Historical Swiss watchmaker Vulcain isn’t a watch brand that finds itself in the thick of the conversation among U.S. collectors these days, but with its 2021 debut at WatchTime New York 2021, that is likely to change. The event, taking place this weekend at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall from Friday October 22 to 24, has long been a showcase for brands looking to break into the American market, and the same is true for the sixth edition of the show this year. Vulcain will take advantage of this stage this year by presenting one of its most globally significant timepieces. the 50s Presidents’ Watch.
The 50s Presidents’ Watch is Vulcain’s modern interpretation of the brand’s historical Cricket watch, a legendary timepiece famously owned and worn by almost every U.S. president of the past seven decades. The first Cricket, developed in 1947, became a hit among consumers of the time looking for a reminder mechanism before the era of pagers, cell phones, and online calendars.
Among presidents, the first to wear the piece was Harry S. Truman. After Truman’s term, the watch was also spotted on the wrists of Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson, with every successive president since LBJ up until the mid-2010s being gifted the watch by Vulcain as a show of good faith between Swiss manufacturing and American leadership. Vulcain’s modern catalog hosts a widely diversified portfolio, from chronographs to moon-phases, but still at the forefront, representing the history of the brand, is the 50s Presidents’ Watch, inspired by the presidential pieces of the 1950s that originally brought the brand its fame.
The flagship of the 50s Presidents’ Watch collection is an elegant model featuring a steel case and guilloché dial. Its design first introduced in 2015, the watch has been a faithful representative of the modern brand, showing a humble elegance and historical intrigue all at the same time.
The stainless steel case measures a contemporary 42 mm in diameter with a thickness of 13.9mm. The case features a sharp, polished finishing throughout, with a deeply knurled crown and single pusher above it to assist with the watch’s alarm functionality.
Peering underneath the watch’s domed sapphire crystal, we find a meticulously manufactured dial, with beautiful sectors of contrasting guilloché patterns. Available in silver, sandstone, or black as standard options, along with some more novel colorways including two-tone and brown, the dial is incredibly balanced, easily legible at a glance but thoroughly engaging upon a closer look. Most important to note is the thin hand at the center pointing to an outer ring for the watch’s alarm, accompanied by dauphine hands for the standard hours and minutes.
Powering the 50s Presidents’ Watch is the Vulcain Caliber Cricket Manufacture V-11, the modern variation of Vulcain’s original alarm movement. It beats at 18,000 vph, holds a power reserve of 42 hours, and drives a display of the running time, a date at the 6 o’clock position, and a mechanical alarm whose impressive 20-second ring time is designed to be loud enough to wake anyone up.
The Vulcain 50s Presidents’ Watch is available via select authorized dealers, with prices varying by model but typically beginning around 5,200 euros, or about $6,000.
The Vulcain 50s Presidents’ Watch will be presented alongside many other offerings from Vulcain’s extensive catalog, in addition to countless other timepieces from more than 25 fantastic brands, all live and in person at WatchTime New York 2021. To learn more and purchase tickets, click here.