Vulcain Cricket “Style Moderne”: A stunning two-tone Vulcain Cricket evoking the golden age of Art Deco design. Limited to 50 numbered pieces. You can almost hear the jazz trumpets playing in the background with this watch…
Inspired by the golden age of Art Deco design, this limited edition Vulcain Cricket features a very special two-tone Bellini and anthracite colored dial, and a sector track like those made popular by brands such as Patek Philippe, Omega and Longines in the 1920s. In that era, we had the advent of modern science, and watchmakers responded with sector or scientific dial watches that were masterpieces of Art Deco or “Style Moderne” design.
These dials featured a circular track with radial markers emanating from it like the rays of the sun. This offered a precise reading of time. For this Vulcain Cricket watch, there is the addition of white rhodium applied Arabic markers with the “3” and “9” oriented horizontally, just as in the vintage wristwatches from the ’30s. Called Vulcain Cricket “Style Moderne” for Revolution & The Rake, it features a 39mm-diameter case, made in just 50 examples and priced at USD 4,060.
The Vulcain Cricket dates back to 1947 when it was introduced as the world’s first mechanical alarm watch. It achieved this with the use of two barrels, the coiled springs that act as a power source for a watch. How does a watch work? Basically, the barrel is like the gas tank in an Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato. Power flows along a series of gear wheels, the great wheel, the third wheel, the fourth or seconds wheel, and the escapement wheel. The escapement is like a tap in the kitchen. It opens and closes, allowing a minute amount of energy to be released. This impulses a clever device invented by Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens called the oscillator that rotates in one direction then, thanks to the spring to which it is attached, rotates back — quite a lot like a child on a swing — unlocking the escapement and allowing yet another pulse of energy through. In attempts to create an alarm watch prior to the Vulcain Cricket, the power needed to drive the alarm mechanism would cause the barrel to deplete prematurely.
To solve this, Robert Ditisheim, who was the third-generation owner of Vulcain, created a watch with two dedicated barrels — one to power the timekeeping function of the watch, and another to power the alarm function. Even better, to rewind either barrel, you simply turned the crown either one direction or the other. That meant you could use the alarm as often as you wanted without affecting the underlying time-telling accuracy of your timepiece.
Ditisheim called his masterpiece the Vulcain Cricket, powered by the now legendary caliber 120. The alarm worked with a hammer that struck an internal membrane incorporated into the watch’s double caseback. The movement proved so accurate that even though it was designed for an alarm function in 1947, it went on to win the Neuchâtel Observatory Trials for accuracy. Moreover, the Cricket was a decidedly handsome timepiece, characterized by a smooth round 36mm-diameter case, long elegant lugs typical of the ’40s and ’50s, large easy-to-manipulate crown, and a domed pusher for switching off the alarm.
Indeed, American presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson were all fans of the Cricket, leading to the association of the Cricket as the “President’s Watch.”
Vulcain Cricket “Style Moderne” for Revolution & The Rake
The Vulcain Cricket “Style Moderne” for Revolution & The Rake is one of the very few mechanical alarm watches, and the most accessibly priced Swiss-made alarm watch. To top that off, it is also rakishly handsome.
In fact, The Rake’s indomitable editor-in-chief and TikTok sensation Tom Chamberlin had looked at the watch and said, “I love it because it has two identities. It can be very sporty when paired with a brown strap, and very elegant and perfect with an evening suit with a black strap.”
The Vulcain Cricket “Style Moderne” for Revolution & The Rake will be made in just 50 examples and is priced at an accessible USD 4,060.
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