Raising the alarm
Vulcain watches have a reputation for being loud – and that’s not a description for how they look. The brand is best known for its Cricket calibre, an alarm complication that was so named because the sound it makes resembles the loud, highpitched buzz of the insect at night. Launched in 1947 after five years of research, the calibre represented the world’s first truly operational alarm wristwatch. Before this, no watchmaker had been able to develop a mechanical alarm complication that was loud enough to wake its owner, much less one in a modest, wearable size.
This unusual, yet practical, complication found its way onto Harry S Truman’s wrist. Since then, the Cricket calibre has been responsible for the morning rousing of every American president that has come into office after Truman, including Barack Obama, earning it the name The Presidents’ Watch. This year, the iconic timepiece gets a makeover with the V-40, a new version of the Cricket movement. The update gives the watch an increased power reserve of 52 hours compared to the 40 before, and a refreshing new dial. Instead of the four hands (showing hours, minutes, seconds and alarm) all pivoted to the centre, the seconds and alarm hands have been removed and shifted to separate subdials at eight and four o’clock respectively. When activated, the alarm will sound for 20 seconds. The new 50s Presidents’ Watch Tradition comes in a 42mm case with four dial designs: matt black, grained beige, ruthenium with clous de Paris finishing in the centre, and silver sunray with clous de Paris finishing in the centre.