

This watch is a perfect example of the stylized models that represent the second generation of the vintage wristwatches, coming after the circular models that popularized the concept of the wrist worn timepiece during World War I.  The case measures 30mm across the case, not including the crown, and 35mm from lug-to-lug.

Cyma, Tavannes, and Tacy were all made by the same fine Swiss watch maker.

For more information: CYMAcyma

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Ritz Cracker Wrist Watch Wind Up From Great Britain

ritz When is a promotional watch also a rare vintage collector watch?  When it is special and scarce, and if it brings back a warm wave of nostalgia.

This is a unisex design Ritz Crackers Watch – all of which are eagerly collected.  what makes this one even more unusual is that it is the British version. The watch maker is Timex – their UK division – as indicated by the clever combination of the British and American words for Ritz: Biscuits”(Britain),“Crackers (USA).

Created for Nabisco as a premium for their Ritz Cracker brand, the watch has a polished chrome accent metal case. The dial has colorful design with Ritz name in center surrounded by 12 crackers instead of numbers. These Ritz Cracker promotional watches create a range of interest from collectors that is impressive.

To learn more: RitzWatch

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1980’s Mickey Mouse Wrist Watch, Disney Licensed, by Lorus

photo 2 (17)Here is a charming vintage Disney Mickey Mouse watch. There have been Mickey Mouse watches almost as long as there’s been a Mickey Mouse. This one was made by Lorus Watch Company in the 1980s. It boasts a quartz movement made in Japan, the movement is a V515-6000 A1. The watch has Mickey Mouse on the dial, looking to the viewer’s right, he has yellow gloves, and the dial background color is a pale yellow. The gold tone case is in outstanding condition, as are all aspects of this timepiece.

This type of watch may get missed by collectors, since they think (correctly) that they can buy a new Mickey watch if they wish. True. But this one is special, not only because of the yellow gloves, but also because it is retired and is completely out of production. It also is a great size for anyone, men, women, teens, at about 1 1/4 inches in diameter.

This classic design will bring a smile to the face of anyone who wears it.

You can read about it here: 1980’s Mickey Mouse Wrist Watch, Disney Licensed, by Lorus.

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Voumard 2000 – Still Ahead of Its Time

Here is a spectacular mid 20th century watch that looked forward in both its design and its functionality.

Notice you cannot see a winding crown.  That’s because it is not there.  You wind and set the watch from a crown that is on the back of the watch.  Very few watchmakers managed to do this.  Notable success came from Jager-LeCoultre, whose vintage “Futurematic” back-set and back-wind watches command astronomical prices today, and rightly so.  We are talking five figures.

Timex also managed to create a back-wind watch, which is rare and hard to find today; and it was not the success that the Jager-LeCoultre was.  So there are your main choices if you want a sleek, no-visible-crown wristwatch.

That is, except for the Voumard 2000.  Created in the 1960s and sold into the 1970s.

To our way of thinking, this is the king of the back-winds.  It works.  It looks great.  It is still in reach of most collectors.  And it wears like a dream.

The crown for winding and setting the watch is on the BACK so you do not see a winding crown when you look at this watch. Another feature is that you can re-position the entire dial in the case housing, so that it is at an angle rather than up and down, if you wish. The terms used are convertible drivers back-set back-wind watch.  The entire movement, case back, and crystal push out through the back to do this re-positioning.

The cases in this particular line came in gold plate or in stainless steel.  There were at least a half dozen different dial designs, all of them very handsome.  We think this brown and gold two tone design is among the best.

The perfect gift for The Man Who Has Everything…!  A modern classic.

Read more about it here: VOUMARD 2000



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1939 World War II Alpina Tresor Military Watch

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Alpina introduced its “TreSor” in 1938.  This design was made during the WWII era, conceived and used as a military watch – and yes, used by the German military.

This particular model is a rare and wonderful survivor that time.

The “TreSor” was designed to withstand the harshest of conditions.  We do not known enough of the history of this watch to know where and when it was worn, but we must assume that it saw active duty.

“TreSor” by the way means ‘safe’, as in as secure and solid as a safe.  Alpina designated only their most rugged watches “TreSor”.

The case is a DRGM, Edelstahl, Antimagnetisch, Stossicher – Siegerin 1 – steel case with a plastic crystal (possibly original), in very good condition. The case has a push back. The case measures approximately 27.5 mm x 35mm.

The matte black dial is dial is signed: TreSor and Alpina. There is a sub seconds register at the 6 position. The watch has a nicely knurled crown. The steel case shows some signs of use down the decades but all in all is in remarkably good condition.  The movement is a Alpina 15 jewels caliber 762.

To read more about this special and unusual watch see: ALPINA TRESOR

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Bulova “Commodore” From 1953

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Bulova made its “Commodore” model for many years, from the early 1930’s through the 1950’s and perhaps even later.  As with many others of their named models, the design of the “Commodore” changed down through the years.

By the early 1950s, Bulova introduced this particular “Commodore” model, which proved to be popular enough to continue for the better part of the decade, in this same form.

Why did this 1950’s “Commodore” model appeal so successfully to the watch buying public?

Perhaps it was the price, which was under $40.00, a very good deal for a 10k rolled gold plate cased Swiss watch at that time.

Possibly, it was due to the center sweep second hand, which was not unheard of but still coming into vogue in the early ’50’s.  Certainly it was no where near the standard expectation for men’s wrist watches, which still mostly had a sub second hand dial at the six position.

Maybe it was the fancy lug design; like fins on cars, fancy lugs on men’s watches were all the rage in the 1950’s.  The “Commodore” has fancy scroll shaped lugs that proved to be fancy enough to satisfy the desire for this stylistic feature over the course of most of the decade.

And all of these came with a dependable 17 jewels Swiss movement.  It was a good convergence of style, value and accuracy.

Considering the fact that the “Commodore” in this 1950’s incarnation was a stalwart of the Bulova stable, it is surprising how few of them appear on the vintage watch market today.  This L3 (1953) “Commodore” is from an old Western Pennsylvania estate, in very fine untouched original condition from its winding crown to the Hadley expansion band.

Read more about it here: 1953 BULOVA COMMODORE

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Hyde Park Men’s Swiss Watch

unnamed[2] (4)HYDE PARK was an American import name and part of the Emil Leichter Watch Company, Inc. in NY, NY. The Emil Leichter Co. was founded in 1943 by Emil Leichter (1901-1978), and was in business in the 1950s and 1960s and beyond at 551 Fifth Ave. NY. Leichter came to the USA from Bukovina, Ukraine. They had at least 19 different brands that they either owned or represented including: Aquatite, Hyde Park, Longeau, Glycine, Paul Garnier, Jean Piquet, Charles Bonnet, Bob Steele, Cardinal, Davida, Laurel and Packard. When you look at the movement of most of these brands made in the 1940s-1960s, it should have a Hyde Park signed movement. The import mark LOE was used by or with Delbana, Hydepark, Emil Leichter, Packard and Enicar; this list mixes brands, Emil Leichter was the importer. When new, Hyde Park watches ranged in price from $24.99 to $1,000.00, according to their 1950s magazine advertising. Some of their movements (notably in their “Davida” line) were made made by Alb(ert) Grossenbacher, Manufacture d’Horlogerie, Grenchen, Swiss; a small respectable Swiss firm; they made movements or wristwatches for the US Army, also. For many years, Hyde Park watches served as the house brand of Fliegauf Jewelers in Washington, NJ., so if you find a Fliegauf watch, it normally will have a Swiss Made Hyde Park movement inside.

“The Watch That Times America’s Test Pilots” was the Hyde Park Watch slogan.

This is a handsome SIGNED HYDE PARK WATCH CO. Swiss Watch, a men’s mechanical watch dating to the 1940s or very early 1950s. The watch has a silvered dial with Arabic numerals. The watch features a fine 17 Jewels AS 1430 movement. The silver dial is offset by the hands and raised hour markers which are gold; all looks clean and bright. We especially like the elongated Art Deco style number markers for all the numbers except the 12, 3, 6 and 9. The dial is signed HYDE PARK, INCABLOC, SWISS, and has the Hyde Park PSS symbol or logo of a P and S and an S shaped mainspring in-between.

The round case is a great design with straight sides and curved integral lugs, in nickel chrome plate. The nicely knurled crown is semi-protected by the straight side of the watch. There is slight brassing. The back is signed: Stainless steel back, Incabloc, Anti-magnetic, Water resistant.

The watch is furnished with a vintage and great looking stainless steel TWISTON flex type band.

Read more here: HYDE PARK

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Kembro Men’s Swiss Watch

unnamed[1]Rare and Unusual KEMBRO Men’s Vintage Watch – SWISS 17 Jewel Stainless Steel Military Style Watch by Panto Watch Co.

Panto was a well-established maker of quality Swiss watches dating to 1915 and earlier, they made some extremely stylish and luxurious women’s watches down through the 1960s, as well as more affordable watches for both men and women. In addition to Kembro Watches they also made Thornehill Watches. Their USA import code was UZC.

T.K. Co. signed case. Theodore Kagen conducted business under the name T. K. Co. – manufacturers, designers and imports of watch cases (TK, Theodore Kagen group, of 48 W 48th Street, New York); selling watch cases to watch makers and importers.

This watch has a 17 jewel automatic movement, all stainless steel case, integral lugs, a stainless back, red sweep second hand, Arabic numeral markers for 3, 6, 9 and 12, and a nicely knurled crown.

For More Details: Kembro Watch

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