You may recall that a few months ago we discussed a special edition Anniversary Heart Cricket watch by Vulcain that had been gifted to President Barack Obama by the manufacturer to celebrate his Presidential inauguration. Although it stirred a little bit of controversy, the watch itself was quite stunning and really showed off the quality of work being produced by this lesser known manufacturer. Recently the brand has unveiled a new model in the Cricket line-up, the very sporty and adventurous Cricket X-treme Automatic.
Sleek and Practical
This new model has a far sportier feel than the Anniversary Heart gifted to Mr Obama, and with good reason. According to the brand, this versatile measuring instrument has been designed for adventurers and represents the next step forward for Vulcain and its models, which have already accompanied the most famous explorers from mountain peaks to ocean depths.
At first look the watch certainly appears to be quite robust, capable of handling the rigours of exploring mountain peaks and board rooms alike. The case size is a generous (although almost standard these days) 44 mm and is available in titanium and steel or black titanium and steel versions. The lay out of the dial is very clean and easy to read and the overall aesthetics of the piece are further accentuated by the asymmetrical arrangement of the fast date-correction pusher at 10 o’clock and the alarm corrector placed between 2 and 3 o’clock.
Practicality is further enhanced by the fluted rotating outer bezel serving as a 60-minute counter, as well as by the new Superluminova-coated hour-markers and hands, making the watch easy to read regardless of the level of light available. Disappointingly though, the watch is only rated at a water resistance of 100m which is a consequence of the alarm function. Whilst this may not be a huge issue for most mainstream consumers, it does seem a little on the low side for a dive watch designed for professional explorers.
As the Cricket series are renowned for their exceptionally audible mechanical alarms the sapphire crystal case-back ensures ideal sound diffusion both in water or in the open air. Furthermore the titanium case enhances the acoustic quality of the watch ensuring you will hear the alarm in any extreme situation you find yourself in.
It certainly looks the part, but has it got the specs to back it up? Vulcain seems to think so.
Cricket V-21 Alarm Calibre
With its clean lines and strong design this new model blends active practicality with notable technological breakthroughs. The major new development in the X-Treme Automatic is the self-winding Cricket V-21 alarm calibre driving it. A modified and presumably improved version of the highly celebrated Cricket Calibre V-10, this new self-winding alarm calibre is a 12-lignes (12’’’) movement equipped with two barrels: one to supply the energy required for the hour, minute and seconds functions, and the other to power the alarm function which sounds for a full 20 seconds.
The movement itself is relatively complex, consisting of 257 parts and features unidirectional winding via the bimetallic oscillating weight fitted with a ceramic ball-bearing mechanism. It beats at a cadence of 18,000 vibrations per hour and is endowed with a 42-hour power reserve. All this works together in perfect harmony to drive the central hour, minute and seconds hands, a date display, as well as a 60-minute graduated counter activated by the unidirectional rotating bezel – and of course the signature alarm function characteristic of Vulcain watches.
Two black-coated steel and titanium versions are available in limited numbered editions of 300 each: a black/blue self-winding CRICKET X-TREME model and a black/white self-winding CRICKET X-TREME variation.
The Final Word
Those of you who are familiar with the original and infamous Cricket alarm calibre upon which Vulcain has built their reputation since 1947 will agree that this is a movement of exceptional pedigree. Thus, it is very exciting to the see the introduction of the new V-21 calibre which really is the culmination of over 60 years of fine-tuning and improvement of the original incarnation.
Add to this the fact that the watch really is quite visually attractive whilst at the same time remarkably practical and you really have a winning combination on your hands.
For more information check out Vulcain’s website.
Category: Watch Reviews