Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Love Overdue - Part Deux

So what do Joe Biden, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, and Mikhail Gorbachev and ME have in common?

Courtesy of Moi
Well, thanks to the efforts of participants in "Operation Cricket" I am now the very, very proud owner of what I refer to as the REAL President's Watch.  Allow me to explain…
So here is a revisit of something I put out there back in 2012 -

So let's clear some facts about who REALLY gave the presidents and vice presidents their Vulcain Crickets:

1 - The Vulcain was for some time given as a gift to US Presidents and Vice Presidents.  For example, Richard Nixon got his Vulcain Cricket while he was Vice President in 1955. He received his Cricket from the National Association of Watch and Clock Makers.  He was in very good company.  
It has been worn by Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson.  

2 - Vulcain went dormant, a victim of the Quartz Crisis.  The company - at least its name - was held by the people behind Revue Thomen, and most particularly it was Michel Ditisheim and the Paajanen family of Helsinki, Finland who really kept the Vulcain Cricket alive.  The Paajanen's held a special place in their heart for America - and to that end they arranged to produce a limited number of Vulcain Crickets to present to US Presidents and Vice Presidents when/if they should ever visit Finland.  Now keep in mind, they were selling very few Vulcain Crickets - they did this out of a sense of connection to the US - their family had fled the advancing Soviet army and they have always viewed the US as their friends.  And by the way - it is really nice for the US to have friends like the Paajanens!

Gerald Forld, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan among others.  And most recently Vice President Biden have all received a Vulcain Cricket from the Paajanens.

3 - This is/was the "now time".  I say was because in fact, for all anyone knows Vulcain is now about as dead as Julius Caesar.  I welcome them to correct me if I am misled in this conclusion.  I believe that President Obama received a Vulcain from the new ownership of Vulcain.

But in all honesty, the new ownership, management and distribution of Vulcain was a monumental example of how to destroy a perfectly good brand in record time.  Think I'm wrong?  Why was Tourneau, their premier retail partner selling BRAND NEW Vulcain Crickets for 50% off?  Why were some of their distributors dumping Vulcain watches on Ebay through very thinly disguised online "chop-shops"?

I'm sorry, but it used to be if you broke something, I don't know… like a brand, you might take some ownership/responsibility instead of trying to simply sweep it under the carpet and walk off to the next sucker.  But ultimately, it is a brand, and if the people involved are unable and unwilling to take ownership, then things like this are bound to happen.

So, if you just want a Cricket from the "modern" era, allow me to direct you to Ebay and countless other grey-market places.  But if, like me, you believe that a watch should have some meaning, is more than just a thing - if you have one shred of imagination and passion, then I suggest you start shaking the bushes to see if you can lay your hands on the real deal.  Thanks to the brave men of "Operation Cricket", I got mine.  Those of you willing to accept the challenge, I wish you well in your search.

It's hard not to be romantic about watches.

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