Venus was established in 1923 in Moutier, Bern Canton, Switzerland, although some sources suggest the name had been used on watches produced in La-Chaux-de-Fonds as early as 1902 by Paul Arthur Schwarz and Olga Etienne-Schwarz. It was quickly absorbed into Ebauches SA in 1928 and produced its first chronograph movement, Cal. 103, in 1933. Venus movements are marked with a five-pointed star.
Venus became famous for chronograph movements, many of which were used by high end Swiss brands. The Venus column wheel chronograph calibres are widely regarded today as being the finest ever produced and remain in great demand. Among these are the Cal. 170, Cal. 175, Cal. 178, and Cal. 179, a three-pusher split-seconds chronograph movement.
Venus also produced cam switching movements. The Venus 180/190/200 series were all cam-switched. But these low-cost movements did not provide sufficient liquidity and Venus was absorbed by rival Valjoux in 1966. The then-new Venus 188 movement was the basis for the Valjoux 7730 and its technology lived on in the Valjoux 7750, still one of the most popular chronograph movements.
Old stock of Venus movements has been depleted in recent years, leading to a run-up in prices for watches with these movements. Jaquet SA became expert at refinishing Venus calibres and, under new name La Joux-Perret, has built up capability to re-create parts and even entire movements if needed.
Whole watches were also produced with the Venus brand. Earlier models feature a line representation of the Venus de Milo torso and head and were produced under the auspices of the movement maker using third-party components. Some watches are also co-branded with other companies.
In the 1970's, the movement maker produced watches marked “Venus La-Chaux-de-Fonds” which feature a horizontal line extending from the “V” across the rest of the name and a circular logo above which resembles a ring or loupe. This incarnation of the brand ceased production in the late 1970's as Ebauches SA was absorbed into ETA and later Swatch Group.
The brand was re-launched in 2011 in Geneva using quartz movements from Ronda. A straighter version of this “V line” mark is still used on men's watches produced under the “Venus of Switzerland” name. Ladies watches in this modern collection feature a script text version of the name.
The popularity and beauty of Venus calibres has led to resurrections of the type in the 2000's. In 2000, a number of Venus 179 and 185 movements were reissued by Panerai, Parmigiani, and others. Similarly, in 2004, Maurice Lacroix reissued a series of 150 classic Venus 175 movements for their Masterpiece series, re-branding them Calibre ML 36.
- See also Venus calibres
- 5.75 by 8.5 ligne tonneau - Calibres 55, 58, 59
- 10.5 or 11.5 ligne - Calibres 180, 181, 182, 202, 203, 204, 208, 214, 216
- 10.5 or 11.5 ligne - Calibres 220, 221, 222, 223, 225, 226, 227
- 12.5 ligne alarm - Calibres 230, 231, 232
- 10.5 or 11.5 ligne - Calibres 240, 245, 246, 247