Vulcain Cricket Oversize
$2,750.00

Vulcain Cricket Oversize

Why We Love It

We're big fans of alarm watches — especially the Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox — but Vulcain was the first to make a working model, and as we all know, vintage collectors love to own the first version of anything

It also happened that when Vulcain designed this innovative watch, they nailed it on the first go-around. The Cricket wasn’t some delicate novelty — in fact, it accompanied the first expedition to reach the peak of K2. Future advertisements would read, “The teams of all these expeditions have expressed their satisfaction and admiration of the record performance of their Vulcain Cricket, testifying that their running was as faultless and the ringing of the alarm as distinct on the summit of K2 as in the damp jungles of equatorial Africa.”

Pretty damned cool if you ask us.

This particular example of the Cricket features a 39mm 'oversized' case - housing a white and silver multi-tonal dial with a printer outer track and applied gold-tone indices, a matching gold-tone dauphine handset with a red-tipped alarm hand, and Vulcain's Calibre 120 hand-cranking alarm movement within.

Though its dial shows patina and wear throughout, such an oversized version of the famed Cricket is a rare specimen, and is brimming with character. 

And who doesn’t love a mechanical alarm? Perhaps only those who have not experienced one! The buzzing vibration positively oozes a certain old-world charm.

The Vulcain Story

If you’ve heard of Vulcain, it’s no doubt because of the Cricket. 

Vulcain unveiled the Cricket in 1947 at the famous Waldorf Astoria in New York City. It caused a media sensation, and for good reason: the Cricket was the first wristwatch to feature an alarm function. While other brands then developed their own alarm movements — most notably Jaeger-LeCoultre with its Memovox — the Cricket was the first working model, making it a true milestone in modern-day horology.

Indeed, in addition to being the world's first alarm caliber, the Calibre 120 was also among the most accurate. This was thanks to Vulcain's Exactomatic system, for which Vulcain secured the patent in 1946. The Exactomatic system achieved unprecedented equilibrium of the balance wheel in all positions, guaranteeing accuracy to within four or five seconds a day. 

The Vulcain Calibre 120 would go on to power watches that would adorn the wrists of such august personages as every US President since Nixon (except George W. Bush). Despite this more regal association, the Cricket also found its way onto the wrists of mountaineers — in fact, the watch accompanied the first expedition to reach the 28,250 foot peak of K2, in the Himalayas.

Details

SKU: AS04094

Stainless steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding the crown). Calibre 120 manual-winding alarm movement by Vulcain. Circa 1960s.

Overall Condition: The case is in very good condition overall showing signs of light previous polishing and normal signs of wear and use. Non-luminous multi-tonal white dial with applied gold-tone indices shows wear and patina with some degradation at 3:00. Matching gold-tone ‘dauphine’ handset. Alarm pusher at 2:00 position. Unsigned crown.

Includes Analog:Shift Old Fashioned alligator pattern leather strap with steel pin buckle.

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