April 17, 2008
by Ariel Adams
I would imagine that the typical watch consumer is intelligent. At least understanding words and meaning. What do you think of when you hear “extreme” or the even more extreme iteration of extreme, “xtreme?” Well I think about objects that takes a beating, and do so while functioning well. Not fancy gold watches with mechanical alarms. So while I really like the Vulcain Cricket Diver X-Treme (go ahead, picture extreme diving crickets, it is the logical thing to do), I think Vulcain’s marketing team needs to hit the showers.
Vulcain has been around a while, and are most known for their Cricket watches, and V-10 mechanical alarm movement. Which apparently has a very audible mechanical alarm. While an alarm may seem a simple complication, getting a good sound out of a mechanical movement is tough. Most of us are used to beeping Casio watches. While an alarm is very useful to some people, Vulcain makes some far fetched claims about the audibility of the alarm underwater. Really Vulcain? You expect a diver in full suit to hear this alarm during a dive? Really? Still, the alarm is said to last for 15-20 seconds. If it is loud enough to be heard underwater, I would not want to be the guy whose Vulcain Cricket goes off in a meeting (oh, now I get the Cricket name!). The alarm itself seems simple to set (using the center alarm time ring), but not particularly accurate. Seems like you can get withing a 2-3 minute range of when you want it to go off. The watch is rated for 100 meters. Clearly not extreme. While this rating is ok for light swimming and snorkeling, this is not the rating needed for a serious dive watch. Further, the watch is not an automatic, but manually wound. Hardly extreme. Hardly, Vulcain…
Removing the “X-Treme” moniker, and you have a beautiful watch. Attractive symmetry with classic elements, and orbiting numbers, you have a great looking watch. Modernly useful, with contrasting colors that really bring the colors out. Four screws on the dial add to a more mechanical feel, and the quasi-tire tread rubber strap is a nice touch. The watch also features a inner rotating bezel with a crown lock to protect against inadvertent adjustment. However even with all that, this Vulcain is just a fancy dive watch, not an extreme performance tool.
My point is that I urge watch makers to lay off the ridiculous names. Zenith is getting a bit out of hand here especially, and Vulcain should not be taking direction from other Xtreme watch makes. You hire the finest designers and watch makers around, but you choose the Geneva Community College Marketing School graduates? Imagine strolling in your favorite fine watch boutique with the gloved sales person handing you this attractive watch stating, “behold the new Cricket Diver X-Treme.” I’d reply by asking what cartoon they sourced the name from.
The Vulcain Cricket Diver X-Treme comes in the pictured gold along with a steel case. The gold is matched with brushed titanium accents and lugs, while the steel version comes with black coated titanium. Again, this is a nice looking watch, at what is likely to be a relatively high cost, and for that money, it take care the verbal abuse.
See Vulcain watches on eBay here.See Vulcain watches on Amazon here. [phpbay]vulcain, num, “14324”, “”[/phpbay]