Posts filed under Vulcain

Insider: Vulcain Aviator Instrument Chronograph Sport Automatic. A Great Pilot's Watch for the Price.

The story of Vulcain began in 1858, in the early days of the Swiss watch industry. This brand from Le Locle has been making its mark for over 150 years and it was in 1947 that it entered the annals of horology thanks to its Cricket calibre, the first ever truly functional mechanical alarm watch movement, from that point on, successive American presidents starting with Harry S. Truman were to adopt it and thereby earn the Cricket watch its enduring nickname as 'The Presidents’ Watch'.  A century and a half of watchmaking passion, as well as 150 years of creation, innovation and expertise patiently acquired and now devoted to defending the demanding values of Haute Horlogerie. Founded in 1858, the workshop of the Ditisheim brothers – which was to give rise to the Vulcain brand – immediately earned itself an enviable reputation through its complication watches, which received awards at several World Fairs. But the technical qualities of Vulcain watches also appealed to explorers and adventurers. From the 1950s onwards, the brand in Le Locle was to partner famous mountaineering and maritime expeditions.

The Vulcain Aviator Instrument Chronograph ref. 590163A17.BFC006 presented last month at Baselworld 2014, features a stainless steel case measuring 44.60 mm in diameter and 15.40 mm in thickness. The case is very robust, very well crafted and it features a domed sapphire crystal that gives the watch somewhat of a vintage inspired look. This new watch features a 12-hour chronograph and is available in six dial color variations including the dark grey featured on this review, blue, off-white, silvered, black and chocolate brown. The watch is fitted with a dark grey leather strap with red contrast stitching and with a stainless steel folding clasp. The texture of the strap is almost like that of nubuck, quite thick and not very supple. 

The beautiful sunburst dark grey dial on this watch features a very interesting running seconds aperture at 9 o'clock. This horizontal double aperture shows a white disc with red bars that rotates creating an interesting visual effect and letting the wearer know that the watch is indeed running. The dial also features white Arabic numerals, a flange with minutes in 10-minute increments, a 30-minute chrono register at 3 and a 12-hour chrono register with built-in date aperture at 6 o'clock. In order to provide good readability of the chronograph, all of its hands are red, while the hour/minute hands of the watch are silver satin-finished with white luminescent material and shaped just as those in classic vintage pilot watches. Overall the design works well, without being extremely busy and the watch has a great aviator look.

One peculiarity of this new timepiece, is that the chrono pusher at 2 o'clock may come with the top all rhodium plated, blue, black or red, depending on your dial choice. The blue finish is reserved for the off-white dial, while the red one is only available on the model featured here. The pusher at 2 o'clock is very smooth when pressed to activate the chronograph and the reset pusher at 4 o'clock is rectangular shaped and fluted on its end to ensure a good grip.

The beating heart inside this watch is the automatic Vulcain calibre V-59 composed of 247 parts, 27 jewels, a skeletonized rotor and nickel coated. The calibre is fully visible via the display case back and it provides a power reserve of 48 hours when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph. For a brand like Vulcain, we would've expected a nicer looking movement.

On the wrist, the watch wears more like a 46 mm watch with nice aviation like wrist presence. The red contrast stitching on the strap plays very nicely with the other red elements in this watch, making it look extremely sporty. For the price, you get a very unique looking timepiece with a nice and functional 12-hour chronograph and with a great name behind it.

Sticker Price $4,350 USD. For more info on Vulcain click here.

Baselworld 2014: Vulcain 50s Presidents' Cricket Cloissoné Pegasus. Live Pictures and Pricing.

The Vulcain Manufacture was founded in 1858 and is very well known for revolutionizing the watch industry by inventing the first mechanical alarm complication with the introduction of their Cricket calibre. This innovation made the Vulcain watches popular with American presidents starting with Harry S. Truman, earning the brand its reputation as “The Watch for Presidents”. Last year, Vulcain made a strong comeback into the watch world and this year at Baselworld 2014, the manufacture continues to position itself as a great option for inexpensive watches with a lot of character, good craftsmanship and traditional looking designs. To mark the grand opening of the first Vulcain Monoboutique in Beijing and to salute the Chinese 2014 Year of Horse, Vulcain announced its new 50s Presidents’ Cricket Cloissoné Pegasus model to be unveiled at Baselworld 2014. This outstanding new timepiece available in two different dials —Pegasus In the Sky or Pegasus on the Mountain— features a universal symbol of wisdom and knowledge to celebrate Vulcain’s watchmaking expertise. Pegasus is one of the best known mythological creatures in Greek mythology. He is a winged divine stallion usually depicted as pure white in color. Greco-Roman poets wrote about his ascent to heaven after his birth and his obedience to Zeus, king of the gods. He was captured by the Greek hero Bellerophon near the Perene fountain with the help of Athena and Poseidon. Pegasus allowed the hero to ride him to defeat a monster, the Chimera, before accomplishing many other exploits. Because of his faithful service to Zeus, he was rewarded by being transformed into the constellation Pegasus and placed up in the sky.

This new Vulcain 50s Presidents' Cricket Cloissoné Pegasus ref. 200 550.318L is fitted with the Cricket Calibre V-13 —alarm mechanical movement with 42-hour power reserve—, a highly polished 18K rose gold case measuring 42 mm in diameter, a black alligator strap and a delicately finished 'Grand Feu' cloissoné dial. The cloissoné is an ancient technique for decorating metal objects with vitreous enamel. The decoration is formed by creating compartments on the dial that are soldered in the shape of the final motif and then filling these out with enamel in different colors, leaving the top part of the gold wires exposed.

The Vulcain Pegasus is available in a limited edition of 18 pieces for each different dial —Pegasus on the Mountain featured here— and a watch that won't disappoint you, especially once you activate its unique cricket sounding alarm/reminder that will last for up to 20 seconds.

Sticker Price $55,560 USD. For more info on Vulcain click here.

News: Vulcain Cricket President 'Edition France'. 50-Piece Limited Edition.

Press Release

The Manufacture Vulcain pays tribute to France in a 50-piece limited edition of its famous Cricket alarm timepiece, the 50s Presidents’ Watch. A fine way of celebrating the long-established ties between the Swiss brand and the land of luxury, elegance and refinement. France has always held a special place in Vulcain’s history since it was founded in 1858. Creations by the Manufacture soon achieved impressive success on this market. In 1889, at the World’s Fair held in Paris at the foot of the recently erected Eiffel Tower, Vulcain attracted attention with its rich range of simple or complicated pocket-watches. These included the “La Vallée de l’Arve” Grande Complication model with grand strike, minute repeater, perpetual calendar and moon phases that won a bronze medal.

France also played a key role in the birth of the Cricket calibre that earned Vulcain international fame. In 1943, at a time when Vulcain’s Managing Director Robert Dittisheim was seeking to develop the first genuinely functional wristwatch capable of awakening even the deepest sleeper, French physicist Paul Langevin paid him a visit in La Chaux-de-Fonds. During a stroll through the garden, the latter assured him that of a tiny creature like the cricket could make a sound that was audible from a distance of 30 metres, a small case housing a complex mechanism must be able to match such a performance. Buoyed by this scientific support, Robert Dittisheim pursued his research that was to lead in 1947 to the launch of the calibre with twin calibres —one for the movement and the other for the alarm— named the Cricket as a nod to the insect’s strident song.

Since Vulcain’s return to the forefront of the watchmaking scene, the French market has always been among the leading followers of the brand and of its new models. French retailers have also proven extremely active in supporting this renewal, and the Manufacture is keenly aware of the daily significance of their backing.

In homage to France and to the enthusiasm for the brand shown by French customers, Vulcain is innovating by introducing its first ever watch specifically dedicated to a nation. This 50-piece limited edition of the iconic 50s Presidents’ Watch features a 42 mm steel case housing the legendary mechanical manually-wound Cricket V-16 alarm movement equipped with the brand-patented Exactomatic system ensuring improved rating regularity on the wrist. Particular care has been lavished on the polished and satin-brushed finish of the case that lends a chic and vintage touch. The sunburst
silver-toned dial with applied hour-markers is distinguished by its aura of elegant understatement expressed through hours, minutes and seconds hands along with a date window at 6 o’clock. Finally, the owner of this limited-edition timepiece can precisely adjust the alarm time thanks to a central hand tipped with a black arrow gliding across the graduated scale around the outer rim of the dial.

The case-back is engraved with the name of the watch, the individual series number as well as a crown of laurels —a symbol of strength, of victory and accomplishment— as well as of peace, knowledge and creativity. One also notes the choice of the colour blue for the Vulcain logo, the sweep seconds hand and the alarm markings. The sapphire crystal window provides an admirable view of the refined movement
finishing —Côtes de Genève, anthracite treatment, blued screws and openworked ratchet-wheel—, topped by the V for Vulcain. Each of the watches in this special edition comes with its individual certificate. 

For more info click here.  

Baselworld: Vulcain. The Presidents' Watch is Back After 33 Years of Absence.

After a 33-year absence from the halls of Baselworld, this year Vulcain is making its grand comeback to Baselworld. The story of Vulcain began in 1858, in the early days of the Swiss watch industry. This brand from Le Locle has been making its mark for over 150 years and it was in 1947 that it entered the annals of horology thanks to its Cricket calibre, the first ever truly functional mechanical alarm watch movement, from that point on, successive American presidents starting with Harry S. Truman were to adopt it and thereby earn the Cricket watch its enduring nickname as 'The Presidents’ Watch'.

In 1961, Vulcain introduced another horological innovation by presenting the first diver’s watch capable of making its inimitable chirping sound heard under water for up to 20 seconds, waterproof to 300 meters and able to indicate decompression stops.

This year's novelties include three fantastic vintage looking timepieces: the Nautical Seventies Limited Edition, the Aviator GMT Pilot and the 50s Presidents' Moonphase. For more info on these three models click here.   

The Nautical Seventies Limited Edition is a faithful reproduction of the 1970s Vulcain Nautical model, the iconic diver’s watch returns in a 300-piece limited edition with a fantastic vintage look and feel. A concentrated blend of the identity codes that forged the legend of the first diver’s watch with an alarm movement genuinely audible under water, the new Nautical Seventies Limited Edition sets a fine stage for the legendary manually wound Cricket V-10 movement. It is also waterproof to 300 meters and indicates decompression stops.

The Aviator GMT Pilot combining its famous mechanical alarm movement with a 24-hour worldtime display.

Since 2013 marks the anniversary of Vulcain's emblematic 1953 Moonphase and complete calendar model, Vulcain presents a contemporary interpretation of the 1950s spirit with its new 50s Presidents’ Moonphase—living proof of a timeless classic.