The History of the Grana watch and brand is as interesting as it gets ( in the world of watches ) and in many ways typifies the ups and downs of the watch manufacturing industry and why certain brands hold more Kudos than others.

Here at Watches Of Westminster we are passionate about vintage watches

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H1 A Brief History Of Grana Watches

Above everything Grana watches were always produced with quality in mind and whilst you may not recognise the name now the name Certina may ring a bell as that is the name the Grana brand formed into !

The first inclings of the brand early life started in 1888 in a small town called Grenchen in Switzerland their first premises being a spare room in the family house ( the original working from home concept ! ). With only a few employees ( 3 ) the brothers Adolf and Alfred Fréres quest for originality and quality soon became evident.

The original output of the business was not completed watches , they made movements and various other parts for other manufacturers to add parts and assemble ( a bit like the modern car manufacturing business !

In 1906 the founding brothers manufactured and released their first in house watch and this was also the year the brand name Grana was conceived , the latin name for Gretchen ( being Granacus ) although some of the early watches did haveKurth Feres on the dial as it must have been so much of a temptation to see your name on a watch you have produced. Oddly enough as Hand Wilsdorf found , back in the day the retailers name would often be on the face of the watch rather than the actual maker.

Anyone finding a vintage watch with Kurth Fréres on the dial will have found a rare watch indeed !

H2 Military Watches

Military watches have a practical and interesting history and have always been about tactics and gaining an advantage.

Come the 1920s and after all of the tribulations of the first world war Alfreds sons Erwin and Hand came to work for the business and in 1924 ( Feb ) the new brand name of Certina was lodged as a trademark.

Its not quite sure exactly how and why the Grana name fully died out but the name Grana was still going strong in the early 1940’s and its a well known fact that the British army commissioned ( amongst many other manufacturers ) a standard WWW ( actually stands for Watch ,Wrist . Waterproof ) watch for the troops and they are now considered some of the finest mass produced watches made at the time . Rugged , accurate, easy to read whilst being shot at . What more could you want from a watch !

The Grana brand made a number of different types of wrist watch as well as pocket watches.

Grana watch

They were best known for rugged medium sized wrist watches which would literally last a lifetime

Grana sports watch

Along with their hard wearing well made models Grana also produced more complicated Watches also for the military in the form of black faced chronographs ( you may note that most military watches have black faces and for very practical reasons ie keeping hidden at night ! ).

Grana Chronograph

If youre interested in Grana watches or have one to sell just contact us we love to talk about vintage watches especially Grana .

You may have noticed the Broad arrow on the back of the pocket watch and this denotes that the item is the property of the government ( actually it dates back to when it signified the monarchy and was taken from the arms of the Sydney family who were linked to the Board Of Ordinance or if you take another view the arrow originated from the navy where it denotes upside down anchor ).

Here is a much more interesting and in depth article on the whole subject.

December 4th, 2020

Posted In: Second Hand Watches

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