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The Venus Watch Co. was founded in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, in 1902 by Paul Arthur Schwarz and his wife Olga Etienne-Schwarz. Most any seasoned collector recognizes Venus for their manufacture of chronograph movements, sold to other watch companies. The Ranftt web database records 22 separate Calibers of Venus chronograph movements made between the 1930s and ‘50s, some of which are still in use today.


But did you know that Venus was also a manufacturer of finished watches signed with their own company name? They were regular exhibitors at the Basel Exposition in the 1950s, and ran ads in the trade magazines, notably Swiss Watch and Jewelry Journal. Attached are a couple of those ads.

I have seen numerous examples of many types of Venus watches, including multi-date and even dive watches. Vintages can be seen all way into the 1960s. Cases are typically chrome or other type of base metal, but I have seen a few karat gold cases as well. Ironically, most movements I've seen in non-chronograph specimens are sourced from other ebauche suppliers, such as Fontainemelon and others.

Sincerely,

Bruce Shawkey
 

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Hi Bruce,

many, even Kathleen Pritchard mix up the "Venus SA/Les field de Paul Scharz-Etienne" (Venus with V extended over the word) and the "Venus Ebauches SA" (star in the Swiss-Ebauches shield"). But I still doubt that both have to do anything with each other. Even the present Schwarz-Etienne doesn't drop any word about a relation to the famous ebauche manufacturer: https://www.schwarz-etienne.ch/en/history/

Finally I wonder why I've never seen a Venus Watch with Venus ebauche inside. Hopefully any forum member can contribute some rigid facts.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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Yes, indeed! M.P. Horlbeck in his book on wrist alarms ("Der Armbandwecker - Geschichte einer unterschätzten Komplikation") also states in his section on the Venus Cals. 230/232 that the ebaucherie Venus Ebauches SA of Münster (Moutier) has nothing to do with the watch maker Venus SA of La Chaux de Fonds. This is backed up by the fact that the two companies operated in different cities and didn't even have dependencies in the others' location. Even in those cases where one company has divided its movement and watch making sections like that (e.g. Rolex: movements made in Biel, watches assembled in Geneva), this is for historical reasons: the two sections used to be different companies.

Hartmut Richter
 
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