Vulcain The President's Watch
Vulcain is the US "President's Watch".
In the 1950s, it is difficult to know exactly why, but Americans are fascinated by technology. Vulcain's Cricket proved yet again how strongly U. S. citizens are attracted to novelty and efficiency. The most distinguished among them wore the Cricket, starting with President Harry Truman, who often displayed the watch he was given by the White House photographers.
He was followed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Despite a well-known aversion to advertising mentioning his name, “ Ike ” wore his Vulcain conspicuously. (It is easily recognisable in photographs due to the characteristic spacing of its button and crown.) In the summer of 1956, the Journal suisse d'Horlogerie et de Bijouterie (Swiss Watch and Jewellery Journal) reported that Ike had received enough watches “ to open a small shop after his term of office.” The question then became knowing which of them he really wore: photographs prove that he was only rarely without his Cricket. And one fine day the truth became evident to all ears: his alarm watch rang right in the middle of a press conference, greatly amusing the journalists.
A young Richard Nixon also received a Cricket as a gift in May 1955, after giving the opening speech at the annual conference of the National Association of Watch and Clock Makers.
Next it was Lyndon Johnson's turn to wear this legendary watch, first as the Democratic majority leader in Congress and then, after John Kennedy was assassinated, as the President. Johnson was also the only one to have purchased his watch in Switzerland, more specifically in Geneva. Many of the brand's advertisements allude to these prestigious political figures, to whom the Cricket brought “ infallible memory, peace of mind and complete security.” All kinds of stories could be told about this iconic watch that became part of the presidential landscape. Several times, the President's Secret Service men when the alarm rang, thought it was a bomb. It was even rumoured about the Pentagon that one morning President Truman forgot to turn off his alarm and made a whole row of generals jump out of their epaulettes.
THE ANNIVERSARY MODEL FOR BARACK OBAMA
The “Presidents' Watch” has already experienced some hours of glory on the wrists of Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. It is now to enjoy others thanks to Barack Obama.
In March 2009, with a view to pursuing this over 60 year-old tradition that has earned the brand international recognition, Vulcain CEO Bernard Fleury dispatched to the White House a limited-edition Cricket Anniversary Heart watch intended for Barack Obama. This customised timepiece is engraved on the case-back with the legend “President of the United States of America Nov. 4th 2008”, followed by the words “Barack Obama”.
The Cricket V-18 alarm watch also bears a “Barack Obama Nov. 4th 2008” engraving. On August 14th 2009, Barack Obama personally signed a letter expressing his sincere thanks to Bernard Fleury for this magnificent gift and stating that in an ever more interdependent world, “it is gratifying to know that we can work together for the bene? t or our two nations”. A new chapter in the fabulous history of the “Presidents' Watch” has been written. The tradition lives on.
VULCAIN 50s PRESIDENTS' WATCH PRESIDING OVER GREAT DESTINIES
Few models can claim to have found their way through history on the wrist of the world's most powerful figures. Such is the case of the Vulcain 50s Presidents' Watch, equipped with the legendary Cricket calibre, which has lived up to its moniker since the 1950s. Powered by the hand-wound Cricket V-11 alarm movement, it now appears in a new steel-case version framing a silver-toned or anthracite dial enhanced by a central guilloché motif.
Producing watches fit for their time since 1858, Vulcain now occupies a mansion in Le Locle. In this cradle of Swiss watchmaking, the Firm has brought together the best watchmaking skills to preserve and maintain an undertaking that is still helping to write some of the greatest pages of watchmaking history.Find out more >
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