Vulcain Cricket André “DIDIXEIN” Ditisheim. The Swiss watchmaker and football player of Madrid FC
Vulcain is one of the independent brands that has left a mark in Swiss watchmaking. In 1858 the Ditisheim brothers founded the watch manufacture Ditisheim Frères in La Chaux-de-Fonds. A few years later, in 1894, the founder of the manufacture Maurice Ditisheim, appoints one of his sons as manager who then renamed the firm Vulcain.
A legendary movement
In 1947 the caliber Cricket was launched worlwide. The idea of a mechanical alarm wristwatch was with no doubt a big challenge for the watch engineer Robert Ditisheim who needed 5 years to creat it. Thanks to a double barrel, the Cricket manual wound movement could produce a loud sound for about 20 seconds, amplified by a resonating skin inside an echo chamber. The alarm produces a loud cricket like sound, therefor its name Cricket.
An icon on the wrist of the Presidents of the United States of America
Part of its success was due to the fact that the Vulcain Cricket was referred to as the President ́s watch. It started with Harry Truman, then continued with Eisenhower and then Richard Nixon, all the Presidents at the time wore a Vulcain Cricket on their wrist. It was absolutely not a marketing campaign created by Vulcain. It is said that the White House Press Photographer ́s Association gave a Vulcain Ctricket to Presisdent Truman for him to remember the photo shoots he had to go to. Also on 1964 President Lyndon Johnson bought his own piece on a trip to Switzerland.
Vulcain and Real Madrid
The founder ́s grandson André Didisheim, has been the manager of the firm for 50 years. Apart from his watchmaking heritage, André Didisheim was a born athlete and he could play tennis as well as ski but above all he could play football.
In 1907, he went to Madrid to learn Spanish because at the time South America was one of the most important markets for Swiss watchmanufacture. Therefore speaking Spanish was highly important.
André Didisheim displayed his talent as an attacking midfielder and signed with Madrid FC (the current Real Madrid FC). In 1909 he also played in three matches in the small tournament in Madrid as well as in two tie-break matches against the Gimnastica and the subsidiary Madrid team of the Athletic de Bilbao, where he scored a goal in each match. While in Madrid FC, his name Didisheim was changed to “Didixein”. This is the reason why Didisheim became the last football player in the history of Real Madrid to be discovered only three months ago, thanks to the research work of the journalist Lartaun de Azumnedi, member of the CIEHFE (History and Statistics of Spanish Football Research Centre).
Ten years later, in 1934, Vulcain will become the chronograph of Real Madrid who, in that same year, became champion of the Spanish Cup against the Valencia with the legendary Zamora as goalkeeper. During that season, his coach Fernando Bru used his Vulcain to calculate the times in the training sessions.
A unique Cricket as tribute to “André Didixein”
In spring 2023, Vulcain and CronotempVs Collectors present a limited edition Cricket watch created as a tribute to André Didisheim, descendant of the founder of Vulcain and Real Madrid football player.
This exclusive watch has a 39mm diameter engraved steel polished case-back. The crown placed at 3:00 can be used to manually wind the watch movement in one direction to set the alarm and in the opposite direction to set the time. The pusher placed at 2:00 sets the alarm with the arrow-shaped hand. The case contains the Vulcain caliber V-10 manually wound with double barrel, a result of the evolution of the original movement in 1947.
Inside the case, beats the Vulcain V-10 caliber, an evolution of the original movement from 1947. It is a manual-winding movement with a double barrel, operating at 18,000 vibrations per hour, and providing a power reserve of 50 hours.
Lastly, it’s worth highlighting the elegant design of the dial featuring Arabic numerals coated with Superluminova. Furthermore, to give it the appearance of the 1950s dial from the original model, a chromatographic effect has been created to simulate its aging.
Vulcain Cricket « André Didixein » CronotempVs
Case: 316L Polished steel. Diameter: 39.00mm. Thickness 12.80mm.
Movement: mechanical hand wound caliber manufacture Vulcain Cricket V-10 double barrel, 18.000 v/h. 50hr power reserve.
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and 20 seconds alarm duration.
Dial: Shades of grey.
Glass: Domed Sapphire glass.
Water resistant: 50 meters
Strap: Brown calf leather
Price 4.300 Euros (ex. VAT)Limited to 47 units