My local watchmaker replaced a loose crystal in one of my watches and I picked it up yesterday. They gave me the old crystal in the replacement's package.
How long has the replacement crystal been floating around, given the telephone number on the package - Taroona 55? (Taroona is a residential suburb of Hobart) Did GA Gratweil stamp all the crystals he sold? Was there a watchmaker's store in Taroona, or was he a wholesaler? I find this sort of link to the past interesting.
I posted the above text on a local Facebook group and one of the other member (currently a watch and jewellery retailer and collector) posted the following. It's a pretty cool link to the past when local watchmakers were plentiful.
"This is amazing!! I first met Gerald (G. A.) Gratweil in about 1969 as an apprentice watchmaker and, yes he was a parts wholesaler operating from his home in Taroona. Twice a week Gerald would do the rounds of all the watchmakers in Hobart, take orders and drop off the previous orders. I remember, at the time, doing a count of Hobart (and surrounds) watchmakers and came up with about 30! So. I reckon Gerald must have seen half his customers one day and the other half the next. Gerald was a German Jew who escaped Nazi Germany before WW2 and came to Australia as a refugee sometime in the late 30's. When Gerald came into the workshop, the first thing he would do was complain about the volume of the radio and how he disliked modern music. He retired sometime in the early to mid seventies and went back to Germany. I reckon he would have been around 80 at the time. Thanks Tristan for putting this up and very astute of you to notice that telephone number."
Post by Adrian-VTA on Sept 7, 2019 22:48:59 GMT -8
That's a fantastic story and a pretty common one when it comes to the Jewish people of Europe.
I have hundreds of these here. I didn't know until I got them that we had domestic manufacturing of plexi's. I always wonder, what happened to them? Did they start making something different? What happened to the tooling etc?
Post by philsinclair on Sept 9, 2019 13:49:03 GMT -8
Hi. The tooling was quite basic. I was offered the gear for about 500 bucks about 20 years ago by a vendor in Hobart of all places. I didn’t take it up and I think it was taken up by a wheelchair bound enthusiast from the Sunshine Coast