By James Phang
The Vulcain Aviator Cricket alarm watch serves as a variant of Vulcain Aviator Instrument, bringing the brand’s flagship function – the alarm functionality – to their popular Aviator model.
While Vulcain may not be very familiar among the mass watch collectors, it has generated a loyal fan base as a result of focusing on developing watches with a common feature, the mechanical alarm. In 1947 Vulcain made the first practical wrist-alarm and named it Cricket, because the alarm sound is produced with a resonance-chamber similar to that of the cricket by fitting a two-part back to the watch-case. The inner part of the back, which serves to enclose the watch-case, is responsible for generating the sound. It is struck by the hammer and oscillates to produce the sound-waves. The Cricket has become the foundation of Vulcain’s watch models since then, just like the 911 to Porsche. The Cricket is also affectionately nicknamed “The President’s Watch” because it was worn by the previous USA Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon and Johnson.
The Vulcain Aviator Cricket is housed in a 42mm 316L Stainless Steel case – a relatively small size as compared to most aviation watches for a more comfortable fit which is most likely achieved by omitting a self-winding mechanism.
Powering the Vulcain Aviator Cricket is the Calibre Vulcain Cricket manufacture V-11 movement which operates at 18,000vph and has a power reserve of 42 hours. It has a date indicator (visible through a 3-day window at the 6’oclock mark) as well as its signature alarm function equipped with the ‘Exactomatic’ system which rings for a whole 20 seconds when activated.
The overall design of the Vulcain Aviator Cricket would place watch collectors into 2 camps. Some would favor the interesting oversized features of the 3,6,9,12 markers vis-à-vis the remaining hour markers, date numbers and branding on the dial, while others might find the dial design rather cluttered. Its skeletonized ratchet wheel and blued screws is visible via the transparent sapphire case back, allowing watch collectors to appreciate the decorated movement.
The Vulcain Aviator Cricket alarm is priced at $5,700, and in limited supply from Vulcain’s Ads as well as its online site. Prospective buyers are presented with 2 options: either a black/white colorway dial paired with a black leather strap or a white/blue dial paired on a tan strap. For more info, please visit vulcain-watches.ch
JAMES PHANG – CONTRIBUTING WRITER
James Phang is a young watch enthusiast from Singapore and is self-professed fanatic of independent brands for their unique avant-garde designs. Some of his favourite brands include MB&F, Urwerk, Romain Jerome, Sarpaneva, Peter Speake Marin and Azimuth. His love for art extends out to all things handmade, and he has made it his personal mission to find the best handmade straps and buckles worldwide for his humble collection. Read his articles here.