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I have searched all over the internet and cannot find a list of the caliber numbers for the various Gruen Quadron movements. Does anyone know how many model Quadron caliber movements were made? What were the caliber numbers? The following are the one's I know of, I believe they are 117,119,123,157,325, I have seen some reference to calibre 59, and 47. Can anyone help add to this list to make it complete? :confused1: thank you
 

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I've been told I should have been a children's dentist, just to scare little kids...

The first set of calibers that you have listed are examples of what I consider the "classic" Quadron movements. These are all 8 3/4"' x 12"' movements, and all have the barrel shape. You should add the later calibers 485, 487, 679, 680, 681 and 682. These share the movement shape of the 117 series, but were 10 or so years later, and are generally of lower grade.

The caliber 47 is an early 13 ligne round movement, beautifully finished and one of my personal favorites, but it's not a Quadron. It was in fact Gruen's first dedicated mens wristwatch movement, introduced prior to the Aegler based 870 caliber, sometime prior to 1915.

I do not know offhand about a caliber 59 but most of the two digit numbers are very early production.

While those previously mentioned movements are what most collectors think of as "Quadrons" you should understand also that in internal correspondence (but not in marketing materials) that all of the formed movements with four corners were referred to as "Quadron" up until about 1938. This included the 311-355-500 family, as well as the later 330. The 877 was of course referred to as the "Techni-Quadron".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thank you Dr. I was hoping you would lend your expertise to this question. I was also surprised to learn that some Quadron movements were 15 jewel's. I had read somewhere that to be labled a Gruen Precision, Gruen's finest, the movement had to be seventeen jewels and the Quadron movements were supposed to be Gruen's most accurate movement and one of the finest movement's made in it's day. Perhaps the Gruen Precision title came after the Quadron movement was phased out.
 

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I've been told I should have been a children's dentist, just to scare little kids...

The first set of calibers that you have listed are examples of what I consider the "classic" Quadron movements. These are all 8 3/4"' x 12"' movements, and all have the barrel shape. You should add the later calibers 485, 487, 679, 680, 681 and 682. These share the movement shape of the 117 series, but were 10 or so years later, and are generally of lower grade.

The caliber 47 is an early 13 ligne round movement, beautifully finished and one of my personal favorites, but it's not a Quadron. It was in fact Gruen's first dedicated mens wristwatch movement, introduced prior to the Aegler based 870 caliber, sometime prior to 1915.

I do not know offhand about a caliber 59 but most of the two digit numbers are very early production.

While those previously mentioned movements are what most collectors think of as "Quadrons" you should understand also that in internal correspondence (but not in marketing materials) that all of the formed movements with four corners were referred to as "Quadron" up until about 1938. This included the 311-355-500 family, as well as the later 330. The 877 was of course referred to as the "Techni-Quadron".

Knowledge is power! There is a reason I BEGGED Cary to join! :lol: I had no idea that, internally, the first Curvex movements (311, 330) were labeled as Quadrons! Makes sense...
 

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Knowledge is power! There is a reason I BEGGED Cary to join! :lol: I had no idea that, internally, the first Curvex movements (311, 330) were labeled as Quadrons! Makes sense...
Hmm..looking for more Quadron info. There's a watch on the Bay right now that claims to be an Eatons 1/4 Century club watch, with a "Rolex Prima" ratchet wheel, and some curiously positioned "engravings" on the train bridge. My guess is that it's actually a Quadron movement that someone is trying to dress up as a Rolex Prince. The main basis for my assumption is that the barrel bridge says "Switzerland" on it instead of "Swiss Made". My assumption (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is that the Gruen products stated "Switzerland" because they were shipped to Time Hill and assembled there, as opposed to the Rolex movements which were finished in Switzerland.

Is my logic correct?
 

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Rob,

I've seen at least one other movement with markings like this, and indirectly know of others.

The placement of the "wreath" engraving would precisely cover the "Gruen Watch Co." markings, and the "Fifteen" in the jewel count of their standard 877 caliber movement, here replaced with "17" under the word "jewels".

The first time I saw one of these, I believed it to be an elaborate attempt to create a counterfeit Rolex. Now, having seen other examples, I am inclined to believe that this was leftover stock converted by the Aegler factory from parts intended for Gruen, to parts needed for Rolex. A faker would be unlikely to go to the trouble to actually increase the jewel count to the 17 jewels of the Rolex 300.

While this seems like logical to me now, I still would not be surprised to find that these are aftermarket conversions by a third party, as the level of the work doesn't seem quite up to the standards of either Rolex or Aegler. Rolex distribution at the time was not the tightly controlled entity we now know, and it was possible to order cases, dials and movements individually as late as the 1960s.

Gruen, Rolex and Aegler dissolved their cooperative venture Aegler, Societe Anonyme, Fabrique des Montres Rolex & Gruen Guild A. in 1934. After that time, Aegler became a subsidiary of Rolex, with the Aegler family overseeing movement production exclusively for Rolex, in the same complex that they had earlier made movements for Gruen and others.

Alpina and Gruen formed a joint venture in 1929, and the doctor's watches were one of their main products, but this venture also failed as Gruen was changing direction, and the Alpina-Gruen Gilde was dissolved in 1937. James Dowling at one time had a Gruen-Alpina doctor's watch on his website with the Alpina markings crossed out and "RWC" for Rolex Watch Co. stamped over it.

I don't know anyone who has a clear picture of what was going on during this period at Gruen, and Rolex has always been quite secretive about their history. There is really no telling what might have happened with leftover stock from any of the three companies (Aegler-Gruen-Rolex) or their marketing venture with Alpina, during the interim three years. The high prices commanded by the Rolex Prince watches (5 times or more the prices of similar Gruen watches) have driven people to great lengths to "create" watches.

Cary
 

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Rob,
I don't know anyone who has a clear picture of what was going on during this period at Gruen, and Rolex has always been quite secretive about their history. There is really no telling what might have happened with leftover stock from any of the three companies (Aegler-Gruen-Rolex) or their marketing venture with Alpina, during the interim three years. The high prices commanded by the Rolex Prince watches (5 times or more the prices of similar Gruen watches) have driven people to great lengths to "create" watches.

Cary
Thanks Cary. There's even less information on the Eaton's watches, but all the "legitimate" examples I've seen have been high-quality movements in solid gold cases, usually with inscriptions. I've seen at least one that looks like a Prince, but it uses a Ultra Prima movement, not a Prima.
 

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Pictures would be nice! What's a Quadron movement look like, anyway? I gather it's roughly rectangular?
Pictures!
These are examples of the 117, 119 and 157, which are the most commonly seen Quadrons. The gilt engraved 119 is sometimes called the "50th Anniversary" Quadron, but Gruen didn't call it that.

117.jpg 119.jpg 157.jpg

The 123 and 325 look essentially the same as the 119, but have some internal differences.

And here are some of the watches that hold these calibers.
quads.jpg
 

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Thanks, Cary! I love the engraved one - harks back to the decorations on 18th century verge/fusee watches!

So, those were some of the first non-round wristwatch movements? Based on the cases, I'm thinking 1920s? I am a big fan of Elgin's 15/0 series, but they weren't introduced until the late 30s. Prior to that, they made the 18/0 series - those funky little rectangular movements that didn't put the 4th wheel where you could put a sub seconds dial.

The other observation is that once again, Gruen didn't jewel the center wheel, and got to 17 by capping the escape wheel.
 

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I would rather have a capped escape wheel (both sides) with conical pivots than a jeweled centre wheel. Both for time-keeping and robustness.
Well sure. And I've no doubt that some consideration was given to that when they designed them. I guess my point is that for most watches, time-keeping and robustness are merely two factors amongst a host of other factors (and not necessarily ones given a great deal of weight). Public perception says that a good watch has 17j, so watch manufacturers build watches with 17j, one way or another. The functional value of those jewels is often secondary to the cost of putting them in (which is why you usually see the superfluous cap jewels placed on the main plate, where it's easy, and not on the pallet arbor, where it would have more functional value).
 
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