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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:43 pm 
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Hi all,
First post here, please forgive unintentional transgressions. I am here to learn from you all.

To learn about the Chronomat 769, specifically, before I buy one. I'm getting to know the dial variations and the changes made post-1953 to Geneve. Hands should match the dial, and so forth. But what I don't have a good handle on is the variations in the bridge, which ones are authentic, and when they should appear.

First, is there a good primer on this that I've missed with my weak google-fu?

Second, here is a survey of the bridges I've seen, with my name for them and my suspicion of their authenticity:
"Unsigned" Image = Authentic earlier?
"Unsigned 2" Image = Generic Aftermarket?
"Script 1" Image = Authentic later/service part? (when?)
"Script 2" Image = Aftermarket/Reproduction?
"Script 3" Image = Aftermarket/Reproduction?
"Premier Script" Image = Authentic later/service part? (when?)
"Straight" Image = Authentic later/service part? (when?)
"Straight 17" Image = Aftermarket/Reproduction?
"Arch Signed" Image = Authentic later/service part? (when?)
"Inverted Arch" Image = Aftermarket/Reproduction?

Can anyone confirm or reject my hypotheses and/or share some knowledge?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:45 pm 
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Not sure there is a commonly accepted rule for this. Or indeed if manufacture was so controlled. In general, you expect a signed bridge post 1945, and no signed bridge prior. Your scripts all look fine to my eye, and then the “ Premier” one is for Premiers unsurprisingly, but we’ve seen them in other models too. The Corp one us for the US market and you’d expect to see a corresponding “BOW” (corrected) stamp on the balance . The next 2 again would not have troubled me, and the last one I haven’t seen before.

Just my 2 cents. I would tend to look at authenticity in a broader sense - so many things tend to be wrong when a watch isn’t real, but on just Bridges, you’re after Script 1/2/3 on a 769 I’d guess.


Last edited by buddman on Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:42 am, edited 3 times in total.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:38 am 
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the U shaped bridge is correct for the earliest Venus 175/178 (latest 1930s, early 1940s), the early V-shape 769 are cal. 150, not 175.

we have unsigned, then script, the script/Premier on 18k, then script/Premier on steel - that’s the evolution until ca. 1948

later bridges are capitals, “Corp.” are latest 1940s onwards, should match BOW markings, not WOG (that would match LTD)!

thats 17 Rubis is highly questionable.

generally speaking the dating of 769s from case serials is impossible, as steel 769 were assembled from 1940s cases until the latest 1950s - but as a general rule (with transitions again, sadly) we should see script or capitals on both movement and dial.



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:30 pm 
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Clarification 1: I wasn't planning to authenticate any watch on one factor alone, but having noticed the bridge variations I wanted to try to understand it.
Clarification 2: All of the bridges in question come from watches advertised as having a V175. If they are actually V150 or V178, that's not on me. Guess I'll have to train myself to identify & distinguish between the three, although I know (at least I think I do) that the V178 includes an hour counter so it should only be found in the ref 806 & later Navitimers. I don't (yet) know what they look like from the back though.

Good tips on the BOW vs. WOG. I had not come across those distinctions & terminology yet, so I went off to do a little reading. From what I understand, BOW ~ 1947 to +/- 1957 and WOG ~ 1957++. This does not appear to be gospel and no or other markings are possible. Of the watches in my survey only ONE had an import mark on the regulator arm and that was a WOG advertised as 1947, which is inconsistent, although not impossible. (One was actually marked MX but the bridge was also stamped "Royce Watch Co" so I figure that's a franken and I didn't include it in my bridge survey.)

Followup Question 1: I've never seen a Chronomat 769 with "Premier" marked on the dial, but I gather that it can only describe a solid gold or stainless case. It doesn't have to be stamped on the bridge, but it should not be found on a plated cased watch. Generally correct?

WatchFred wrote:
later bridges are capitals

Followup question 2: Please elaborate, I'm not sure what this means. Not script?

Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:46 am 
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movement size is different (13 lignes for the 150, 14 lignes for the 175; shape of the operating lever spring is different, actually easy to tell apart, see "X"; these are Premier, not 769s):

Image


"Good tips on the BOW vs. WOG" no, we have WOG in the mid/late 1940s preceding BOW, then WOG again (after mid 1956).

Followup 1: most "Premier" bridges on 769 were in 18k case, have seen some in stainless, never in plated; never on a Chronomat dial.
Followup 2: capitals= upper case = BREITLING (alone & w/ Corp. or LTD.)



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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 5:28 am 
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Is this bridge stamp familiar to anyone? Shape of the bridge looks about the same as many of these others, but not seeing the stamp. For reference, this is from my **newly acquired grail** 769, serial 702xxx.



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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 10:28 am 
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Obviously I know that watch as does Fred :) the bridge may (big may) be a replacement but its just impossible to really know. My assumption is that the watch was born like this. As Fred noted in an earlier post in this thread, its hard to know when the watches were finally assembled based on serial numbers, so seeing a watch with a 1946 case date and a later bridge isnt really uncommon.


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 12:12 pm 
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davedc74 wrote:
Obviously I know that watch as does Fred :) the bridge may (big may) be a replacement but its just impossible to really know. My assumption is that the watch was born like this. As Fred noted in an earlier post in this thread, its hard to know when the watches were finally assembled based on serial numbers, so seeing a watch with a 1946 case date and a later bridge isnt really uncommon.
Got it. That’s kind of what I figured, either a replacement during a service or just a later assembly.

And since there’s no WOG stamp, it presumably was originally retailed outside the US? Or did they stop with the import stamping at some point?

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 12:19 am 
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US import code stamping ended in 1967, so well after the latest possible assembly year for this watch.


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 4:12 am 
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WatchFred wrote:
US import code stamping ended in 1967, so well after the latest possible assembly year for this watch.
Got it, thank you.

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