Tropical 1950s Gruen Ocean Chief Diver

$ 6,750

As an American watch company based in Ohio, Gruen produced cleverly designed timepieces that housed Swiss-made movements, and the brand was once the largest watch company in the entire United States. In competing with other American watch manufacturers such as Hamilton, Elgin, and Bulova, Gruen's catalog grew to be extensive, diverse, and at some points, quite eccentric. Over the years many Gruen pieces have even become quite rare and devotedly sought after, such as this beautiful tropical Ocean Chief Diver.

Originally released in the 1950s the Ocean Chief represents everything great about dive watches from this early sports watch era. From the unique dial configuration and creative "snakehead" hands to the concave or "stadium" bezel, the Gruen Ocean Chief oozes golden-era watch design. The Ocean Chief was produced in two movement variations, a 23-jewel version for the European market, and a 17-jewel movement for the American market, which coincides with several aesthetic differences between the two regional models.

Stock # GRNOC-2
Brand Gruen
Style Diver
Model Ocean Chief
Serial 27XXXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial Glossy Gilt "Tropical"
Millimeters 39
Bracelet Stainless Steel Ladder-Link Bracelet



The unique twisted-lug design case is in excellent overall condition, showing some honest signs with very crisp factory finishing on display. The large "stadium" bezel protrudes off the case to complete the noble 39mm case size, the bezel itself has achieved a charming grey fade and shows gentle signs of use while missing the lume in the 12 o'clock triangle which is common to see in the model. The case retains its original Gruen-signed crown. The case back is in clean overall condition with minimal wear shown. The watch comes supplied on a hyper-cool and era-correct stainless steel FB ladder-link bracelet that features a micro-adjust sizing system within the claps. The bracelet fits between a 7-inch and 8-inch wrist.


The original, uncommon, and extremely well-preserved "Powerglide" dial has achieved a stunning tropical brown coloration while maintaining an even glossy finish throughout with the gilt text remaining in excellent condition as well. Apart from some very minimal elements of age, the dial is very clean and without notable damage. The strontium lume plots have taken on a patina of dark grey and tan colors, under UV light inspection the dial shows no visible degradation. The original strontium hands have achieved a slightly more saturated tan color and match the matches aesthetic perfectly with no degradation present under UV light inspection.


None. The watch is keeping time perfectly, but the service history is unknown. A movement service can be provided upon request.

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