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Why We Love It
The 1930s were the golden years of American watchmaking, and Gruen was a bright star in the horological firmament.
Ties to Swiss brands like Rolex and Aegler resulted in the creation of not only some of the finest watches ever made in the United States, but also some of the most innovative in terms of design.
The Gruen Curvex is without a doubt of the most curious watches of its day. Not only is the case curved to meet the natural contour of a wrist, but the movement itself was actually curved - indeed the first movement of its kind. This particular example is a little extra special, with beautifully ornate engravings that flank the 10k yellow gold filled case. The crisp black and gold dial exemplifies the dignified art deco styling of its day.
Whether you're searching for a piece of American watchmaking history or a sophisticated and unexpected dress watch - the Gruen Curvex is the piece you've been looking for.
The most famous curved wristwatch is without a doubt the Gruen Curvex, which was introduced in 1935 and almost single-handedly saw Gruen through the Great Depression.
Thanks to strategic partnerships with Swiss companies like Rolex and movement manufacturer Aegler, Gruen had enjoyed success with its doctor’s watch, the Techni-Quadron (which Rolex marketed as the Prince in Europe and the British Empire). But after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the U.S. watch industry took a massive hit. Sales of watches went down from five million to only 800,000 a year. Gruen, which was once ranked in the top tier of the watch industry, found itself selling watches at lower price points.
By 1934, Gruen was forced to sell off its shares in Aegler and concentrate movement production in its Swiss facility, the Precision Factory, located in Bienne. The next year, investors and stockholders were horrified to find that the company was in debt to the tune of $1.8 million, or $36 million in today’s dollars. The Board of Directors forced Fred Gruen to resign as President of the company his father had founded, and brought in Benjamin S. Katz, president of a New York-based manufacturer of watch cases.
However, despite the economic setbacks and political changeovers, the brand was poised for a comeback—which came in the form of this watch, the Curvex.
10k Yellow gold fill Curvex case is approximately 20mm x 45mm (excluding the crown). Gruen Calibre 330 manual winding movement. Circa 1930s.
Overall Condition: The case is in spectacular condition overall showing very light signs of wear consistent with age and use. Nonluminous two-tone gold and black dial is in great condition with light patination throughout and applied gold Breguet indicies and matching gold handset. Unsigned crown.
Includes black leather pebbled strap with gold pin buckle
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options