Worn in Pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness: The Presidents’ Watch
Join the elite, the most powerful men in the world, with a Vulcain timepiece from the American
In 1947, Vulcain invented the first wristwatch equipped with a genuinely operational alarm function, earning this very special Swiss watchmaker its place in the White House.
Politics aside, Democrat and Republican Presidents of the United States have favoured Vulcain watches for over 60 years; ever since Harry S Truman received a Vulcain Cricket from the White House News Photographers Association to mark the end of his second term in 1953.
Every American president since, with the exception of George W. Bush, has owned a Vulcain Cricket; much to the annoyance of the Secret Service, to whom the loud alarm supposedly sounded like a ticking bomb.
When the next president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was photographed wearing his Vulcain Cricket in 1957, the Swiss luxury brand earnt the right to refer to itself as ‘The Watch for Presidents’.
The 34th president, Eisenhower was an avid watch collector who found his desire to own the world’s first alarmed wristwatch too compelling to wait until he was elected; so he purchased his own Vulcain Cricket before entering office. Ironically, the Swiss watch’s alarm sounded loudly during Eisenhower’s press conference about raising tariffs on Swiss imports.
However, President Lyndon B. Johnson was perhaps even more besotted with his Vulcain Cricket than his predecessors. Not only did he pen a thank you note to Vulcain in 1964 saying, ‘I value it highly and feel somewhat less dressed without it’. But he gifted Vulcain Presidents’ watches to fortunate dignitaries of the United Nations; so confident was he in its exceptional design and capacity for timekeeping.
His Vice-President Richard Nixon was similarly complimentary of the Vulcain Cricket he received after delivering the opening speech to the National Association of Watch & Clock Makers’ conference in 1955. In true American presidential tradition, he went on to wear the watch throughout his time in the White House.
And thus the tradition continued in much the same vein until 2009, when Vulcain marked their 150 anniversary by gifting President Barack Obama with a thoroughly different, limited edition Vulcain Cricket Anniversary Heart wristwatch; engraved with his name and the date of his election, 4th November 2008.
Here at Page & Cooper, we stock 25 models of Vulcain Presidents’ watches, with varying movements, styles and functions, which share an overall sense of legacy and an association with power.
From chronographs with a monopusher which allow you to stop, set and restart with ease, to limited editions, the Vulcain Moonphase and the iconic Vulcain Cricket itself.
Ultimately, there are several subtypes of Presidents’ watch worthy of your consideration, with sunray dials in several colour variations which complement your personal style and a comfortable Louisiana strap.
The key thing to understand is that these Presidents’ watches are available in two sizes; a 39mm and a 42mm.
The latter is a very subtle jump up in terms of size, as both sizes are slim and compact, and watches have a separate pusher on the left side which controls the date window at 6 o’clock. This extra complication required a unique movement, the V-11, which has 40 to 50 more pieces than the movement in the 39mm watch.
Now let’s take a closer look at the 50s Presidents’ Heritage timepiece.
Through the clear case back, you’ll witness the watch’s striking architecture, from the gear train and the stylised ‘V’, to the striking hammer for the alarm. Its V-10 hand-wound movement is just visible, individually hand-crafted in-house by one of Vulcain’s four watchmakers; though automatic varieties are also available.
Though minute, this engineering changed the course of watchmaking history in 1947, housed as it is in a beautifully finished case; a combination of polished back, brushed sides and a polished bezel. The stunning dial work, of beautifully polished hands, numerals and markers sits beneath the domed sapphire crystal; which can come encrusted with 80 diamonds should you rather.
You can wind the iconic Vulcain cross-hatch crown in either direction; clockwise to power the cricket and anti-clockwise to wind the movement.
Every Vulcain watch bought through Page & Cooper comes with four year manufacturer’s warranty and care.
Watch the video to find out more: