Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gruen jump hour










I have always love the doctor's watch, be it Rolex or Gruen. The peak of Swiss, rectangular, watch making, culminated in the production of the Rolex " Prince", and the Gruen "Doctor's Watch". Both brands were made in the same factory in Switzerland through a cooperative venture between Gruen and Rolex. 

This "Gruen Doctor's" watch is executed in stainless steel which makes for a stunning piece of wrist art! It is a revolutionary timepiece that became the most accurate watch of its day. 

Information from the net,  Bob Gruen, the heir to the Gruen legacy, he has related the story of the linking of these two giants of the watch world  where the Gruen children played with the children from the Wilsdorf family (Rolex's founding family). In Switzerland, as they interacted with each other, the friendship of the families grew into a business relationship. In a cooperative venture they had the movements produced that would be sold under both the Rolex name and the Gruen monicker with slightly different case configurations. Rolex and Gruen designers discovered that if they put the balance wheel and the mainspring barrel at opposite ends of the watch that they could use a larger mainspring and a larger balance wheel.the two brands were never in competition as Gruen was for the US market while Rolex marketed to the rest of the wold.

It was impossible to do this in a round case where the parts are in closer proximity. It also allowed the watch to run for a longer period of time on one winding and it provided for a balance wheel that had more momentum. This momentum was aided by the use of solid gold balance screws, another innovative idea that added value and quality. All of these innovations made this watch the most accurate watch of its age. 

I was told that Today, the Gruen Doctor's watch is the rarer of the two watches because there were fewer Gruens produced, and those that have survived have been either used as parts for ailing Rolex "Princes", or converted with the proper Rolex dial. In either instance the Gruen has become exceedingly rare. 

This is a Gruen doctor watch jump hour where the  aperture at the 12 o'clock position displays the hour.  As the minute hand reaches 60 minutes the next hour "Jumps" into the window, thereby needing only a single hand to indicate the minutes and one hand for the seconds so that the Doctor can easily time a pulse. A clever feature is that the hour numerals alternate between red and black, so that it is apparent when the hour has changed.



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