Presented both in polished stainless steel and 18-carat rose gold, the new Vulcain 50s President’s Chronograph (refs. 570157.309L, 570557.312L & 570557.313L) automatic wristwatch offers you just about everything a grown-up man with a normal sense of self-esteem can expect from a modern dress watch: a slightly oversized body, an easily readable dial, and a simple complication that, while not particularly practical, makes the watch more entertaining and also more pleasant to look at.
According to official specifications that we have received, the new Vulcain 50s President’s Chronograph will be delivered in two color combinations.
A version in rose gold (Ref. 570557.313L) will be equipped with a charcoal grey dial with all other elements, including the hour markers, made from solid rose gold, while a more affordable version in stainless steel (Ref. 570157.309L) will offer less contrasting layout with polished steel hands (and hour markers ) hovering above the silver dial.
Thankfully, both dials are treated with “sunray” motif that makes them look more matt and also allows the polished hands to be more legible even under a very bright light source.
Well, I hope they will soon introduce an anthracite gray dial for the model in steel. It could be a real stunner at a more than reasonable price.
Alas, while being only 42 millimeters in diameter, the watch is quite thick measuring in almost 14 millimeters of total height. Perhaps, the perpetrator here is the Vulcain V-57 automatic movement, which seems to be based on the ETA 2892-A2 self-winding ebauche that was converted into a mono-pusher chronograph.
Like many recent chronos, the watch offers a vintage-style bi-compax layout with a central chronograph hand, a 30-minute totalizer at 3 hours, as well as a small seconds chronograph indicator at 9 o’clock. The small date aperture at 6 hours nicely balances the oversized “12” Arabic numeral which is placed at 12 o’clock.
Although it would be really nice from the point of view of ergonomics if the chronograph’s single pusher was placed at eight hours where it could be easily operated with a thumb, the Swiss engineers decided to place the push piece at a more traditional position at 2 o’clock.
Well, as I have already noted, the new Vulcain 50s President’s Chronograph watch looks elegant and, um, contemporary and it can certainly become one of Vulcain’s hits if the price is right*.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
See also: Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph 180th Anniversary Limited Edition Automatic (ref. L2.718.104.22.168)
* UPDATE ON PRICE: The watchmaking company decided to offer the watch at a fairly impressive price of $21,950 (this one is stated on their web-site, which is available only for residents of the United States,) which is actually not as high as yours truly have expected if you take into account the material its case is fashioned from and the quality of mechanism that powers this family of dressy chronographs.
Vulcain 50s President’s Chronograph Automatic watch specification
Price: $21,950 (MSRP, if bought at their own web-store)
Movement: Automatic, caliber V-57, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: Cotes de Geneve, blued screws, rhodium-plated bridges and mainplate
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date
Case material: 18-carat rose gold / Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 13.75 mm
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Dial: Silver or Charcoal gray, sunray pattern
Hour markers: Steel or Rose gold
Hands: Steel or Rose gold
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Brown Louisiana Alligator leather strap with steel or gold pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire