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History of VULCAIN Watches


Founded in 1858 and internationally renowned, particularly thanks to the 1947 presentation of the world's first mechanical alarm wristwatch, the famous Cricket, the company is once again producing Vulcain alarm wristwatches. The company presented its new collections, all equipped with the Cricket movement that made a major contribution to establishing the company's international reputation. The Cricket watch was also nicknamed "The Presidents' Watch", since Eisenhower, Nixon and Johnson were all loyal customers and eminent ambassadors for the Cricket. This model, which has made its mark on watchmaking history, owes its name to its distinctive sound resembling the strident cry of the chirpy insect. Bernard R. Fleury and Alain Claude, respectively President and CEO and Technical Director of the new entity have launched the production of 5,000 Vulcain watches this year and plan to increase production progressively to reach 10,000 a year in the medium term. The United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland are the first markets targeted by the new management team. The company has chosen not to exhibit at the spring trade fairs this year, preferring to focus its efforts on product developments and host its clients at the company head office in Le Locle.

1947 will remain a significant milestone in watchmaking history. 55 years ago, the first genuinely functional mechanical alarm wristwatch was presented by Vulcain. For the very first time, watchmakers and scientists had succeeded in achieving what many researchers had attempted before them: a mechanical alarm wristwatch powerful enough to actually wake up its owner.

For Vulcain, a company founded in 1858, the year 1947 was to mark the start of a new era. As soon the first alarm wristwatch models were presented, the whole world appeared to be clamouring for what would become "The Presidents' Watch". More than 50 years later, the watch Manufacture intends to rebuild on the foundations of this exceptional legacy to write a major new chapter in the history of the Vulcain brand.

It is in Le Locle, strategically located in the Neuchatel Jura region with its deep historical watchmaking roots that the company has decided to establish itself in order to revive the Vulcain brand and relaunch production of the Cricket movements in their original functions.

The new Vulcain philosophy is not to move mountains, nor to cultivate unbridled ambitions for the company. On the contrary, since the brand has not been particularly active during the past decade, it must first be revived before relaunching. It is through a policy based on a long-term vision that the new firm intends to regain a niche position in the watchmaking world of tomorrow.

The new company - In September 2001, Production & Marketing Horloger SA (PMH SA), based in Le Locle, acquired the Vulcain and Cricket brands as well as exclusive operating rights and production tools to the famous Cricket mechanical alarm movement.

President and CEO Bernard R. Fleury and Technical Director Alain Claude are the two main figures at the head of PMH SA. In light of the fine quality of the product and the exceptional horological heritage it represents, both men wished to revive the Cricket calibre and to give the Vulcain brand a new lease on life. PMH SA was set up on the basis of this determination.

Despite the brand's rich past, the new company does not intend to implement a backward-looking policy, either in marketing or sales terms. Bernard R. Fleury and Alain Claude are not devoting their energies to replicating what was done fifty years ago. Quite clearly, it is on the strength of the mechanical alarm calibre that the new company must be built, but they intend to use it as a springboard towards new horizons. Nonetheless, the rebirth announced in the spring of 2002 naturally needed to clearly express the strong ties between the brand's heyday in the past century and the new entity. Top



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