Monochrome Watches
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The Handsome Vulcain Chronograph 1970s Turns Green

Nothing groundbreaking... just a compact, fairly-priced hand-wound chronograph that looks good! And that's all we need.

| By Brice Goulard | 4 min read |
Vulcain Chronograph 1970 Green Limited Edition

A venerable brand that was slightly dormant for about a decade, Vulcain is sort of a hidden gem that has long been recognized as the specialist of the alarm watch – a niche concept but one that has to be kept alive. However, for the past couple of years, Vulcain has been revived and now has a clear strategy of bringing back most of its emblems of the past. Think about the Cricket watch or the highly appealing Cricket Nautical dive watch. One watch that might not have the same aura is a classic bi-compax chronograph with hand-wound movement. Nothing special, you might say. But not all watches have to be insanely special. Sometimes, a good old compact chrono is all you need. Let’s check how good this can be with the new green Vulcain Chronograph 1970s.

This watch, the Chronograph 1970s, was presented last year and, as you nice as it seemed at first, it isn’t the kind of watch that would make us, spoiled watch editors seeing way too many watches a year, utterly enthusiastic. However, we sometimes have to come back to reality and look at watches in a slightly different way, from the perspective of a watch enthusiast who could be a client for a vintage-inspired, compact, nicely executed and fairly priced chronograph. And guess what, the Vulcain Chronograph 1970s is exactly that!

Vulcain Chronograph 1970 Green Limited Edition

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We have covered this collection at the time of its launch but never had the chance to go hands-on with it. The release today of a new limited edition, fitted with a green dial, is the occasion to do so. And to look at it, for once, with my feet on the ground. As said, this watch is a highly classic take on a highly classic concept. A retro-styled manually wound chronograph with restrained proportions, outsourced but proven movement and overall appealing looks. Such watches are a dime a dozen, but not always done in the right way.

Vulcain Chronograph 1970 Green Limited Edition

The Chronograph 1970s by Vulcain immediately gains points with its case and dimensions. For starters, it measures 38mm in diameter, which is about 3 to 4mm less than most accessible chronographs on the market. And I personally love a reasonably sized chrono… I understand that modern movements are bigger than what was done in the 1950s/60s (and they are far more reliable too…), but this watch is proof that a sub-40mm with a Sellita inside is possible. The case is also nicely designed, classic but with a lovely step profile. It’s a bit utilitarian, which should be seen as a compliment here. Sleek pump pushers and a double-domed sapphire crystal give a nice retro flair. And the 12.40mm thickness is acceptable. Not brilliant, but really never an issue. A closed back finishes the case, and I’m happy to not be able to see the movement.

The dial of this specific version of the Vulcain Chronograph 1970s opts for a nice tone of green, paired with a sunray brushed pattern and silver sub-dials. It is framed by a tachymeter scale, features faceted and polished applied markers for more depth and refinement, and overall has a certain busyness – counters close to the tracks, markers almost touching the counters, different shapes of hands… But it’s exactly why this watch is appealing. It has charm, it is lively. Surely, there’s nothing groundbreaking but it all works great.

Vulcain Chronograph 1970 Green Limited Edition

Inside the case is a Sellita SW510 M BH b-Manual, a rather barbaric name to indicate a Valjoux-based architecture and a manually wound movement. Solid, reliable, precise enough, it’s there to do its job and it’ll do it well. It even uses the latest version offered by Sellita and comes with a solid 63-hour power reserve.

Vulcain Chronograph 1970 Green Limited Edition

The model we have for this hands-on session was worn on a cognac-toned leather strap, offering a nice retro touch and a warm colour combination with the dial. Vulcain offers multiple other straps but don’t look any further. This combo works like a charm. Released as a limited edition of 100 pieces, now available from, the Vulcain Chronograph 1970s Green is priced at EUR 2,500, CHF 2,500 or USD 2,650. It’s not the cheapest watch of its kind on the market but it remains a fair price for a timepiece that has nice details all around, a solid construction and an evergreen name on its dial. It’s handsome, charming, and lively, and I personally love the compactness of the case. And in the end, it’s all you need. I was happy to wear it and it is pleasant enough to put a smile on my face!

6 responses

  1. With Vulcain’s history, it would be great if it also had an alarm which was wound by running the chronograph!

  2. Totally disagree that today’s watch movements are “far more reliable” than yesterday’s watches. I have watches with Cal 72, Cal 724, Valjoux 7730, 7734 and Caliber 12 that have been supremely reliable and robust. My two Navitimers use Valjoux/ETA 7750 and 7765 which are still manufactured despite today being 1970’s designs.

  3. 2500 for a well executed chronograph with a sapphire dome? How is that too much ‹‹‹‹? I think it’s lovely we have some choice in this arena. The Excelsior Park, Hanhart, Vulcain, Airain, and Farer options are all wonderful pieces based on that same platform, and most are available at 39mm, except Farer’s 41mm cushion case, which still wears very compact.

    I took the Excelsior Park for my money, but would be happy to own the Vulcain as well. I will say I’ve never liked pure stick hands much.

  4. Chronograph watches offer timeless style and practical functionality. From sleek designs to intricate dials, they’re perfect for those who value precision and sophistication in their timepieces.

  5. If I wanted a chrono — which I don’t — this would be on my short list.

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