Vulcain x Seconde/Seconde/ x Revolution Cricket Tradition “Vulcain Salute”: Live Long And Prosper!
I was a rather picky eater as a young child, and my grandparents had a rule (which made its way into my home too) that I was required to eat at least three bites of any new food before I could say that I didn’t like it and did not want to eat it. Of course, I hated it at the time, and had you asked me when I was seven, I would have said it was basically torture. I now know that because of that rule, I learned to eat enough various foods when I was young that I didn’t grow up malnourished eating only beige foods and sweets. I may not have liked every vegetable, but I liked a handful of them, and the rule also turned me on to some of my all-time favorite family dishes.
As an adult, I moved past my picky eater stage and started becoming an adventurous eater, at least in comparison to my entire family. I introduced them to various foreign cuisines they had avoided as I expanded my palate, but I never forgot the rule impressed upon me by my grandparents. I don’t follow it any longer, but I honor it in spirit by making sure I give things a fair shake to see if I might be able to develop a taste for something that I didn’t initially enjoy.
This concept of repeated exposure is actually a well-known and evidenced practice that shows how long it takes for a person to get used to something novel or even unpleasant. It goes well beyond food as it can apply to just about anything. It is used by the military and athletes to train their bodies to withstand extreme environments, it is employed as a form of therapy for people with extreme aversions to objects, places, or habits, and it can even be demonstrated to induce epigenetic alterations to cells and a creatures’ genome (some good, most bad).
The number of exposures needed to elicit a change varies from person to person and based on what is being affected. Someone being conditioned to withstand very cold temperatures might take dozens of exposures to controlled cold environments before they can physically perform to the same level, whereas learning to enjoy the taste of coffee might only take five to ten exposures. The best case scenario for eliciting change from repeated exposure is when the subject starts off with some natural affinity at the beginning. It is much easier to go from like to love than from loathe to love.
Like to love is what best describes my journey of repeated exposure to a very unique designer, Romaric André, who goes by the moniker seconde/seconde/. André is what you could describe as an irreverent pop artist specializing in micro modifications of luxury watches that channel the modern meme culture in a horologically relevant way. His latest collaboration with Vulcain Watches and Revolution was the final piece of the puzzle that turned me from casual enjoyment to being fully on board with his aesthetic sense of humor. It all came together with the launch of the not very succinctly named Vulcain x Seconde/Seconde/ x Revolution Cricket Tradition “Vulcain Salute.”
Vulcain x Seconde/Seconde/ x Revolution Cricket Tradition “Vulcain Salute”
Long name aside, the Cricket Tradition “Vulcain Salute” is an awesomely vintage reissue of a Vulcain Cricket with a quirky twist.
If you aren’t familiar with the Vulcain Cricket, it is the original (and one of the most famous) alarm wristwatch, a timepiece that allows the user to set an alarm up to twelve hours in advance. The Cricket Tradition is a faithful interpretation of the classic models and incorporates an effortlessly functional dial to set the alarm feature.
Outside the main dial is a ring of 12 sets of repeating hash marks and numerals, representing ten-minute increments over each hour period. From the central axis, below the hour, minute, and second hands, is the alarm pointer which is set via the crown. Directing the pointer to a numeral or hash mark within the hour you desire the alarm is all that is required. Once the alarm goes off, you can either let it chirp until the alarm mainspring runs out (a maximum run time of around 20 seconds), or you can press the pusher at two o’clock to disable the alarm.
The twist for the Cricket Tradition “Vulcain Salute” is the seconds hand that literally is a hand. The pop art style hand is shaped like the iconic Vulcan salute, here called the “Vulcain” salute in a connection that probably surprises no one. I know I always pronounced the name of the brand the same as the race of people from Star Trek, so it was spot on for that to be the inspiration of Romaric André for this collaboration.
In place of the seconds hand we now find the international symbol to “Live long and prosper” in one of four colors: red, green, blue, and gold, each picked to correlate to the original uniform colors from the TV show. The idea was immediately obvious to André and was almost as quickly received by Guillaume Laidet, the man behind the resurgence of Vulcain, and Wei Koh, founder of Revolution. This three-way collaboration is the latest adventure for the men involved, and it is what has now hooked me onto the style of seconde/seconde/.
I first learned of the aesthetic style of seconde/seconde/ when Romaric André collaborated with H. Moser & Cie on the Endeavour Centre Seconds X seconde/seconde/. That watch saw the hour hand replaced with a pixelated eraser, a commentary on how Moser likes to erase nearly everything from a dial in search of extreme minimalism. When I initially saw it I was a bit confused but I enjoyed the idea, not thinking too much beyond that since H. Moser had always been a bit irreverent themselves.
The collaboration didn’t immediately make me fan of the seconde/seconde/ style. But just like my vegetables when I was a kid, all it took was a couple more exposures to his artistic forms to really understand what he was trying to accomplish. Each of his collaborations and personal projects is not random, the images he creates to replace hour, minute, or second hands are all connected to the watch, style, or even name of the piece.
A Rolex Air King with a cloud for a seconds hand, a baseball bat for an hour hand on an Excelsior Park, or a jellyfish as the seconds hand of a Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster, each one makes thematic sense in the context of the watch. Sometimes the thought process to land on the direction is a bit like stream of consciousness word association games, but it ends up with some interesting designs.
After seeing André’s work on a few different watches, I realized that something had clicked and the seconde/seconde/ style was now something I looked forward to seeing on something new. The Vulcain x Seconde/Seconde/ x Revolution Cricket Tradition “Vulcain Salute” revealed just how much I enjoy this style as I was instantly hooked by the concept. I had been watching the run-up to the release on social media and knew something interesting was coming based on the imagery, and seeing the name of seconde/seconde/ attached made me confident I would like what I saw. I was not disappointed.
An obvious facet of why the seconde/seconde/ design makes such a visual impact comes down to the contrast between the typical horological style of the base pieces and the forms and colors of the micro modifications. A hand by seconde/seconde/ found on a piece from Alain Silberstein wouldn’t make quite the impact because his watches were already bold and a bit irreverent to classic horology.
But when placed onto a watch that has a style one could consider generally sober, the small change almost explodes off the dial. The “Vulcain salute” demonstrates this perfectly as it does not feel aesthetically consistent with the mid-century styling of the Vulcain Cricket Tradition. The rounded cartoony shape and bright colors read like a collage of scraps cut from very different magazines.
I think the repeated exposure to this style definitely helped me to appreciate the design mindset of Romaric André, but it also goes hand in hand with my own desire to be more playful when it comes to design, something that has been developing over the years as I have more and more ideas. One of the unofficial rules of design is to keep creating new ideas, new sketches, and new styles so that you can trudge your way through all the boring, obvious, or ugly ones and get to the good ones.
This aesthetic direction of seconde/seconde/ fits more and more with what I want to do and what I am attracted to, and it doesn’t hurt that the collaborations are with brands that I could potentially own and on watches that offer great bang for the buck. The Vulcain Cricket Tradition is an awesome piece of horology, so the Vulcain x Seconde/Seconde/ x Revolution Cricket Tradition “Vulcain Salute” takes an already awesome value and adds a bit of spice.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a taste.
Before the alarm goes off, let’s break it down!
- Wowza Factor * 8.9 Any fan of a Vulcain Cricket will probably do a double take seeing such an oddly cool seconds hand!
- Late Night Lust Appeal * 89 » 872.792m/s2 Besides setting the alarm to wake me in the morning, I may just need to stay up all night enjoying the Vulca(i)n salute!
- M.G.R. * 65.9 I have a soft spot for mechanical alarms because it is the most accessible striking watch on the market, even if it doesn’t sound like a tiny bell!
- Added-Functionitis * Mild Such a cool added function for a watch, the mechanical alarm deserves a spot in your collection. Still it is only one added function so you can pick up some children’s strength Gotta-HAVE-That cream while enjoying the distintive chirping on your wrist!
- Ouch Outline * 10.01 Waking up with a pinched nerve in both sides of your neck! For a palindromic number it reminds me that sleeping wrong can have early morning consequences. But I’d gladly forgo a proper pillow if it meant one of these ending up on my wrist!
- Mermaid Moment * Oh that incredible tiny hand! It’s hard to argue with someone that doesn’t take horology aesthetics overly seriously, because it’s obvious that they are just here to have some fun!
- Awesome Total * 948 Start with the caliber number (10) and multiply by the number of pieces to be produced for all the versions (100), then subtract the hours of power reserve (52) to land on an unavoidably fun awesome total!
For more information, please visit https://revolutionwatch.com/vulcain-seconde-seconde-revolution-cricket-tradition-vulcain-salute/.
Quick Facts Vulcain x Seconde/Seconde/ x Revolution Cricket Tradition “Vulcain Salute”
Case: 36 or 39 x 12.8 mm, stainless steel
Movement: manually wound Cricket caliber V-10, 52-hour power reserve, 18,000 vph/2.5Hz
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, mechanical alarm with silence
Limitation: 25 pieces in each Red, Blue, Green, and Gold
Price: 3,800 CHF in 36 mm, 4,100 CHF in 39 mm
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