Vulcain 50’s Presidents Cricket Automatic 210150.276LF – 210550.279L

Back in 1953, the president of the White House News Photographers Association presented President Harry S. Truman with the gift of a mechanical wrist watch.  This very special time piece not only told the time, but offered the unique function of a mechanical alarm.  One that buzzed loud enough to wake you up when you needed (which the Secret Service sometimes mistook for a possible bomb).  This watch was a Vulcain Cricket.

Vulcain 50's Presidents Cricket Automatic 18kt Rose Gold

Vulcain 50’s Presidents Cricket Automatic 18kt Rose Gold

Vulcain 50's Presidents Cricket Automatic

Vulcain 50’s Presidents Cricket Automatic

This gift started a trend with US Presidents, each receiving a Vulcain Cricket as a gift.  Dwight D. Eisenhower had wore a Cricket prior to becoming President, and loved the brand immensely.  Lyndon B. Johnson was also an avid fan of Vulcain.  He adored the brand enough to gift over 200 Crickets and even personally write Vulcain to share how much he appreciated the watch and its function.

Vulcain 50's Presidents Cricket Automatic 18kt Rose Gold

Vulcain 50’s Presidents Cricket Automatic 18kt Rose Gold

Vulcain 50's Presidents Cricket Automatic

Vulcain 50’s Presidents Cricket Automatic

While much of the presidential fame gained for the Cricket came after 1953, this incredible technology was actually developed in 1947.  It was the first true functioning mechanical alarm in a wrist watch, which was a truly difficult task back then (and still is today).  Prior to the Cricket, Vulcain had already established themselves as a high quality and precision brand, but this put them over the top.

Vulcain 50's Presidents Cricket Automatic 18kt Rose Gold

Vulcain 50’s Presidents Cricket Automatic 18kt Rose Gold

Vulcain 50's Presidents Cricket Automatic

Vulcain 50’s Presidents Cricket Automatic

The original Vulcain 50’s Presidents watch has now been re-introduced, bearing the same classic deign, but modified with today’s technology.  The new larger size has a scratch resistant domed sapphire crystal with dual anti-reflective coating, compared to the old, this is a huge improvement.  The new also has an in house Vulcain V-21 automatic movement, whereas the old was manual wind.

Vulcain 50's Presidents Cricket Automatic 18kt Rose Gold

Vulcain 50’s Presidents Cricket Automatic 18kt Rose Gold

The V-21 was introduced in 2009.  It has 23 jewels, 257 parts, self-winding with ceramic bearings for the rotor, patented Exactomic System for the incabloc shock absorber, 2 barrels (one for time keeping and one for the alarm),  18,000 beats per hour, 42 hour power reserve and a mechanical alarm that will last up to 20 seconds.  The in house caliber is made in Le Locle Switzerland and decorated beautifully (Geneva Striping, perlage, blue screws, ect) .  This makes for a lot of watch!

Vulcain 50's Presidents Cricket Automatic 18kt Rose Gold

Vulcain 50’s Presidents Cricket Automatic 18kt Rose Gold

The mechanics are phenomenal in these pieces, but to be honest, the looks are what grabs the attention.  Near everyone who comes in our store rave how beautiful they are, not even knowing how great the movement is or even about the alarm.  The combination of brushed and high polish (which is very impressive quality) makes the attention to detail obvious.  The dome crystal and sunburst dial give the watch a lot of depth and clear legibility.  The applied Arabic numerals are also high polished and look great.   Even the butterfly deployment clasp is beautifully decorated with perlage and very well constructed.  A perfect compliment to the black gator strap.

Vulcain 50's Presidents Cricket Automatic

Vulcain 50’s Presidents Cricket Automatic

The alarm function is the most fun part of the watch.  It actually works fairly simple too.  Turn the crown upwards (clockwise) to wind the alarm spring, turn the crown down (counter clockwise) to wind the time keeping spring.  To set the alarm, push the upper right button which pops the crown out.  Then turn the crown until you reached your desired alarm time.  Push the crown back in and it’s set.  To set the time pull the crown out all the way and adjust accordingly, to set the date, use the quick set pusher on the left side of the case.  Once the alarm goes off you can push the top right button to stop the alarm.  The alarm is loudest on closed case backs, but even the exhibition back on the 50’s Presidents is enough to easily wake you.  Please check out the video below to see how it performs.

Vulcain 50's Presidents Cricket Automatic 18kt Rose Gold

Vulcain 50’s Presidents Cricket Automatic 18kt Rose Gold

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed.  As always, please let me know if I can be any help.  Please check out below to see the full collection of pictures.

Joe @ AZFT

 

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Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

Last year, for Seiko’s 130th Anniversary, they released a near exact replica of the original 1960 debut Grand Seiko.  This retro remake was introduced in 3 different variations (steel, 18kt yellow gold and platinum).  I originally wrote about the 18kt yellow gold SBGW040 HERE.  While all 3 are absolutely gorgeous, the gold and platinum pieces were extremely collectible with only 130 produced of each and the steel being limited to 1,300. The one that shined most to me, was the platinum.

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

The SBGW039 Platinum 130th Anniversary model bares vast resemblance to the original release from 1960.  While the original was a gold filled case with a reddish/brown strap (as the gold SBGW040 has), the platinum has the same overall look.  One of my favorite aspects of the 130 SBGW039 is the modern “twist” Seiko has incorporated to the remake.

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

The watch is near the same case size at 35.8mm.  950 Platinum is a beautiful way to honor and commemorate the original and, of course, make it much more valuable.  The finish of the platinum is Zaratsu polishing, an old Japanese art-form used for giving a mirror like finish to Katana blades.  The finish is stunning and gives off a perfect reflection.  There is no brushed finish on the watch, which gives it a very classy and elegant look.  All hands and indexes are also Zaratsu polished, adding more character and legibility to the watch.

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

The domed crystal of the watch looks the same as the original, but uses Seiko’s latest technology.  Their proprietary High Definition Sapphire Crystal is dual anti reflective coated but has no blue glare and is also incredibly clear.  Manufacturing the thick piece of crystal and then modifying it to its perfect shape can be a very difficult task.  Needless to say, it was very well executed.

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

The black strap on the SBGW039 is very high quality.  It is a high gloss crocodile that appears to be from the center belly or tail due to its semi-uniform scale size.  It melds with the high polish case finish beautifully and only adds to the “high-end” feel.

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

The movement is the new 9S64 manual wind with 72 hour power reserve.  Tested to Seiko’s GS Standard, every piece is guaranteed to perform within a +5/-3 deviation rate.  As you may know, this is above Swiss Certified Chronometer standard and also includes more tests.  It is finished with “Tokyo Striping” and blue screws.  The movement also utilizes the in house spring alloys labeled Spron.  The Spron 510 for the mainspring gives the piece a 72 hour power reserve with only one barrel.  The Spron 610 used for the hairspring boasts longer durability, elasticity, and anti-magnetism than the other leading materials.  MEMS (Micro Electrical Mechanical System) technology is used to make stronger, smoother and more precise escapement gears and and anchors.  This also allows them to make these parts hollow, which lightens the weight and alleviates inertia.  This puts less tension on the hairspring and improves the longevity of all the parts.

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

Overall, the SBGW039 is an incredible timepiece.  Very few came to the US and we were fortunate enough to get our hands on most.  I foresee this piece gaining value tremendously over time.  Not only because of the value of platinum, but also because of the very limited quantity produced.  Grand Seiko is still relatively new to the US market, but collectors are becoming more aware of its presence every day.  I have seen many avid Patek and Rolex collectors switch to Grand Seiko because of its superior quality.  Grand Seiko is not only a brand of beauty, but a brand of accuracy.  The biggest goal in the watch industry is accuracy.  Seiko holds the crown in every sense.

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Platinum SBGW039

I hope you enjoyed.  Please click below to see the full set of picture.

Thank you,

Joe @ AZFT