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My 43 year old vintage quartz is out of spec.

  • 11-08-2021 3:06pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,012 ✭✭✭

    If quartz or vintage quartz does not ring your bell, move along please.

    I purchased a Grand quartz , twin quartz by Seiko recently. As I liked the idea of owning something that was bleeding edge technology for it's time. I think it's cleverly designed and well put together, there is craft here. It was cheap, 1/10th of its new price, even less you inflation adjust. It still works albeit not as well as it once did.

    My 14 day measurement has it's accuracy at +10 seconds per month.

    It was originally specified at +/- 10 seconds per year, on the condition it being worn. I'm awaiting a Hirsch strap so I can wear it. With the increase in temperature the rate may shift in the right direction, I'll see if I can find the coefficient.

    It does have a mechanism to adjust the rate, that may be the source of the increased error rather than aging of the crystal. To regulate, a frequency counter with reference time base would be needed. There are 31536000 seconds in a year, this watch is counting to 31536120 for the year. To regulate myself would take a few months of trial and error, and is only worth doing if the rate is stable and it hasn't aged outside the correction band. It could also be faulty, running on one crystal instead of both.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,012 ✭✭✭njburke

    My other 49 year old quartz watch is in spec. It's running at a very steady -1 per day. I saw an original hangtag for this Girard Perregaux cal 352 advertising 30 secs per month. I suspect the crystal has been changed as they degrade at 10 PPM per year typically.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,645 ✭✭✭scwazrh

    @njburke is that 49yrs with the original movement?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,012 ✭✭✭njburke

    I can't say for sure, no provenance with it. The calibre had a shortish life cycle after huge development effort by GP. Mine is from 73 on, dated by it's Motorola controller chip. Wibbs rates them as very robust, Teflon bearings so no lubricants. So any of the GP350 calibres are rapidly approaching 50 years old. ( The original Westworld movie is from 1973)

    There is some flux showing on the crystal lead, so I think there has been rework, it would be clean of flux when new.

    I also came across a Slava from a later period looks to be a similar design but more of a watch shaped object.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,111 Mod ✭✭✭✭Wibbs

    I also came across a Slava from a later period looks to be a similar design but more of a watch shaped object.

    Though there's no written evidence I'm partially leaning towards that the Soviet quartz stuff was based on the earlier French LIP inhouse development of their quartz calibre. Many of the workers were sympathetic to the Russians so it would not surprise me. It has quite the few similarities. I've a Soviet Chaika first series quartz with the same movement as your Slava(only the chip is gold covered). They both suffer from weak stepping motors. Unlike the GP350 series which have huge torque for a quartz. Higher than even today's designs.

    You can even see that if you compare your Seiko to your GP handsets. The Seiko's are short, very thin and light, even weedy. The seconds hand is like a straightened blonde one.😁 On the other hand(no pun) the GP's are just like those on mechanicals.

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,012 ✭✭✭njburke

    Are you suggesting some of the highly unionised LIP workforce may have tossed valuable intellectual property over the iron curtain? The intrigue of politically motivated industrial espionage would warrant a small investment alone. I did see the slava has more convential caged motor design, complete with long copper feed wires and screw terminals.

    I watched the repair of a 1980 Omega cal 1342, which has a similar motor and the weedy hands to go with it. It does have some gold plated springs which contact the motor coil to the pcb. The motor coil is brought to a flexible circuit on the omega motor body. To me it looks like to me both slava and omega had to come up with a solution to stop shock and vibration from breaking the electrical coupling from motor to driver board. Motor must be the heaviest component in the system.

    The motor in the 1342 looks easily replaceable, but the motors are impossible to get. So would need to find two or more broken ones with different faults.

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