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Hi everyone! I'm new to the board and collecting. I was wondering if anyone knew any movement specs for the Breitling #178 circa 1945 or had any history with the watch. I know 17j but no other movement details. Thanks!
 

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youngji,

Welcome to the forum!

I believe the Breitling ref 178 (two register up/down dial) from the 1940s was fitted with the Venus 170 movement. It can get very confusing for a newcomer to 1940's Breitlings - there was a Venus 178 movement but this was a three-register chronograph (not fitted to the Breitling ref 178). Also there was a Breitling ref 170 watch which was in fact fitted with the Venus 170 movement.

The pics I have posted below are of a Venus cal 170 movement from a 1945 Breitling ref 170 watch. This movement should be identical to the one you are referring to except perhaps for minor details such as the inscriptions. Often the movements in Breitlings from this period were not marked "Breitling" or "WOG".

The main things to look at if considering buying a ref 178 are the dial and hands as a restored dial is not desirable in the eyes of most collectors and will probably halve the value of the watch. And if the hands are wrong, correct ones can be virtually impossible to source.

To find further info about the Venus 170 I suggest you start by doing a google search - you are bound to get some hits.

Cheers,
 

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Excellent information altro, and the pics are a wonderful help. Thank you very much. Your knowledge of the watch is impressive (from experience?). Are there any books on vintage Breitling's that you would recommend by any chance? Thanks again! Cheers from the States!
 

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Excellent information altro, and the pics are a wonderful help. Thank you very much. Your knowledge of the watch is impressive (from experience?). Are there any books on vintage Breitling's that you would recommend by any chance? Thanks again! Cheers from the States!

youngji,

Thanks for your comments. No, I haven't owned a ref 170 or ref 178 but have come across a few. They are not particularly rare, especially the ref 178.

There is really only one book on vintage Breitlings in the English language although some others with limited information about specific Breitling models exist in Japanese. The English one is a translation from German and can often be found on ebay and I think from memory on Amazon too as well as from at least one specialist bookstore in the US. Try a google to find it but make sure you get the 2nd edition for which I have posted an image of the dustjacket below (the 1st edition has a completely different dustjacket). This book is the best available although the author admits it is incomplete and there are also some errors in it. Here are the details:

Title:
Breitling The History of a Great Brand of Watches 1884 to the Present

(Revised 2nd Edition)

Author:
Benno Richter

Pages:
176

Copyright:
2000

ISBN 0-7643-1006-2

Hard Cover w/ Dust Jacket

Publisher:
Schiffer Publishing Ltd,
4880 Lower Valley Road,
Atglen,
PA 19310.

The official price is $49.99 but they usually sell for about $42.

Cheers,
 

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