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In the past 5 years the number of tools to help us learn about these awesome watches has jumped from a single page Caliber-Date table to at least 3 new, significant dating tools.
It's important to understand the difference between the dates that these tools provide.
These and other brands have volumes of material and definitive movement serial number listings that allow for precise dating down to the year, and in some instances even the MONTH, in which a given specimen was manufactured.
Not so for Gruen, being the "orphan child" without a birth certificate because of a rather complicated method of serializing their movements, the records for which have been long lost, and most likely destroyed.
You are encouraged to read the article for important information about using Style Numbers.
Download Ver 4.0 of the free Windows program that provides date and other information given a Style Number.
Even if the movement is the exact same caliber as the original movement, it can have a manufacture date that differ by as much as 10 years. If it is close to the Case Manufacture Date and Style Number Date, then I feel quite satisfied with this estimate of the watch's age.
Now is a fantastic time to begin collecting Gruen watches.Should be no surprise that the graph shows the first Caliber 311 Style Numbers started in 1935 and they ended in 1937.There is precious little information "out there," unlike many other popular brands such Hamilton, Rolex, Omega, Elgin and others.You want to match the date with the correct use of that date.Here are the 3 different dates that can be found on a Gruen watch.2.