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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:37 am 
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Don't mean to rain in on your parade, but didn't you acquire this off ebay from a seller in Indiana or something like that? I saw this too, but didn't buy the signing on the bridge and the dial looked off so I passed right away...

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:43 am 
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vintage wrote:
I think what we have is a case maker that sold extra Breitling type cases to other watchmakers. I've had a few different Welsbro chrono's that also had the Breitling cases and correct numbers on the back.


Or put another way: It appears that during this era, Breitling contracted out nearly every element of their watch's production to other firms (not unique of course) and so they did not have exclusive design rights or control over parts such as cases. And so we can have literally clone versions of Breitling models, even down to the reference #s!
The only major differences appear to be the dial text and the engraved bridges and maybe a bit of caseback engraving and an occasional import code on the balance bridge.

Makes it reeeeaaally tough on the Premier collector. :shock:

Looks like a Val 72 in that Welsbro, yes?

Image

Nice! 8)

Best,
T.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:51 am 
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tomvox1 wrote:
vintage wrote:
I think what we have is a case maker that sold extra Breitling type cases to other watchmakers. I've had a few different Welsbro chrono's that also had the Breitling cases and correct numbers on the back.
Looks like a Val 72 in that Welsbro, yes?

Image

Nice! 8)

Best,
T.


Valjoux 71 if I remember correctly. I had a couple of other Welsbro's that had the Venus 178's so they were almost identical to Breitling except for the dial markings.

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:36 am 
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Look at the "7" in the serial number and the "7" in the referece-number, it dont looks original

And, if it was a Breitling, it has a serial number of 1945, but the dials in 1945 had "BREITLING" in the old hand-scrip.

Its never a Breitling


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:05 pm 
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breitlingmuseum wrote:
Look at the "7" in the serial number and the "7" in the referece-number, it dont looks original

And, if it was a Breitling, it has a serial number of 1945, but the dials in 1945 had "BREITLING" in the old hand-scrip.

Its never a Breitling


But look at the other two off-brands in the thread, Michael:

Image

Image

For me, the stamping is identical to a genuine Premier-era case.

A pretty incredible similarity, IMO, and pretty mind blowing in its implication that Breitling had virtually no control over its contractors' case supply.
:shock:
Best,
T.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:27 pm 
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I dont believe it, but as I told in an other thread:
Code:
Nobody from us was there 60 years ago, when the watch was made and knows what was real happend and produced in this turbulent times.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:25 pm 
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Guys - if you hear hooves think horses not zebras!

If it looks wrong then it's likely wrong, and this is wrong!

Consider what was happening in Europe in the first part of the 1940s - there weren't many people producing watch cases because steel and steel working machinery was being used for very different purposes. Switzerland wasn't involved militarily, but that doesn't mean that Swiss companies weren't involved - Breitling being the most relevant example here. There are similarities in watch cases because there were only one or two suppliers of watch cases!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:56 pm 
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If I recall this is also common with Venus 170 based chronographs being marked with very Breitling like model numbers.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:38 pm 
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Quote:
Guys - if you hear hooves think horses not zebras!
8)

respect :bow:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:29 pm 
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After looking at the two examples of the Mervos-marked watches imported to the US by Horowitz and Son, New York (a 769 on eBay and a 734 at Farfo), I started to think that this was a way Breitling got watches to the US prior to the founding of Breitling Watch Corp. of America in July 1947. I think the serials are all 1944-1946 range.

Belmar was a trademark of Louis Sickles, Philadephia, and Welsbro was a trademark of Weissman Watch Co., New York. All these cases look like the correct Breitling cases matched to the correct Breitling reference number. Of course, the Belmar 790 has a poorly done re-dial, but that case matches the other examples I have seen from 1945.

I think that practice must have stopped after July 1947, except for Wakmann, for which we see catalogs showing Chronomats and other Breitling models with "Wakmann" on the dial (I've never seen one in the wild, only in the circa 1950 catalog).

For the record, Breitling America seems to be older than Wakmann Watch Company. My Dunn and Bradstreet report on Wakmann shows it was established on 31 October 1947. Since Icko Wakmann put up the money for Breitling Watch Corp. of America, perhaps the point is moot. But, I think that it might be that Breitling made watches marked specifically for US importers prior to the founding of Breitling America and afterwords did it just for Wakmann, and maybe just for a few years. In all cases, the watches should recognizable as Breitlings from the Breitling dial patterns, Breitling cases and reference numbers. In other words, they are spot-on, catalog-true Breitlings except for the signatures of a US importer.

It bothers me, then, that the Belmar 790 doesn't have a US importer's mark and the bridge looks all polished-up new. Maybe I'm not looking closely.

Does it make them any more collectible? I don't think so. Probably less. Don't we want our Breitlings to say "Breitling"?

I think Tom could win an Olympic medal for internet image hunting. Is that a winter sport? He found some good examples that seem to fit this hypothesis.

I may change my mind tomorrow, by the way.

Image
Image


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:35 pm 
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thanks Bill for the explanations

here an example for Mervos
ImageImage
ImageImage


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:58 am 
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Bill in Sacramento wrote:
After looking at the two examples of the Mervos-marked watches imported to the US by Horowitz and Son, New York (a 769 on eBay and a 734 at Farfo), I started to think that this was a way Breitling got watches to the US prior to the founding of Breitling Watch Corp. of America in July 1947. I think the serials are all 1944-1946 range.

I think that practice must have stopped after July 1947, except for Wakmann, for which we see catalogs showing Chronomats and other Breitling models with "Wakmann" on the dial (I've never seen one in the wild, only in the circa 1950 catalog).


I think that makes good sense and it may even have something to do with WWII. It would be interesting to know how many Breitlings made it into the States pre-War. But in any event it seems like Breilting finally found a reliable partner in Wakmann in 47 and therefore did not need Mervos, Welbro, et al anymore.

The alternative to this is that Breitling (or their contractors) was selling off excess assembled watch stock to these "generic" Stateside brands for re-badging and sale here without any real formal relationship and that could be why there is no Breitling-signed bridge or dial. But that is a fine line really and judging by Breitling's subsequent relationship with Wakmann, I prefer your theory, Bill. Also shows Breitling in a better light, IMHO (i.e. having some control of their materials).

Bill in Sacramento wrote:
It bothers me, then, that the Belmar 790 doesn't have a US importer's mark and the bridge looks all polished-up new. Maybe I'm not looking closely.


I think the photo is cropped and the usual area for the export code is not visible. My bet is it's there.

Bill in Sacramento wrote:
I think Tom could win an Olympic medal for internet image hunting. Is that a winter sport? He found some good examples that seem to fit this hypothesis.


All credit to the Google. :lol:

Sweet Breitling Premier!

Image

:lingsrock:
Best,
T.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:33 am 
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Quote:
The alternative to this is that Breitling (or their contractors) was selling off excess assembled watch stock to these "generic" Stateside brands for re-badging and sale here without any real formal relationship and that could be why there is no Breitling-signed bridge or dial


Perhaps so:
Attachment:
WatchImportArticle copy.jpg

This is an exerpt from an article from a 1954 magazine, entitled "The Tariff policy of the United States in their relations with the Swiss Watchmaking Industry"

"estimates of the illicit imports of watches and watch movements into the United States varied at the time between one hundred thousand and one million pieces annually..."

As Bill points out:
Quote:
Belmar was a trademark of Louis Sickles, Philadephia, and Welsbro was a trademark of Weissman Watch Co., New York


It would also account for the lack of import marks.

The article states that by 1936 this smuggling had died away, but perhaps either stock was still in inventory having been bought illicitly earlier or that Breitling established a relationship with some of these companies during the prohibition years and continued to supply them off the books, or that Breitling's suppliers were selling on pieces without their knowledge.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:09 am 
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vintage wrote:
tomvox1 wrote:
Looks like a Val 72 in that Welsbro, yes?

Valjoux 71 if I remember correctly.


Valjoux ? Please check again.

The chrono bridges of Valjoux and Venus are different but easy to recognize.

The rubis and the fixing screw of the Venus chrono bridges form an almost isosceles triangle. ( http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db. ... &Venus_178 , http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db. ... &Venus_152 , http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db. ... &Venus_150 )

The fixing screw of the Valjoux chrono bridge is much closer to the minute counter wheel then to the chrono hand wheel. (http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db. ... Valjoux_71 , http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db. ... Valjoux_72)

Though, I have to admit, the shape of the Welsbro chrono bridge is resembling a Valjoux chrono bridge.

AFAIK the Premier movements are: 765 (3 regs.) = Venus 178 (14'''), 788 (3 regs.) = Venus 152 (13'''), 790 (2 regs.) = Venus 150 (13''').


Regards,
Chris


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:34 am 
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Chris K wrote:
vintage wrote:
tomvox1 wrote:
Looks like a Val 72 in that Welsbro, yes?

Valjoux 71 if I remember correctly.


Valjoux ? Please check again.

Regards,
Chris


Well I did preface that with "if I remember correctly", right? :wink: Obviously it's a Venus 178.


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