Timeline Watch

Gruen Precision Chronograph

Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa

1964 Gruen Precision Chronograph, I like the pink sub-dial, it is pretty much the same as the Breitling sprint, but the prices are miles apart, it’s an authentic poor mans Breitling.

In 1876 Dietrich Gruen formed the Columbus Watch Manufacturing Company in the basement of a downtown Columbus, Ohio bank building.

By 1888 production was about 45 watches per day; the company would grow to 300 employees and output to 150 watches per day.

The Gruen Watch Company was formerly one of the largest watch manufacturers in the United States. It was in business from about 1876 to 1958 and was based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

During World War II, the Time Hill factory stopped making watches and instead worked exclusively for the U.S. military, manufacturing gauges and instruments for aircraft, ships and submarines. The company also made precision gauges used for delicate surgical instruments and for radios and other electronic equipment. During WWII, some watches were still manufactured at the Precision Factory in Switzerland and imported.
Shortly after WWII many American watch companies began to lose market share to Swiss imports and began to move manufacturing to Switzerland in the 1940s and 1950s, while Gruen, who had always manufactured watch movements in Germany or Switzerland, launched the ’21’ series of wristwatches, named for their 21-jewel movements, which were entirely made in the United States.

Fred Gruen retired in 1940 and died in 1945, and his brother George died in 1952. In 1953 the Gruen family sold their interest in the company. The same year, Gruen president Benjamin Katz was forced into retirement after a scandal, and in 1954 the company bought out his shares for US$2 million.

With the changeovers in management and the loss of the Gruen family’s involvement, the company lost focus and direction. In 1953, the Gruen Watch Company had its highest sales in its entire history. By 1958, the company, which had changed its name to Gruen Industries, was facing massive legal problems, had laid off most of its employees, and was selling off its properties the watch manufacturing business was moved to New York under new ownership, and manufacturing was done exclusively in Switzerland.

Gruen closed its doors in 1977 in Swiss.