Dinosaur of Quartz: Girard Perregaux calibre 351

IMG_3915A rare beast – and the first analogue Quartz watch ever. The Girard Perregaux calibre 351. Matthew sent this one in, and it’s not working.IMG_3916

The case back gasket has completely dissolved, and somebody has been in before. The gunk has spread to the movement and circuit. There is no battery, and the battery clamp is missing.IMG_3917

Methylated spirit cleans up the mess, but it’s a tedious job.IMG_3918

The huge thing on the left with the two connectors is the quartz crystal, and the golden rectangle above the integrated circuit. Below the quartz on the right is the potentiometer to adjust the beat rate.IMG_4035

I’ve cleaned up everything, and made a rough and ready battery clamp from a piece of tin that I hardened after drilling and bending. I could spend an hour polishing the living daylight out of it, but I don’t want to charge Matthew for the time 😉IMG_4036

And the watch is ticking again happily…

20 thoughts on “Dinosaur of Quartz: Girard Perregaux calibre 351

  1. I have GP Quartz and it works and then stops, then start working again by it self. When i pull out the wind key and push it back it starts working again and after some thime stop. What can be problem how can i fix that 🙂 thanks.

  2. Hi,

    I want to remove the winding stem of a GP 352 quartz but I cannot find where to push or to pull to get it out, do you know where is the spot?. Thanks in advance.

    Olaf

  3. I’ve just got a cal 351 with a Quartz crystal compartment/tube that is half the size of all the other ones i’ve ever seen (although there is an obvious fitting hole below for the longer model. It’s not working but it looks to be in relatively good condition. I wanted to know how exactly you cleaned this one up to get it going again..just carefully applied meths on a cotton bud at the obvious contact points and don’t go near the motor? I suspect it’s probably a loose connection in the crystal as this model had just 2 wires going straight into a hand cut/sliced crystal in a sealed tube..in which case fixing probably won’t be an option. I’d like to fix it but its only because of its unique place in history that I’m keeping a quartz watch in my collection. So I’m unlikely to pay to get it repaired..there are other more worthy candidates for revision in my collection.

  4. I have a 351 Cal Girard Perregaux without the trimmer which runs intermittently despite a new battery.Can the watch be fitted with a new trimmer and maybe quartz?
    How much will be cost?
    I am in Canada but do visit London frequently.

  5. Your website and reputation is really starting to grow on me-i sent you an enquiry about my very rare Concord Delirium 1 quartz watch(worlds thinnest) & you responded much to my satisfaction…well,I have another one-the rare beast as mentioned above: Girard-Perregaux quartz calibre 351-I thought I would share it here & can hopefully add more rare beasts soon. Just waiting for a service/repair slot for my Universal Geneve bumper automatic…

  6. Hello Christian

    I have a Girard Perregaux calibre 352.It runs at times for a short time and stops.The stem pulls out and does not move the hands. Would you or any of your contacts be able to service it?
    Thanks

  7. Hello Christian

    I have a Girard Perregaux calibre 352.It runs at times for a short time and stops.The stem pulls out and does not move the hands. Would you or any of your contacts be able to service it?
    Thanks

    • Oh!..the story behind the Quartz race is actually amazing: The Swiss makers was shocked by the Japanese state of the art, so they put the task on little GP… that needed Motorola chip (see the “M” on the pace) to line up with Seiko progress… Motorola got it from…NASA…
      …and that led to the “First Quartz” watch..by GP.

  8. I was under the impression that first analog quartz watch was the Seiko Quartz-Astron 35SQ, of which the entire lot of 100 solid gold units were released on Christmas day 1969 (destined to some very good little boys apparently):
    http://invention.smithsonian.org/centerpieces/quartz/coolwatches/seiko.html

    In any case, this GP 352 from ~1972 is still pretty early and it’s a beauty with the curvy brushed case and the minimalist dial. It sure looks pretty after Christian sprinkles his pixie dust on it. Here’s a little more info on the model:
    http://www.crazywatches.pl/girard-perregaux-352-quartz-1972

      • It might still be valid to consider the GP to be the “first modern production quartz” watch since (1) only 100 of the Seikos were made and therefore it could be considered a prototype and (2) the Beta21 used an indexing mechanism which was a holdover from tuning fork watches instead of a stepper motor as in modern watches.

        A similar situation exists with the first digital watch where the first model, the Pulsar P1 was made in a limited run of only 400 units so you could consider the first real production model to be the P2 (which I’m wearing at the moment – yes, I love dinosaurs, even quartz ones).

  9. Wow… real dawn of history stuff!

    Is the gold thing with the small cog next to the plastic(?) wheel a stepper motor? Seems to have an odd shape if so.

  10. Very interesting – and as usual a top job by Christian. A bit strange that a prestige maker as GP made such a utilitarian movement, no jewels, no finished metal work and such.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.