Monochrome Watches
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Buying Guide

Ring the Bell with these Five Mechanical Alarm Watches

Never forget about an important meeting, the expiration of a parking meter or you're departing flight with these mechanical alarms on the wrist.

| By Robin Nooy | 5 min read |

During our very busy lives it’s very easy to be late for a meeting, to forget to top up a parking meter or even be tight on time for a departing flight. And despite the fact we have a device called a smartphone with us to set a (very intrusive) beeping alarm, how about a nice mechanical buzz on the wrist to serve as an audible and sensible reminder of a specific moment in your day? With that in mind, here’s a look at five splendid mechanical alarm watches.

Vulcain Cricket

The return of the Vulcain Cricket was celebrated in the watchmaking community as it meant the return of one of the most emblematic alarm watches in history. The new Cricket not only relies on the 1947 original by Vulcain for its looks but also for its mechanics. The movement that powers it, including that all-important 25-second long buzzing sound to ring the alarm, is an evolution of the original calibre used in the Cricket. The caseback also doubles as a resonator, amplifying the sound. Two sizes and several dial options are available, all fitted with a leather strap and retailing between CHF 4,100 and CHF 4,700.

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Quick Facts – 36mm or 39mm x 12.70mm – stainless steel case, satin-finished & polished – box-shaped sapphire crystal – pusher to set the alarm – sound-amplifying caseback – 50m water-resistant – multiple dials and colours with various indices, numerals and hands – additional alarm hand – Vulcain V-10 calibre, hand-wound – 25 jewels – 18,000vph – 42h power reserve – leather strap with pin buckle – CHF 4,100 to CHF 4,700

Edouard Koehn World Heritage II

One of the most distinguished models coming from the brand of Edouard Koehn is the World Heritage II, which combines the practicality of a mechanical alarm function with a world timer complication. It’s rare to see these two together, but it makes perfect sense to keep track of departure times or international meetings. The automatic calibre EK-MVTWTA01, developed with Concepto, is based on the architecture of the A. Schild AS5008. The dial has a guilloché decoration surrounding the world timer display and comes in five different colours. Limited to 88 pieces each, the World Heritage II is priced at CHF 8,500.

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Quick Facts – 42mm x 14.5mm – polished grade 5 titanium case – sapphire crystal front & back – crowns at 2′ and 4′ – 50m water-resistant – ice-blue, silver, green, dark blue or anthracite dials with guilloché – Alpha-style hands – alarm setting hand with timing ring – world time disc – calibre EK-MVTWA01, automatic – 28,800vph – 48h power reserve – alligator leather strap with deployant buckle – limited to 88 pieces per colour – CHF 8,500

Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547

Set in titanium with a dark blue dial, the Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 is Breguet’s contemporary take on the alarm watch. This surprising watch features a chiming mechanism (with an on/off setting) but also a GMT complication, making it perfectly suited for international travelling. You can set the alarm up to 12 hours in advance, with a hammer striking a gong in quick succession at the appointed time. The calibre 519F/1 hiding in plain sight is developed with Blancpain and produces a rather special ringing sound. Several straps are available, as well as a titanium bracelet. The Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 starts at EUR 32,300.

Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 new colours 2021

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Quick Facts – 40mm x 13.05mm – titanium case with fluted caseband, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front & back – 50m water-resistant – blue dial with sunray-brushed finish – applied indices & hands with Super-LumiNova – GMT & Alarm indications with on/off setting – calibre 519F/1, automatic – 28,800vph – 45h power reserve – rubber or leather strap with fold-over buckle or titanium bracelet with folding clasp – starting at EUR 32,300

Patek Philippe Alarm Travel Time 5520P

When released, the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time by Patek Philippe was already quite a controversial piece, but the Maison took it a step further with the Alarm Travel Time 5520P. Spread around the platinum case are no less than four crowns and pushers, operating all the mechanics. The one at 4′ winds and sets both the watch and the alarm mechanism. The pusher at 2′ sets the alarm to on or off. The pushers at 8′ and 10′ allow you to set the local hour hand forwards and backwards. Clever, complex, controversial (a bit) and contemporary, but finished at the typical Patek level. The price reflects that as well, as the 5520P costs EUR 280,500.

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Quick Facts – 42.2mm x 11.6mm – platinum case – sapphire crystal – interchangeable solid or transparent caseback – 30m water-resistant – ebony black sunburst dial – gold applied numerals and hands with luminescent coating – apertures for the alarm – day/night indication for local/home time – date subdial – calibre AL 30-660 S C FUS – automatic winding – black leather strap with clevis prong buckle – EUR 280,500

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox

Last on the list, and by no means least, is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox, a modern-day evolution of the iconic Memovox. The Memovox name has been part of Jaeger’s legacy for almost 75 years and refers to perhaps the most famous alarm watch. This Timer edition features the signature dual crowns for setting the time (4 o’clock) and the alarm (2 o’clock). The central disc rotates to indicate the time for the alarm, and the sound is amplified by the super-compressor case. Worn on leather, the Master Control Memovox is part of the permanent collection and retails for EUR 15,700.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox 2020

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Quick Facts – 40mm x 12.38mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front & back – 50m water-resistant – dual crowns – silver dial with sunray finish – applied indices – Dauphine hour & minute hand with blued seconds hand – alarm disc in the centre – framed date window – Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 956, automatic – 28,800vph – 45h power reserve – brown calfskin leather strap with pin buckle – EUR 15,700

5 responses

  1. Probably the most useful complication of ‘em all, don’t know why they are so rarely seen.

  2. @Hubertje,
    Agree, but perhaps folks use their G – Shocks…or apple watch instead.

  3. Too afford the P/P you would probably be at an age to be too deaf to hear it 👂

  4. @ Hubertje.
    I am with you but my reality is I have 4 watches in rotation on my bedstand and one on my wrist while I sleep yet still use my iPhone as an alarm!

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