Believe it or not, after over 200 watches on Dial + Bezel this is the very first Vulcain that has come up for sale. That is especially surprising given how beloved the brand is and because of their historical significance in conjunction with sitting US presidents. The brand was founded in 1858 by the Ditisheim family in La Chaux de Fonds. The Ditisheims were prominent industrialists and along with the Gallets, Eberhards, Vogels, and Blums formed a close tribe of families that helped lead the Swiss watchmaking industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There was even some intermarrying between the families. Prior to the Second World War Vulcain focused production on pocket watches and military watches, but during the 1940’s, when the grandson of the original founder, Robert Ditisheim, took over control, was when the company would begin to work on the wrist worn alarm watch and take on the form that they are best known for today.
Robert Ditisheim was seemingly obsessed with creating a waterproof, reliable, and also elegant watch that incorporated an easily audible alarm. He, along with engineers Henry Robert and Blaise Fivaz spent 5 years working on this problem, and the big breakthrough came when they turned their attention to the loud chirping of the cricket which generates considerable resonance using their slender bodies. This led to the case of the watch itself becoming the resonator for the alarm function and the resulting time piece being named the Cricket. With its loud reliable alarm and the marketing claim of the first alarm wrist watch the Cricket became an almost overnight success. So much so that presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and finally in 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson could all be seen with Vulcain Crickets on their wrists.
The 35mm gold capped case is in good condition. It shows a number of scratches throughout the case commensurate with a fair amount of wear but there are no major faults to note. The crown and alarm pusher look to be correct for the reference and the crown is beginning to lose some of its plating. The stainless steel case back is correct and in similar condition to the case.
The Dial and Hands
The gold dial on this Vulcain Cricket is in very good condition with no major faults or scratches. The lume plots above the applied hour markers are all present and have aged to a dark caramel color. The handset appears to be correct and is in excellent condition.
This watch features a Vulcain 402 manual wound alarm calendar movement. The watch is running with the alarm function and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Manual, Vulcain Cal 402|
|Case Material||Gold Capped|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|
|Clasp Type||Generic Buckle|