Hamilton Wrist Alarm 'A' cal. 642 (Vulcain Cricket Movement)


Brand: Hamilton

Model: Wrist Alarm "A" (Vulcain Cricket Movement); Swiss Made circa early 1970s

Case: Solid stainless steel case with compressed snapback is approximately 34mm excluding the original signed "H" crown and original pusher

Bracelet: 18mm vintage JB Champion 5-row stainless steel bracelet with signed Hamilton fold-over clasp

Movement: Hamilton cal. 642 (base Vulcain cal. 120) manual-winding movement (17 jewels) with functioning mechanical alarm; 18,000 BPH; Swiss Made

Features: Stunning original silver sunburst dial with beautiful yellow lume plots and unique hour markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock; original handset including cool black arrow alarm-indicator hand; very loud functioning mechanical alarm based on Vulcain's famous Cricket movement; unpolished solid stainless steel case with original oversized "H" crown and original pusher; domed acrylic crystal; high-quality vintage JB Champion bracelet with signed Hamilton clasp

Condition: Fantastic original condition overall with minor honest wear consistent with age and use; sharp solid stainless steel case appears to be completely unpolished; crisp caseback remains clearly legible with the original brushed finish in the center; very attractive original silver sunburst dial with all Tritium lume plots in tact and aged to an attractive yellow hue; excellent original handset with matching Tritium lume; clean domed acrylic crystal; very nice vintage JB Champion bracelet

Other: What quickly became known as "The Watch of Presidents" and "The World's Best Watch for Busy People," the iconic Vulcain Cricket was officially introduced to the world in 1947 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. As our friend Eric Wind wrote in a HODINKEE article here, "the Cricket has had a strong connection with US Presidents including Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson as well as Richard Nixon. In fact, Crickets have been gifted to every President from Truman to Obama (except for "W")." Eric would later point out in HODINKEE's Complete Guide to the Watches of United States Presidents that "Eisenhower wore a Vulcain Cricket while he was in office. One of the funnier stories is that he was wearing the Cricket during a press conference announcing new tariffs on Swiss watches. The alarm went off during the press conference and everyone knew it was a Cricket and rather hypocritical in a humorous way."

The vast majority of Vulcain Cricket watches were offered in chrome-plated or gold-plated cases at a lesser price point making solid stainless steel examples more rare and desirable. Why does all of this matter? The Hamilton Wrist Alarm "A" is based on an earlier 1960s Vulcain Cricket design. In fact, the Hamilton 642 movement is essentially a carbon copy of Vulcain's famous cal. 120 Cricket movement. This particular Hamilton features a gorgeous silver sunburst dial with perfect yellow lume plots and eye-catching hour markers. We especially love the black rectangular 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock markers with contrasting white Arabic numerals. The amazing vintage JB Champion bracelet with signed Hamilton clasp completes the watch and adds just the right amount of subtle bling that would impress even the likes of Don Draper. A mint Vulcain Cricket is a "must have" in any serious collection of vintage alarm watches and this Hamilton spin-off is no exception. It's such a great conversation piece for the money and can be worn with just about anything. Believe us when we say that the alarm is super LOUD compared to its contemporaries.

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