Factoid of the Day - 12-08-07

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In January 1953, when the Chairman of the White House Press Photographers’ Association presented the American President Harry S. Truman (President from 12.4.1945 till 20.1.1953) with a Vulcain Cricket, this marked the beginning of a tradition which continued right up to Bill Clinton’s term of office (20.1.1993–20.1.2001).*

*This information is from the Vulcain watch website. I believe the actual model was a Revue Thommen Cricket and Vulcain markets the watch now. However Revue Thommen still makes Crickets manufactured by Grovana, SA - boscoe
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From elsewhere on the web. I'm concluding Vulcain, which is a rebirthed brand, is reinventing it's history. This kind of thing strikes me as silly. Bedat is only about 10 years old and has a wonderful reputation - earned by building stylish timepieces of the absolute highest quality:


The Cricket was introduced by Revue Thommen (RT) in 1947. It was the first acoustic alarm watch. To quote the RT brochure:

The challenge facing the Cricket's inventor was to reproduce the strident cry of the cricket, a small insect with a big sound. To achieve this, R. Ditisheim developed a system comprising an alarm mechanism with an acoustic membrane and sound chamber.

My hearing's not good enough to hear a conventional alarm watch--electronic alarms are completely inaudible unless I hold the watch to my ear. I have no problem with the Cricket. Not only is the alarm loud, but, because it's mechanical, the whole case vibrates, so you can feel it as well as hear it. Once I had the watch on its side on a table when the alarm sounded, and the vibrations knocked the watch over on its back! I tested the alarm while sleeping, at a baseball game, and on a noisy bus, with good results.newsweek.jpg (20685 bytes)

The Cricket is also known (in RT advertising, anyway) as the "Presidents' Watch," because it was used by Eisenhower, Johnson, and Nixon. The August 31, 1964, issue of Newsweek magazine cover photo shows President Johnson wearing the watch, and RT used this photo in ads that ran (I suppose) during that period.

From 1947 until 1975 RT kept introducing new models of the Cricket: larger models (38mm), rotating-bezel models, date models, women's models, and an underwater model. For 10 years the watch was no longer produced, as RT struggled with the quartz revolution. In 1986 they reintroduced the Cricket, using designs from the 1947 - 1954 era.

In 1997, RT introduced two new models to celebrate the watch's 50th anniversary: an Anniversary Platinum, and the Cricket 1997, which is the one I have. It's available with black, blue, or copper dials, and in classical (Roman numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12, and thin hands) and technical styles. Mine is the technical style with copper dial. As you can see from the photo above, it features large numerals and very thick hands, with lots of tritium. In the dark, the numbers are faintly visible, but the hands really stand out. Even the second hand has a rectangle of tritium on it.
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I heard they only "cherp" at night!:001_rolleyes:
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