Tuesday, July 27, 2021

President Biden - Your Vulcain Cricket Is Ready!

So after a whirlwind weekend of watches and friends in Hagerstown, I woke up this morning to find this email from the North American representatives for Vulcain -

Dear James,

It was great to see you this past weekend at the Watch/Whiskey/Wine collectors’ show in Hagerstown, MD. I hope we will do it again!

I am writing to you to ask for your help. As you are someone who has written extensively about the Vulcain Cricket, and its unique relationship with the President of the United States, we were hoping you might know some way to let the White House know that President Joe Biden's Vulcain Cricket (and another ladies version, made for Vice-President Kamala Harris!) are ready to be presented to them?

With best regards,

Thierry Chaunu
President & Managing Partner
BeauGeste, Inc.

So needless to say, I am having a bit of a Forrest Gump moment!

Watch fans will note that President Truman started the whole "Watch of the President's" thing, as he was presented a Vulcain Cricket from the White House Press Photographer's Association in 1953. Presidents Johnson and Nixon also received one before the lights were dimmed at Vulcain.

Enter the Paajanen family of Helsinki, Finland. Regular readers will note that I first discovered Vulcain while killing time between lessons back in the late 1990s. The Paajanen family had picked up the torch from Vulcain and were partnering with Revue Thommen (who held the rights to the name) to produce the Vulcain Cricket. Yes, they did sell some, but their main motivation was to present these wonderful watches to visiting Presidents and Vice Presidents of the US.  

Carrying on the earlier tradition, the Paajanens then presented watches to Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush senior, Bill Clinton, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden -
Courtesy of Keijo Paajanen
Keijo and I knew each other a wee bit in Helsinki, but I feel that we truly did develop a sort of penpal relationship via email once I had returned to the US.  Perhaps not unlike Julia Child and Avis DeVoto. We wrote not infrequently, Keijo would update me about the latest Cricket awarded to the latest President to visit Helsinki.

Sadly, Keijo passed away a few years back, and I was worried that apart from the very "select" group of Tempus Fugit readers out there, he and his family's efforts to keep the Vulcain Cricket alive and "chirping" would fade from memory.  Thankfully Penelope Colston of the New York Times picked up the story and shared it -
So, President Biden, it seems that we have the same model -

So I have been asked to do what I can to reach out and let you know, that you are getting a Presidential upgrade from Vulcain!


So Mr. President, if you are reading this please let me know so that the folks from Vulcain can get your watch to you!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I didn't think the show in Hagerstown, MD, my hometown, would attract a watch enthusiast/journalist or your caliber. I very glad that it did and that you weren't the only watch blogger that attended. I think it is quiet special that Hagerstown is the home of Hager Watches and Maryland Watch Works. What those two companies are doing is very impressive and it gives me no small measure of pride that it's happening in my town. I sincerely hope that the show can be repeated next year.