Gruen Techni-Quadron Doctor's Watch
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
This watch, by another name, is a Prince.
By that we mean the Rolex Prince, with which this watch shares a body and a movement, if not a name.
It started in 1927, when Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf and Hermann Aegler—a noted movement manufacturer whose company Rolex acquired in 1919—were presented with patent number 120849. The patent called for a “shaped watch movement with a seconds dial.” The larger seconds hand, so the patent ran, was intended to make the watch more useful for the precise measurement of time.
Moreover, its large balance wheel made the watch more accurate than others available on the market when it was released in 1928 as the Prince. Relying on this fact, Rolex submitted the watch to chronometer trials, at which it excelled. In fact, the movement used in the Prince—the Calibre 877—became the first movement to gain that distinction without having to be adjusted specifically for the trials.
Due to its exceptional accuracy, the Prince soon gained a reputation as a watch worn by—and often presented to—doctors.
In fact, Rolex explicitly stated in marketing materials that the Prince was “particularly suitable for the medical profession.”
But how does Gruen figure into this equation, you ask?
In the 1920s, Gruen was one of the largest watchmaking companies in the United States. But their operations weren’t limited to just the “land of the free.” The company also owned a factory in Bienne, Switzerland—right across from Aegler’s.
Gruen acquired shares in Aegler, which gave them the rights to use movements that Aegler developed—including the Calibre 877.
Gruen was granted the rights to sell the Prince in the United States, while Rolex retained distribution in Europe and the British Empire. So that the two would not compete with each other, Gruen sold it as the Techni-Quadron while Rolex’s version remained the Prince. To further distinguish the two versions, Gruen’s was marketed toward “the man who requires the exact time in seconds” while Rolex targeted theirs at “men of distinction.”
The Techni-Quadron found a particular niche in the medical profession. Many versions were sold with straps that had what Gruen dubbed “expanding buckles,” which could also be found on versions of the Cartier Tank. However, while the expanding buckle on the Cartier Tank was to give the watch an element of elegance, an extension of the watch’s clean lines, the one on the Techni-Quadron served a practical purpose: when fully open, the watch could slide up the arm to rest just above the elbow, leaving the hand and the wrist free.
This particular Techni-Quadron boasts a 22mm X 41mm white gold case with a handsome Art Deco engraving on the sides. The silver dial with its Roman indices and blued steel hands give it the distinguished appearance as befits a doctor of medicine. Inside, the Calibre 877—recently serviced—beats sedately, reliably, ready to take the pulse of a new generation.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Gruen Techni-Quadron Doctor's Watch