The history of various watch companies is an interesting topic, especially in the context of historical change and turbulence, as was the case with many watch companies during the World War II era. In the United States, the production of watches for commercial production was halted during World War II, hampering the advancement of the few successful American watch companies in existence at the time.
One type of American watch that did quite well up to that point were the Gruen watches. Although the Gruen Watch Company ceased to exist shortly after World War II, the company managed to establish a foothold in watch production for the US military during that time.
However, Swiss watch production was not restricted and Americans began to rely heavily on importing these watches for quality watch construction and reliability, as is the case today. Swiss watches seem to embody everything the American consumer wants in a watch, but what about watch companies in the United States? Is the quality not there, or is it just a case of historical circumstances that made the Swiss watch what it is today relative to American-produced watches?
There are many factors that influenced the mass consumption of Swiss watches in the US, but it is believed that Swiss watches, in general, are of superior quality relative to watches produced in the United States, mainly due to the long production history of watch movements originating from Switzerland. When Dietrich Gruen (of Germany) created his watch company in the United States around 1876, there wasn’t much to be said for the big watch production companies coming out of the US. Gruen began importing his movements from Switzerland. , the home of the highest quality watch movements. available. It was the wonderful reputation of Swiss-produced movements that allowed Dietrich Gruen to thrive in the American market. This gave Gruen the opportunity to take the best of watch production in Europe and make it easily accessible in the United States.
From then on, a great demand was expected for different watch designs and innovations from Dietrich Gruen, watches that would have a great influence on various watch designs we see today. Dietrich held the key to high-quality, easily accessible watches for Americans.
Originating from the vision of genius Gruen, watches like the VeriThin, Curvex and Quadron would take on a whole new meaning of wristwatches and their mainstream acceptance. The sad reality of Gruen’s death, and ultimately the deaths of his sons (company partners), coupled with the pressures of World War II that hampered the production of most non-military businesses in the US. The US saw the death of the Gruen Watch Company.