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Hello And My Current Venus 170 Project

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Hi all.


I am amazed that I have only just found this forum, but so glad I did, it is a gold mine. To introduce myself, most of the time I am a writer and journalist covering motorsport technology, but in my spare time I've taken to watch tinkering. Like most I suspect, I started off tearing apart watches found for pennies at boot fairs and over the last couple of years, have slowly increased my abilities. I will now happily have a crack at most manual and auto watches and I've also done a few Venus and Landeron chronos. I'm lucky in the connections I have discovered, notably one brother in law having a grandfather who is a watch maker of the old school and another brother in law who's father is a clock maker. They have proved an invaluable source of info and encouragement.


I'm steadily building up my selection of tools and an growing a collection of vintage spares (wherever I see old watch parts at markets etc, I'll snap them up). My current endeavours involve learning the basics of lathe work (one of the aforementioned watch makers kindly donated me their spare Lorch 6mm and a vast selection of attachements).


As I am sure most people do, I have a number of projects on the go at the moment. The most recent I completed was a full strip down and service if an Omega Geneve Dynamic for a good friend, which had the most perculiar time keeping when I recieved it (ranging from +900 sec/day to -3). This was diagnosed as a sticking hair spring (with possibly a touch of magnetisim thrown in), and after a full clean and new main-spring it was back to keeping reliable time. However; it seemed to me that it had not been serviced for a long period of its life and there was a lot of wear on pivots etc which were beyond my abilities to fix. As such, its positional accuracy varied considerably.


This is my current main project, a Breitling 181 with a Venus 170 movement. It was an Ebay find and in a very sorry state, various chrono parts missing, trashed case and a dial that had seen better days. I originally intented to keep it patinated and original, but once it was in my hands I had to admit that it was too far gone. So far, i have stripped it down and Adam George at Watch Case Works has done a grand job on the case. I am now trying to decide on a company to entrust the dial to for refinishing.


Who are reliable and accurate?


As for the movement, once I source a donor for the chrono parts, it needs a new pallet staff and main spring. I will keep you posted.


The dial in a sorry state



The case before chroming




And after



As it all stands at the moment


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Thanks Geo, yes I have come across them and have requested a quote. It would seem from the literature I have on the 170 that it was a pretty standard dial pattern, simply branded Breitling in the middle. I have previously done a 1191, which was in an even worse state that this one, but with a usable dial.


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