The Restoration Of The Girard-Perregaux Caliber 350, The Most Important Quartz Watch You've Never Heard Of
The first watch to present a battery instead of the fountainhead was the Hamilton Electric. While this development was unquestionably imaginative, it had two significant drawbacks. Right off the bat it was an incredibly delicate and sensitive development. Besides, while the battery tackled the issue of power age and stable power transmission, there was as yet a customary equilibrium wheel wavering at 2.5Hz. This implied that the development didn’t achieve any more noteworthy precision than a mechanical watch, was still contrarily affected by the shortcomings of slow wavering and a hairspring.
Next came the tuning fork developments, the most popular example being the Bulova Accutron. These developments effectively supplanted the wavering offset with a tuning fork that vibrated at 360Hz. For right around 10 years, the Accutron would rule as the most exact watch in the world with a publicized precision of one moment each month. While Bulova would lose the challenge to be the main watch worn on the moon, the Accutron development would discover homes in spots mechanical watches could just dream of like ALSEP (the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package set up by the Apollo lunar surface crews) and satellites of the time.
Then, in 1969 Seiko came out with the Astron quartz watch. It is worth referencing that there is some contention with regards to the genuine date of the innovation of the quartz mechanism, and the Beta 1 inherent 1967 does pre-date the Astron – yet the Astron was the first offered to the market. After a year in 1970 the Swiss came out with their Beta 21. While both of these developments were definitely more exact than their archetypes at a frequency of 8,192Hz, they would could not hope to compare to the Girard-Perregaux Caliber 350.
The 350 presented a frequency of 32,768Hz, with a publicized exactness within about 0.164 seconds of the day. This exactness blew its competition out of the water and set the frequency standard for decades.
The information gave to me by Girard-Perregaux about this development is as follows:
“[This] Model [is] from 1971. [It was the] First watch with the quartz wavering at 32,768 Hz, a frequency embraced from that point forward as a general standard.
The GP-350 development was equipped with an incorporated circuit delivered by Motorola, uniting the equivalent of 300 semiconductors within a zone equivalent to 5 mm2. Its utilization was diminished to 4 miniature amperes, empowering adequate battery life. This was the first occasion when that quartz wristwatches breezed through the static and dynamic assessments (impacts, magnetism, temperatures) at the Neuchatel Observatory. Following 38 days of tests, the GP quartz watches ensured by Neuchâtel Observatory for the year 1971-1972 had demonstrated their phenomenal precision and their reliability.”
The significance of this development couldn’t possibly be more significant. It not just expanded the exactness by 4x and made the market standard for frequency, it additionally allowed the battery to keep going long enough to be worthy by the market. In particular, it made ready for quartz technology to become solid and hearty enough to have the market sway that it did. Most who have overhauled a Hamilton Electric, 214 Accutron, or Beta 21, know that these developments are simply excessively delicate for the large scale manufacturing and cost adequacy that later quartz would achieve. It is likewise awesome to see a Motorola logo on a watch development that existed just about 45 years before brilliant watches. Furthermore, not at all like most current quartz developments you can really see gears moving in this one when you get the caseback off. Lamentably, this technology likewise almost overturned the whole Swiss watch industry. The marvels of this watch, all around, make it an awful hero of horological technology.
Initially when I got this watch it worked fabulously, not long after however the quartz timing bundle fizzled. Figuring this is such a notorious piece of the Girard-Perregaux brand, I reached them to check whether there was anything they can do about it. I knew that both Patek Philippe and Rolex will support their Beta 21s so I expected they would be willing to acknowledge it. Shockingly, I got an email back saying they wouldn’t support it. Luckily Girard-Perregaux made a gigantic measure of 35x types, so I was ready to get a circuit board and quartz bundle from a later year that got this piece back fully operational beautifully.
Dating these models is straightforward, yet for this watch is somewhat of a secret. In the event that you take a gander at the Motorola circuit you will see four numbers at the base. It is accepted that the initial two numbers signify the time of production and the subsequent two mean the week of that year. In the circuit envisioned “7313” alludes to the 13th week of 1973. The first circuit I supplanted (and clearly kept) just has the numbers “291.” Here I need to take the word of Girard Perregaux who saw this circuit and dated it to 1971.
Once I got this ticking again I couldn’t resist the opportunity to see quartz from an alternate perspective. What emerged from this reclamation is a mint diamond of horological history that addresses quite possibly the most significant and failed to remember steps in timekeeping technology.