The Swiss watch manufacture Vulcain will soon start selling their new limited edition Vulcain Cricket X-Treme Automatic alarm diving watch (refs. 211931.201RF & 211931.202BRF) with only six hundred numbered pieces to ever reach the market.
The watch is going to be available in two versions: black-and-white (Ref. 211931.201RF) and an even more appealing to me black-and-blue (Ref. 211931.202BRF) model.
According to the brand, each version will be limited to only 300 pieces.
The watches are made of titanium and stainless steel and are even equipped with HEV (helium escape valve) that prevents the expensive sapphire crystal from popping out during decompression, with their water resistance rating of 300 meters, are suitable for casual scuba diving (only when accompanied by an electronic diving computer, of course.)
Although this watch reminds me of JLC’s gorgeous Navy Seals Diving Alarm series of watches that was refreshed early this year, I must admit that the new Vulcain Cricket X-Treme Automatic model clearly has a face of its own.
And it certainly looks way more refined (and more expensive, for that matters) than some offerings from mainstream premium brands. One word of caution though. The timekeeper measures just 44 millimeters in diameter, which is at least bearable for an average buyer, but its lugs are relatively long stretching the Cricket X-Treme’s overall length to 54 millimeters and significantly increasing risk of the gadget’s looking not really well on a wrist of an average width. So, keep this in mind while ordering it online (the Swiss brand has an online store of their own, so you may order a watch from them without the grey(ish) middlemen although the watch will probably cost you a bit more.)
What’s even more important is that, unlike a great deal of its competitors, Vulcain uses its own Cricket V-21 automatic caliber, not some industry workhorse from ETA or one of its numerous smaller competitors.
Made of 257 parts, the double-barrel movement features a not so common 20-seconds alarm function and date display.
Also, as Vulcain put it in its press release, its proprietary Exactomatic system that was patented in 1946 ensures that the friction on the balance wheel is equal in all position and thus allows for generating more regular amplitude of the wheel.
Of course, the engine still needs to pass the test of time to prove its accuracy and reliability.
Although featuring a double-barrel design, the watch has a guaranteed power reserve of only 42 hours. That is because only one barrel supplies power for the main mechanism, while the other is reserved solely for the alarm sub-system.
By the way of speaking of alarm, as you can see on the pictures, the setting crown of the watch is moved around 15 degrees in clockwise direction in order to make some space for the alarm “on/off” button, which is conveniently placed between 2 and 3 o’clock.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Vulcain Cricket X-Treme Automatic alarm diving watch specification
Price range: $11,150 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber Cricket V-21, 257 parts, 28.0 mm in diameter, 8.3 mm thick, Swiss Made
Winding: Automatic (self-winding)
Cadence of balance: 18,000 vph
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date, alarm with its own hour hand
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel, titanium
Case shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm (54.00 mm with lugs)
Case height: 17.90
Dial: Black or white
Water resistance: 300 meters
Strap: Black vulcanized rubber with black treated Titanium & steel, folding type with security pusher
Crystal: Sapphire, domed, antireflective-coated on front; flat sapphire on case-back