Skip to content

WWII Vintage Military Gruen Watch Ads

As much as I gripe about modern makers flogging supposed military connections of their watches that frequently have little if any basis in fact, it’s easy to forget that the phenomenon is not exclusive to the modern era.

Heck, for that matter the entire evolution from pocket to wrist watches was borne out of soldiers’ preference for the convenience of watches worn on the wrist during WWI that subsequently became popular in the civilian market, so it only makes sense I guess.

The Cincinati, Ohio-based Gruen Watch Company was an importer of partially finished Swiss-made movements that became especially famous for its “Veri-Thin” and “Curvex” models. And although Gruen never made any official military issue watches over the course of its lifetime of which I’m aware, they sure weren’t afraid to let that stand in the way of using military themes in their war-era advertising.

gruen watch co military ad 1940s

Gruen ad from the 1940s recommending selections for members of the various military services

Interesting how Gruen seems to think gold-filled watches might have been appropriate for military usage. Perhaps it owes to restrictions on the use of steel and other metals during the war years.

gruen watch ad how to get home tokyo 1942

Gruen ad from 1942 that attempts to capitalize on the supposed use of Gruen instruments in Doolitle's raid on Tokyo

1944 Gruen watch ad from Christmas 1944

1944 Gruen ad appealing to consumers not to cash their war bonds.

Posted in Military Watches, Vintage Watches.

Tagged with , , , .

8 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Speedmaster says

    Fun stuff, thanks.

    • Rrryan says

      Thanks, Chris! I forgot to mention too that I had stumbled across the 1st one on your site, but that got me to looking around for the others

  2. Les says

    I think these old posters are great.

  3. Jeff Mousaw says

    Nice watches, I came across an oldMilitary pokcet watch on E-bay, I found it in the UK
    and had to bring it home. I have had family in the Military. Maybe someone outhere can help me out. I think it is from World War one or World War Two.It has a brass case, the dial is black.It has a capital I and TP. The second hand is at the 6 oclock position. On the
    back is a CROWS FOOT Mark and # 000387. The watch still works! It has the original leather strap and T-bar and clip. On the movement inside it says made in U.S.A. and the seril number is 9846934. Can anyone point me in the right direction in finding out the age of this time piece. Or the maker of the watch it does not say in the watch. Is there any way to track the owner of the watch? Thank You Jeff Mousaw

  4. dave standa says

    Gruen did make the gauges for the airplanes and bombers…Gruen did at one time make great watches beautiful cases and excellent movements…The watches shown here were more for the home front who wanted a military style watch..keep in mind at that time you couldn’t buy a real military watch from the war like you can now buy a used one…Also family members would send these and other watch brands to people fight in the war…So your right Gruen never did make a Govt. issued watch, they lost the Govt. contract because of in house problems and scandals…but they made these watches because like now military watches are popular, and like i stated Gruen did make the gauges for the planes…

  5. Linda Johnson says

    I have a Gruen 21 precision with initials on back of E. S. and says Gruen J Goldfilled, from WWII and I would love to find anyone surviving who would want this watch, as my dad brought it back from WWII. If anyone out there can help, thanks.

    • Charles says

      Hi linda, are you planning on selling your watch? I would love to see a photo out of my curiosity.


Continuing the Discussion

  1. Your Questions About Watches | Watch Wurld linked to this post on 19 January 2012

    […] watch company during pearl harbor attacks info pleasePearl JewelriesWWII Vintage Military Gruen Watch Ads – I Already Have a Watch. #headerimage { background: […]

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.