Saturday, December 14, 2013

AUTHENTIC VERY RARE VINTAGE GRUEN PILOT VERI-THIN PAN AM GENTS WRISTWATCH






BRAND/JENAMA: AUTHENTIC VINTAGE GRUEN PAN AM PILOT WRISTWATCH
MADE IN/BUATAN: SWISS
CIRCA: 1944 based on style no.543 printed on the caseback
MODEL: PAN AM VERI THIN
CRYSTAL: ACRYLIC
MOVEMENT/ENJIN: GRUEN/ROLEX AEGLER 17 JEWELS MANUAL WINDING
DIAL COLOR: GOLD DIAL
FUNCTION/FUNGSI: HOUR, MINUTES AND SECOND
HANDS/JARUM: BLUE METAL HANDS & RED CENTER SWIPE HAND
MARKERS/TANDA WAKTU: BLACK ARABIC MILITARY 24HRS MARKERS
CASING : 10k GOLD FILLED
LUGS: 16mm
MEASUREMENT/UKURAN: 30mm DIAMETER WITH CROWN and 39mm LUG TO LUG
BEZEL: 10K GOLD FILLED BEZEL
DITANDA/ENGARVED BACK CASING: -
CROWN: ORIGINAL GRUEN CROWN
STRAP/TALI: WORN GP FLEXI STRECH BAND
SIZE STRAP/SAIZ TALI: 8.5" FULL LENGHT
DISCONTINUED PAN AMERICAN MODEL... VERY RARE PRECISION DIAL
EXCELLENT CONDITION, KEEPING GOODTIME AND RECENTLY SERVICED
PRICE: RM1,800 (NEGOTIABLE)
LIST RM2,000 SOLD:RM

Starting about 1943, Gruen produced a series of pilot's watches with 24-hour dials for Pan American World Airways. During the war, the airline dropped all commerial operations and flew exclusively for the U.S. military. Pan American's network of bases and airports in the Pacific and Asia became a valuable military asset.
The Pan American wristwatch models all have sweep seconds (still fairly unusual in the 1940s), Arabic numbers for 1-12 around the outside of the dial, and an inner chapter ring with the numbers 13-24. There was still a glamorous mystique to aviation and airplane travel in the 1940s, and Gruen ran several ads showing pictures of their pilot's watch with the famous Pan American Clipper flying boat. The watches were supplied only to the airline and were not actually available for civilian use—the ads were run to create customer awareness of these watches, which Gruen had big plans for once the War ended.
Finally, an October 1945 ad announced that the Pan American line would go on sale to the public. The company believed that postwar consumers would make increasing use of 24-hour time, especially for airline travel. They also reasoned that, having just come through a major war, many people would have become accustomed to military time and could easily make the transition. Gruen published several articles in their dealer newsletters praising the advantages of dials indicating "the 24 hours of the air-world day," and advising retailers to stock up on Pan Americans to meet the anticipated demand.
Gruen offered the Pan American in a number of models and variations, in Guildite, gold filled and solid gold cases, for both men and women, and with a variety of lug and case shapes. There were two-tone versions and versions with square cases and dials. There were a variety of dials as well, but just like the original pilot's watches, they all share common features: a 24-hour dial with an inner 13-24 chapter ring and a red sweep seconds hand. As was the practice with the Curvex and Veri-Thin lines, "Pan American" was part of each watch's name:Pan American Challenger, Pan American Eagle, Pan American Navigator. The round watches use the excellent VeriThin 420SS movement. Although the public did not adopt 24-hour time as enthusiastically as Gruen had anticipated, during the late 1940s these watches seem to have been very popular, as they are fairly common on the vintage-watch market today.

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