Donor: Fred Savage
Gruen Diver circa 1970
Brian LaViolette grew up in the Eighties and admired Kevin Arnold (a.k.a., Fred Savage) on the TV series The Wonders Years. In the show, Kevin always wore a watch and we believe that was a big part of Brian’s interest in watches, too. Living in Green Bay, Wisconsin, you might find it odd that some days Brian would be running around the neighborhood wearing a blue-and-orange number 34 jersey because Kevin Arnold wore the Chicago Bears' Walter Payton's 34.
Fred Savage has a lifelong love of watches and has donated his classic 1970s Automatic Gruen Diver. The watch features seventeen jewels and a 37 mm curved-block shaped screw back case with two crowns, one for the time and day-date setting, and the other for the internal rotating bezel. The original multicolor dial is possibly the most interesting aspect of the piece, with a black center and a gray roulette-style outer ring with white luminous hour markers. The hour and minute hands are stark white blocks with black luminescent filled tips and a bright red sweep seconds hand. This watch comes with a water-resistant design case, bearing the designation "600 FEET" on the dial.
The Brian LaViolette Foundation was formed by the LaViolette family to honor the memory of their son, Brian, who passed away in a swimming accident in Green Bay, Wisconsin when he was just fifteen years old in 1992. Brian was not only an excellent student, athlete, and musician, but he loved watches, starting his own collection when he was four years of age.
Since 1992, the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation has presented 1,058 scholarships to deserving college-bound students in Northeastern Wisconsin, the United States, and other parts of the world. The Foundation continues Brian's legacy by helping high school seniors financially to achieve their educational dreams and, at the same time, providing them with encouragement and inspiration.