Cincinnati, Ohio was the home of a very important watch company in the history of horology whose many patents moved the art and industry forward, The Gruen Watch Company.
Dietrich Gruen started the "Columbus Watch Company" in downtown Columbus in 1874. In 1898 he brought on his sons and renamed to "Dietrich Gruen & Sons" and relocated to downtown Cincinnati at Fountain Square. In the picture below of Fountain Square around 1900, Gruen is located in the Johnson Building, the building in front of the tallest building on the right.
Please visit and view the original image in detail from webmaster Don Prout at "Cincinnati Views" - An amazing collection of Cincinnati photos and postcards.
Gruen completed Time Hill in 1916. Calling their new home "Time Hill" because the grassy hill above and outside away from the smog, smell, and noise of downtown Cincinnati where they built was previously referred to as Goat Hill. This moved Gruen from a bustling downtown center to a peaceful, quiet lodge with walking space, clean air; an excellent place to concentrate for horologists assembling watches.
Time Hill is Beautiful.
See amazing historical photos of Time Hill from 1916, watchmakers at work, watchmaker benches, and more here at Gruenwristwatches.com
In a city of incredible Germanic Italian brick and art deco masterpieces, it makes sense that many here mistakenly call the unique building along I-71 at E. McMillan a "Swiss Chalet". While there are some similarities, the building was built to be and to resemble a Guild Hall, or a Lodge, where expert watchmakers would make, assemble, and repair watches in Germany and Switzerland hundreds of years ago. To be allowed into a lodge was very significant, one was either gifted, family, (or wealthy!).
Inside of Time Hill the world of watches moved in leaps, the horologist inside literally responsible for how watches look and are worn today. Time Hill represents:
Creating a community where every young person has the opportunity to thrive. That’s the vision of Lighthouse Youth & Family Services. The nonprofit offers a range of programs for young people ages 0-25 and their families, including mental and behavioral health services, a runaway shelter, and foster care and adoption. Lighthouse also provides residential treatment, youth housing, early intervention, and juvenile justice services.
Every young person receives individualized care, and Lighthouse is there each step of the way to support them on their unique journey toward achieving their goals. A leader in developing strategies to end youth homelessness, Lighthouse heads the KEYS to a Future without Youth Homelessness initiative in Hamilton County. For more information, go to lys.org.
We have no greater honor but to donate a portion of the sale of each "Guild" watch to the Light House Youth Foundation. The scale of which they are able to address and apply fixes fits the Guild, the location they work out of today. Undoubtedly, you can feel the building while working within it. I guess you get used to it but, I doubt it. It's a building of massively intense loud silence. Forever grateful to be toured through the hallowed halls of Time Hill.
Watch designer Rick Bell in Time Hill envisioning rows of watchmakers at work inside Time Hill.