Vintage watches are still my passion and perhaps more so today than ever, simply because many are from an age where “style” and “elegance” were as importance as the watch function itself. And I have to admit I like that.
This example is a 1920’s Ladies 18ct Gold Vulcain which has survived in very good condition and is being worn today, keeping good time and looking as elegant as when it was made. I guess it was produced just after WW1 when Vulcain moved to their new factory, so possibly around 1923 or so, once the new premises was fully up and running.
This model is a bit of a rarity with this case shape, though checking through the Vulcain “Book” I found this very similar model from around 1930. Note the early Vulcain logo in a simple font without underlining etc.
Another reference I found is from the Watch Book – “Wristwatches – A Handbook and Price Guide” 6th Edition of Gisbert L. Brunner & Christian Pfeiffer-Belli, printed by Schiffer, which although listed as anonymous, could indeed be a Vulcain such is the similarity.
My Vulcain 18K Gold cased is also complimented by the expandable bracelet (marked DV, which denotes a Vulcain parts or accessory) which suits it perfectly with no degradation to the sprung action or the fastening clip with safety chain. (note the Trademark DV with the V on top shown is prior to the rectangular form, which appeared in 1934).
The case back is numbered and hinged with a snap closure and the movement is in very good condition considering this watch is not water resistant.
Vulcain of course is a very old established Watch Company formed back in 1858 and still producing high quality watches today. Famous amongst other things for producing the 1st practical mechanical Alarm watch, the Cricket” – which could be heard over 30 metres away and operated without disturbing the time keeping of the watch, both features thought impossible. After many years of research it finally was introduced commercially in 1947.
So all in all very pleased with this purchase as once again it is relatively rare, both in shape and style and is in excellent running condition. What’s more it appears that the original bracelet is attached and the watch has obviously been kept for special occasions as it has worn exceptionally well over the best part of the last 100 years.
The last image shows a Gents Vulcain from around the same vintage, again with the original Vulcain logo on the dial and very similar font applications on the dial. Note too the hands and dial colour are virtually identical, which were obviously the parts of choice at this period.
I’ll keep a look out for this particular Gents model and if it comes up at any time – I’ll be very interested in adding it to my collection. You never know!