Without question the most iconic Art Deco Rolex is the Prince, universally celebrated for its unsurpassed quality and elegant style. Appropriately named, it was the perfect accompaniment for prominent doctor's, business financiers, or any man with discriminating personal taste in timepieces.
Made not only in the same factory as the Rolex Prince, but on the very same production lines was a virtually identical wristwatch, the Gruen Techni-Quadron. Our photos show a comparison to the case and movement of a Prince.
For a number of years after the company's founding, Rolex had no manufacturing capability of its own so the company received its movements from Aegler, a superb Swiss watch manufacturer partially owned by Gruen, Rolex, and the Aegler family. Because of the large number of Aegler shares held by Rolex and the Gruen brothers, the full name of the manufacturer for a time was actually Aegler, Societe Anonyme, Fabrique des Montres Rolex and Gruen Guild A, translated "Aegler, Limited Company, Manufacturer of Watches for Rolex and Gruen Guild A". The Aegler family used their workshop to produce a large number of movements for Rolex, most notably for the Prince series, as well as for this special wristwatch sold by Gruen.
"Why was the identical watch sold as both a Rolex and a Gruen?" The answer is quite simple: when the watch hit the market in 1928, Rolex was still a London-based company selling almost exclusively in the British Empire and Europe. They had no distribution facilities in the United States, then as now, one of the largest markets in the world. Aegler had invented the watch and put time and money into it. They wanted to recoup their investment from as large a market as possible, and so Gruen was given the 'franchise' for the United States. These were the only markets anywhere in the world worth selling an expensive watch to." - Explanation courtesy of Hess & Dowling, The Best of Time - Rolex Wristwatches, an Unauthorized History.
The uncommon Gruen Techni-Quadron featured in today's offering is one of these fine wristwatches made during the onset of World War II. Here are a few of its features:
- Possessing a long, stylish case and an ultra-high quality mechanism, these wristwatches set a standard of the day for refinement and accuracy, performing very well in European chronometer tests
- Powered by the legendary caliber 877 mechanism, manufactured by the Aegler family in Biel, Switzerland, used in these Techni-Quadron and Rolex's Prince line of watches
- Extremely high quality movement design featuring an oversized winding barrel and balance wheel. By placing this two mechanisms at opposite ends of the movement the watch achieves incredible levels of accuracy and carries a longer power reserve, enabling it to run longer and more accurately on each wind
- Curved, long and elegant case make it appropriate for both casual and dress wear
- Larger, peripheral seconds dial ensures the hour and minute hands never obstruct the view of the seconds, perfect for taking a patient's pulse and for technical uses
- Striking late Art Deco style dial
Its thickly plated 14K gold filled case is in very good condition with slivers of gold wearthrough at the high points. The stamping on the back is still very strong.
Its iconic duo-dial face, which has a wonderful late Art Deco style, was restored in vintage. It shows only light aging. Please inquire if you would like it freshly restored.
One of our Master Watchmakers, who used to be the watchmaker for an authorized Rolex dealer and was given special training by Rolex at their Beverly Hills Service Center to be an authorized Rolex watchmaker, has fully serviced the watch which consists of fully disassembling the movement, carefully inspecting each part, replacing any overly worn components with genuine correct parts, installing a new mainspring, reassembling and lubricating the movement, and extensive timing testing and regulation (a $695 value).
It is running very strong and true, keeping time on par with a new Rolex in our testing recording position.
For the finishing touch, we have equipped it with a brand new Teju lizard strap making it ready for immediate enjoyment.
Included with the purchase is a one-year C.O.T. international warranty on the movement and its function, a full-page custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity, and a new timing certificate.
This an opportunity to own an exciting historical timepiece whose quality is on par with coveted Rolex Prince watches.
Country of origin: Switzerland, made for the U.S. market
Serial no.: 1,845,104
Year built: This case run was made in a run btween 1939 and 1941
Model: Techni-Quadron, ref. 877/290
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Large Subsidiary Seconds
Designed for: Men
Case material: 14K gold-filled
Case condition: Its thickly plated 14K gold filled case is in very good condition with slivers of gold wearthrough at the high points. The stamping on the back is still very strong.
Dial: Light silver, late Art Deco style, gold applique Breguet numerals, larger peripheral seconds dial, signed Gruen, restored in vintage times, only lightly aged. Please inquire if you would like a fresh restoration
Dimensions: 21mm wide (excluding crown), 44mm long lug tip-to-tip
Hands: Gold, one original "Breguet moon", one a replacement
Movement type: Original Gruen made by Aegler, Cal. 877, very high quality, 7''' 1/2, 15 jewels, lateral lever escapement, cut bimetallic balance, Breguet balance-spring
Movement markings: Gruen Guild A, Fifteen Jewels, Switzerland
Jewels: 15 rubies
Band: Teju lizard, fully stitched, padded, brand new and unworn
Crystal: Mineral glass, excellent condition
Serviced: One of our Master Watchmakers, who used to be the watchmaker for an authorized Rolex dealer and was given special training by Rolex at their Beverly Hills Service Center to be an authorized Rolex watchmaker, has fully serviced the watch which consists of fully disassembling the movement, carefully inspecting each part, replacing any overly worn components with genuine correct parts, installing a new mainspring, reassembling and lubricating the movement, and extensive timing testing and regulation (a $695 value).
Timing: Timed to precision on a state-of-the-art computerized system. It is running very strong and true, keeping time on par with a new Rolex in our testing recording position. Your watch is important to us, and we will take care of it for its lifetime. We provide the best after sale care in the business with an extremely experienced team of four Master Watchmakers all of whom each have over thirty-five years of experience and a large number of parts.
Warranty: 1-year international warranty. Please message us for details.
Box/Papers: BOX - Connoisseur of Time watch presentation box; PAPERS - Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity; New timing certificate
We offer a 100%
satisfaction guarantee for all of our watches. If you are in any way
unsatisfied with the watch we will fully refund the purchase price anytime
within 7 days after the watch has been received. Our goal is to exceed our
client's expectations throughout the buying experience.
All watches are packaged carefully and mailed double boxed in specially
constructed, reinforced shipping boxes designed for high value items. All
watches are sent fully insured with signature required. Most of our domestic
shipping is done through FedEx. At times we will also use USPS Express Mail,
and we can accommodate most requests for your preferred carrier.
International shipments are sent USPS International Express Mail or FedEx.
The purchase price will be the declared value of the merchandise on any
required customs forms. The payment of all customs duties, tariffs, and
taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.
Also note that water resistance of vintage watches can no longer be
guaranteed and is not covered under the watch's warranty. We do not
recommend getting a vintage watch wet, even one that was originally designed
to be waterproof.