BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN
When I got an email in my inbox recently excitedly exclaiming that Vulcain is back, I was a bit baffled. Vulcain, a name I’m sure you vintage aficionados will be familiar with, was responsible for the Cricket. The Cricket was one of, if not the very first commercially-available mechanical wristwatches with an alarm built in. It turns out that Vulcain was in a spot of financial difficulty a few years ago and is now headed up by Guillaume Laidet, the man who also revived the historical name Nivada.
The Cricket may be Vulcain’s most recognisable model, but this new Nautique 38mm skin diver-style watch is inspired by a model from 1960. It features a thin unidirectional dive bezel and a clear dial for easy reading. Small markers help with the clean look, as do the sharp stick hands. SuperLumiNova is also in use to provide easy reading in the dark, which is essential for a diving watch. Vulcain is offering either a black or vertically-brushed blue dial So too is the water resistance, which is 200m thanks to the 38mm stainless steel case. We think it looks quite similar to some Oris models, although those are also historically inspired.
The watch’s dial mentions Incabloc, which is a form of shock protection used in a lot of mechanical watches. The name was quite common on watches from the 50s through to the 70s. My sources indicate that the self-winding ETA 2824 calibre can have Incabloc shock protection fitted, so we’ll take Vulcain’s word for it. The beat rate is 4Hz, and the power reserve is 38 hours.
These come with a black leather strap with a carbon effect and stainless steel buckle to match the case and also have a convenient quick-change system. There’s been no word on whether these are limited in production, but we know the price is CHF1,490. We hope that more people come to appreciate the Vulcain name and what it represents to watchmaking, both past and present.