Vulcain Skindiver Nautique: A Missed Opportunity

Maybe you have heard of Vulcain? If so, then like me it’s probably the cricket alarm watch that rings a bell in the old memory bank. Now owned by Promobe SA, a funding/VC outfit based in Luxembourg Vulcain is on a mission to make a comeback, which is great to see. The idea is most likely to build the Vulcain brand up and then sell it on, but would Swatch, LVMH or Richemont bother? They have lots of heritage watch brands in their portfolio already.

But some watch brands stand alone, Bremont being one example and if you have the VC cash then you can build a range and sell globally. Hey, Vulcain was once the watch of Presidents…

But we see a difficult road ahead for Vulcain, especially if they intend to offer revival watches like this, which are perfectly adequate 200m skin divers, with conventional dials, unidirectional bezels etc. but lack the style and spec of many Indie watch brands. Look at the design langauge used by LIV, Zelos or Yema for example, it’s bold, individual and often recognisable even without the logo on the dial. That’s how an Indie brand survives – and thrives, because you need a fanbase these days, on Insta, TikTok or YouTube etc. People have to buy into your cause, your values.

What are Vulcain values? What is it’s unique selling point? These are big questions that watch brands like CIGA in China are answering with stunning tech for example. Check the Black Hole or gliding planet models out, that’s the sort of quirky, beautifully engineered thing Vulcain should be producing, to truly stand out.

OK rant over, what’s the deal on the skin diver Nautique? You get a 200m dive watch with a blue or black dial and no, we don’t understand why you would want a black dial underwater but it’s traditional. Inside is the great ETA 2824 movement, which is as reliable as Honda Jazz engine. Leather strap. Yep, not silicone.

There is lume on the hands and hour markers and from the press photos it isn’t that bright.

Verdict; £1304 is better spent elsewhere. Tissot, LIV, Boldr, Yema, Christopher Ward, Seiko, Orient and Citizen all offer better value on 200m dive watches, for about £300-£500 less.

More info at the Vulcain site here.

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