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pit3000

Looking for information about a "Constantin Gray" watch

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Hi, I'm looking for help identifying a watch, and I cannot seem to find any information about the brand/watchmaker online:

It's a vintage women's watch from (most likely) the 1960s that's been in my family for a while but details are scarce. It's a tiny 16-17mm. All it says on the dial is "Constantin Gray" and "Swiss", it's a manual wind, and appears to have a white gold (?) watch face. I'm including some photos below. It's possible that it's related to "Vacheron Constantin" but frankly I cannot find any details.

face inscription: Constantin Gray, Swiss
back inscription: 14K, 0.585
clasp inscription: 14K, MI719 (?) or HI719 (?)

Since I cannot find any reference to "Constantin Gray" as a Swiss watch brand online, I was wondering if anyone here could point me in the right direction?

Thanks so much for any help!

p.jpeg?size=2048x1536&size_mode=3

 

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6 hours ago, pit3000 said:

I'm looking for help identifying a watch, and I cannot seem to find any information about the brand/watchmaker online:

You need to host your photos somewhere else (Flickr, Imgur, Postimg etc) and then post the links here.

Constantin is a well known Swiss watch brand. However, I can't find any reference to "Constantin Gray" in Swiss commercial records.

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23 hours ago, spinynorman said:

You need to host your photos somewhere else (Flickr, Imgur, Postimg etc) and then post the links here.

Constantin is a well known Swiss watch brand. However, I can't find any reference to "Constantin Gray" in Swiss commercial records.

Ah, thank you - that's enough to get me started. I'll contact them directly and see if they might have any clues for me. Thank you!

17 hours ago, spinynorman said:

Well, I've found a "Constantin Gray" in a Cash Converters in Australia.

b6464694-8900-449e-9da2-a97600c39158.jpg

Haha, as sources goes this is pretty amazing. Thank you!

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1 hour ago, pit3000 said:

Ah, thank you - that's enough to get me started.

Well, good luck. Let us know if they reply.

I finally found a ladies watch for sale in Poland. "Quartz watch, white dial on the sides decorated with zircons" according to the description (via Google Translate).

d1e1dc9141e3bdf94d03aac12f4f

Just to mix things up even more, a "Constantin G" Quartz watch from the 1970s produced by Electronic Watch SRL of Milan.

constantingled1.jpg

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14 hours ago, spinynorman said:

I finally found a ladies watch for sale in Poland. "Quartz watch, white dial on the sides decorated with zircons" according to the description

First of all, that's some impressive Sherlock Holmes like digging — thank you, I really appreciate it.

And boy oh boy do I love this 1970s Electronic Watch. I enjoy the look of this so much more than I probably should :) Thanks for including this as well!

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14 hours ago, spinynorman said:

Just to mix things up even more, a "Constantin G" Quartz watch from the 1970s produced by Electronic Watch SRL of Milan.

constantingled1.jpg

That’s an awesome looking watch! 

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1 hour ago, pit3000 said:

First of all, that's some impressive Sherlock Holmes like digging — thank you, I really appreciate it.

No problem, I enjoy this kind of mystery, but it's nice you take the trouble to say thank you. Some don't.

I've also found a part watch on Ebay, badly repainted dial signed "Constantin Grey" though the description says "Gray". This is manual wind, with movement photos. Not sure myself what it is, but maybe @Balaton1109 or @Tazmo61 would recognise it.

s-l1600.jpg

The question is what all this tells us about "Constantin Gray" as a watch brand. I very much doubt it had anything to do with Vacheron Constantin. There are several other brands using Constantin in the name - Constantin Weisz, Constantin Durmont, but I doubt it has anything to do with those either. More likely it was one of many mid-range watch brands in Switzerland which survived into the quartz era, but have now disappeared from view. Swiss trademark registrations are pretty well documented and available online, but I can't find this. Maybe just the name of the watchmaker, who never bothered to register it. 

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Dear @pit3000 and @spinynorman, and anyone else interested in Constantin Gray watches,

It's funny, this game of trying to identify old, and sometimes not so old, watches. In connection with your Constantin Gray watch, pit3000, I came across a YouTube video clip of a "Vacheron Constantin [Watch] Repair by Gray & Sons Jewelers" posted in 2017. I naturally looked up Gray & Sons to see if there might be a connection between this jeweller and your watch; unfortunately though, Gray & Sons was not founded until 1980. The firm operates an upmarket jewellery and watch shop in Miami, Florida, and was featured in A Blog to Watch a while back.

I was about to give up the search when by changing of my search wording to, "Who was Constantin Gray?", I came across another link to Miami, Florida, and this time we finally have a reference to the brand/trademark registration of Constantin Gray. The reference is found in "The Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office: Trademarks, March 9, 1971", and the entry - which is under section 27, "Horological Instruments" - reads as follows:

 

     SN 337,969. Jaime Pozo, Miami Fla. Filed Sept. 15, 1969.

     CONSTANTIN GRAY

     The name "Constantin Gray" is not the name of a living individual known to applicant.

     For Watches (Int. Cl. 14)

     First use Feb. 14 1969.

 

I have had a partial trawl through US records for persons named Jaime Pozo living in Miami but with no conclusive results. My feeling is that Constantin Gray was a carefully chosen brand name (combining a solid American surname with a slightly "glamorous" European first name) coined by Jaime Pozo to retail watches and perhaps jewellery also, probably in Miami.  He obviously bought in stock from various companies and was evidently using the Constantin Gray name from early 1969. Just how long the Constantin Gray name mark was used is obviously not known, but I would guess that it did not survive far beyond 1980.  As a final aside, I agree with spinynorman that Constantin Gray watches have nothing to do with Vacheron (&) Constantin apart from the probability that Jaime Pozo chose the name "Constantin" with one eye on the Swiss watchmaking prestige of that particular name.

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17 minutes ago, Always"watching" said:

reference to the brand/trademark registration of Constantin Gray.

Well done, Honour, that's a stunning bit of sleuthing. This gets more and more interesting.

Along the way I also found a website for "Nicholas Gray" watches, which is seems to be Chinese masquerading as French. Oddly one of their ranges is called Constantine, but I couldn't find any link beyond the coincidence.

Another possibility is that Jaime Pozo was the importer of watches made in Switzerland. I've seen that before, where the importer registers a local trademark.

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8 hours ago, spinynorman said:

No problem, I enjoy this kind of mystery, but it's nice you take the trouble to say thank you. Some don't.

I've also found a part watch on Ebay, badly repainted dial signed "Constantin Grey" though the description says "Gray". This is manual wind, with movement photos. Not sure myself what it is, but maybe @Balaton1109 or @Tazmo61 would recognise it.

s-l1600.jpg

The question is what all this tells us about "Constantin Gray" as a watch brand. I very much doubt it had anything to do with Vacheron Constantin. There are several other brands using Constantin in the name - Constantin Weisz, Constantin Durmont, but I doubt it has anything to do with those either. More likely it was one of many mid-range watch brands in Switzerland which survived into the quartz era, but have now disappeared from view. Swiss trademark registrations are pretty well documented and available online, but I can't find this. Maybe just the name of the watchmaker, who never bothered to register it. 

Sorry, I hadn't noticed this thread, The movement above is an FHF, something like the FHF 34 or family.

Regards.

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Dear @spinynorman, I agree that we have to be flexible as to the exact role played by Jaime Pozo until we have more information. He could have been either a retailer or a wholesaler of watches and/or importer, in all cases having his brand name "Constantin Gray" added to his produce. I would think, however, that Switzerland was not the only country providing him with watches, reinforced by the fact that two of the watches shown on this thread do not appear to be of Swiss origin.:)

As an aside, Norman, this thread shows what a team effort can achieve...:biggrin:

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