1947 Vulcain Cricket MK1 'The President's Watch'
A fine and extremely well preserved iconic wristwatch.
WHY IS THIS WATCH SPECIAL
In 1947 Vulcain launched the first ever mechanical alarm movement, which soon achieved worldwide fame. The legendary Cricket calibre took flight before finding its place in the history books as “The Presidents’ Watch”. American heads of state Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Trumann, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson all wore a Vulcain on their wrist, a fact that earned the brand its prestigious reputation. 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.
This particular Vulcain Cricket is in 'Museum Condition', the overall condition is stunning, 100% original and working like when it was manufactured 73 years ago !
Vulcain’s history started in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, in 1858 when the two brothers Ditisheim founded their workshop for high-end pocket watches. Their exquisite work not only earned them several World Fair medals, but also created a need for a brand name that they could use to sell their products all over the world. In 1898 they adopted the name Vulcain. This is the French name for the Roman god Vulcan, ruler of fire and volcanoes, and often connected to gold- and blacksmiths.
It was Robert Ditisheim, one of the brother’s son, who took on the challenge of creating the first alarm wristwatch. An interesting fact about the Cricket was that its development started in 1942, in the midst of WWII. This almost makes one wonder
whether its original purpose was military rather than civilian. The development took 5 years in which many obstacles had to be taken. The main challenge was to create an alarm that was loud enough. Vulcain achieved this by creating a mechanism where a hammer hits a membrane. This sound is then amplified by the double case back which acts as a resonance chamber. A designated barrel for the alarm function ensures that the alarm sounds for at least 20 seconds when fully wound. The name Cricket comes from the sound that the alarm makes; quite similar to that of the little insect that shares the same name.
The Cricket got a warm welcome once it was released. Especially in the United States it was embraced by the public. True fame came for the Cricket when the White House Press Photographer’s Association presented President Harry S. Truman with a Vulcain Cricket. President Truman was the first of three US Presidents that actively wore their Cricket, the others being President Dwight D. Eisenhower and President Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson was even such a fan of the Cricket that during his presidency he gave about 200 Cricket’s away as presents.
- Maker: Vulcain
- Model: Cricket MK1
- Reference: N/A
- Year: 1947
- Material: Stainless steel
- Dimentions (WxHxT): 34x43x12,5mm
- Caliber: In House Vulcain 120
- Bracelet/Strap: Black leather
- Lug width: 18mm
- Box/Papers: N/A
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
This watch is in incredible condition. The unpolished case is very well preserved, and the original two-tone dial with original lume present looks great. This is a fine classic timepiece, elegant and convenient, perfect for everyday wear.