Thread: Welsbro Chronograph

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  1. #1
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    Welsbro Chronograph

    Hi! Just picked up this Welsbro Swiss chronograph and I'm not sure what the movement is. The movement is marked Welsbro Watch Co and the proper WXE on the balance cock. Looking through my movement book it's either a Venus 150 or Venus 175. Without being able to properly measure the width of the movement with the proper tool I just tried it with a tape measure and it appears to be 31mm. Funny thing is that it doesn't exactly match the pictures I have of either the Venus 150 or 175. Perhaps the early models were a little different? I'm thinking the watch dates to the forties but not sure. It has two service marks inside from 1950 and 1954. It actually keeps time fine and the chrono function works but the hour hand is not moving so a service is probably due. Any thought as to the movement type would be appreciated. I left the movement pic rather big to show the detail.

    Movement pic:

    http://members.aol.com/paul3130/private/welsbro002.jpg

    Thanks!

    Paul


  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Welsbro Chronograph

    Well, you got the Venus right! But both the 150 and the 175 are bicompax (only with 15/30 minute counter, no hour totalizer). What we are looking for is a Venus column wheel tricompax without calender functions and moonphase. That reduces it to the 152 or the 178. The latter is the bigger of the two so it ought to be that. You'll find it under http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-...uswk&Venus_178.

    I realize that there are differences even between that one in the picture and yours. In particular, the cock holding down the chronograph second and minute totalizer wheels is slightly different in shape - it has "noses" on the ends where yours are round. However, Venus is known for slight changes in the shape of this part. Furthermore, that one is by Breitling and may have some Breitling-modifications. Also, Ranfft states that the calibre codes on the movement were sometimes given as "175" even though it is a different one in the family.

    If you want further confirmation, just try searching for Venus 178 on the Internet and compare some pictures.

    Hartmut Richter

  3. #3
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    Re: Welsbro Chronograph

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    Well, you got the Venus right! But both the 150 and the 175 are bicompax (only with 15/30 minute counter, no hour totalizer). What we are looking for is a Venus column wheel tricompax without calender functions and moonphase. That reduces it to the 152 or the 178. The latter is the bigger of the two so it ought to be that. You'll find it under http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-...uswk&Venus_178.

    I realize that there are differences even between that one in the picture and yours. In particular, the cock holding down the chronograph second and minute totalizer wheels is slightly different in shape - it has "noses" on the ends where yours are round. However, Venus is known for slight changes in the shape of this part. Furthermore, that one is by Breitling and may have some Breitling-modifications. Also, Ranfft states that the calibre codes on the movement were sometimes given as "175" even though it is a different one in the family.

    If you want further confirmation, just try searching for Venus 178 on the Internet and compare some pictures.

    Hartmut Richter
    Thanks for the information Hartmut! I think you are absolutely correct about the Venus 178. I did a Google search and found this site with what appears to be an identical movement.

    http://www.farfo.com/menswatches/Pag...ingmervos.html

    Interestingly this is a Breitling-Mervos from the early forties. The movement appears to be exactly the same as my Welsbro. The case dimensions are the same and my serial number on the back case is 559287 with a reference number of 734 also. In my Breitling book it says a ref 734 is a Venus 178 with 30 minute and 12 hour counters. The markings on the inside of the case, "Stainless Steel Back, Swiss" are identical. Looks like Breitling-Mervos and the Welsbro had the same orgins but had the additional Welsbro and Breitling stamps added at a later date in the production process. Very interesting! Here's a pic of the inside of my back:

    http://members.aol.com/paul3130/private/welsbro003.jpg

    Thanks for the help!

    Paul
    Last edited by gtopaul; July 7th, 2007 at 23:08.

  4. #4
    stuffler,mike
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    Re: Welsbro Chronograph

    Quote Originally Posted by gtopaul View Post
    Interestingly this is a Breitling-Mervos from the early forties. The movement appears to be exactly the same as my Welsbro. The case dimensions are the same and my serial number on the back case is 559287 with a reference number of 734 also. In my Breitling book it says a ref 734 is a Venus 178 with 30 minute and 12 hour counters. The markings on the inside of the case, "Stainless Steel Back, Swiss" are identical. Looks like Breitling-Mervos and the Welsbro had the same orgins but had the additional Welsbro and Breitling stamps added at a later date in the production process. Very interesting!
    Hi Paul,

    Interesting but not uncommon for those times. In out times we say: Private Label branding
    A very interesting book where you can find a lot of "similarities": Wristwatch chronographs by Wolfgang Salm, ISBN: 3-89441-376-X. It´s written in german but the pics do speak for themselves and the specs of the watches are easily to understand.

  5. #5
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    Re: Welsbro Chronograph

    Quote Originally Posted by stuffler,mike View Post
    Hi Paul,

    Interesting but not uncommon for those times. In out times we say: Private Label branding
    A very interesting book where you can find a lot of "similarities": Wristwatch chronographs by Wolfgang Salm, ISBN: 3-89441-376-X. It´s written in german but the pics do speak for themselves and the specs of the watches are easily to understand.
    Thanks Mike I'll look for that one. I spent 10 years in Germany with the military so have some get-around knowledge of the German language.

    I also have this book; Chronograph Wristwatches To Stop Time (Chronographen Armbanduhren-Die Zeit zum Anhalten) by Gerd-R Lang and Reinhard Meis which is an English translation.

    Paul

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