Vulcain is, without a doubt, a brand with quite some prestige and deep historical background. Mostly known for its alarm watches and dedicated in-house movements, the brand has been for the past years a sort of sleeping beauty. But it has recently been awakened and seems to be back into action, with a focus on reviving glorious past models. The relaunch has been, of course, with the return of the emblematic Cricket Alarm and its long-lasting movement. And now, it’s time for a vintage chronograph to resurface, with the new Vulcain Chronograph 1970s.
If the Alarm watches are, without a doubt, a substantial part of the history of Vulcain, there’s always been more to the brand than just that – whether during the golden era of mechanical watchmaking or in recent days. The brand has been built around these Cricket models, but not only. Digging into the old collection has become a speciality for Guillaume Laidet, the man who’s also behind the resurrection of Nivada Grenchen and Excelsior Park. And he has found this classic, quite elegant chronograph, which is now revived.
Surely, Vulcain isn’t reinventing the wheel with its Chronograph 1970s, and the recipe has been used many times. But when done right, a compact vintage-inspired hand-wound chronograph at a fair price is always welcome. And yes, this is exactly what this new Vulcain is. 38mm in diameter, 12.40mm in height, classic design with smooth bezel, domed sapphire crystal on top to mimic a retro plexiglass, and a pair of pump pushers on the side. Here you go, it’s like comforting food for watch lovers.
The step-case of the Vulcain Chronograph 1970s is partially brushed, partially polished and comes with a closed steel back – sometimes it’s good not to see a movement, specifically when it’s a solid but generic one. Water-resistance is rated at 50 metres and a wide selection of straps is available, ranging from smooth leather to alligator skin or alligator-embossed leather, in different colours.
The original model that was used as a source of inspiration featured a blue dial and silver counters. And this version is back, alongside 3 other references in black reverse panda, silver panda and monotone salmon (the latter being limited). The dial is classic, and reassuring in style with a thinly printed tachymeter scale on the periphery, a two-counter display, silver-coloured baton hands and markers with thin lines and dots of Super-LumiNova. The dials are all having a semi-gloss finish, with a sunray-brushed surface.
At the heart of the Vulcain Chronograph 1970s is a tried-and-tested hand-wound movement, the Sellita SW510. Based on the architecture of the Valjoux, it brings reliability and ease of service, and in its latest version, this movement even comes with a solid power reserve of 63 hours.
The Vulcain Chronograph 1970s Hand-Wound watches will be available for orders from the brand’s website as of March 22nd, at a price of EUR 2,500, CHF 2,500 or USD 2,650. All models will be part of the permanent collection, except for the salmon dial, which is limited to 50 pieces. For more details, please consult vulcain.ch.