Vulcain Cricket André “Didixein” Ditisheim

written by YWH team 2 June 2023
Vulcain Cricket Andre Didixein Ditisheim

Quick specs Vulcain Cricket André “Didixein” Ditisheim
Price: € 4.300 | approx. CHF 4’200 | approx. $ 4,600 | approx. £ 3,700 (all amounts excluding tax)
Size: 39 mm
Reference: no reference

The Vulcain Cricket André “Didixein” Ditisheim is a remake of a 1950s-model from Vulcain, but it’s not from Vulcain but from CronotempVs. Somehow. We’ll come back to that later. First we take a look at this period correct-looking time piece, because the story behind it is very interesting.

In the 1940s watchmakers are looking for a solution to make an alarm watch. It is believed that the physicist Paul Langevin found out how crickets, being very small creatures, can make so much sound. Which is all about a membrane. The owner of Vulcain at the time, Robert Ditisheim, who is the son of one of the founders, developes a hammer and a membrane, which is a resonating skin inside an echo chamber, and mounts this in a watch. He powers the construction with another barrel, creating a hand-wound movement with two barrels: one for the time and one for the alarm. Which lasts for about 20 seconds and is loud enough to wake you up. All this takes him five years…

The Vulcain Cricket André “Didixein” Ditisheim is named after a football player (who was the manager of Vulcain as well)

With this newly created movement the Vulcain Cricket Alarm is launched in 1947, and it is an instant success. It helps that several American presidents ( Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, Johnson) had the watch. Seen from 2023 it’s all a recipe for a great re-issue of this historically important time piece. Now André Didisheim walks into this story. He is the grandson of one of the Vulcain founders, and he was working for Vulcain for 50 years.

In the beginning of this period, in 1907, he moves to Madrid to learn Spanish – being able to speak Spanish would help the brand to expand in South America. He is a sporty guy and shows his football skills at a local club called Madrid FC, which is Real Madrid now, while habla Español. His moves must have impressed the club as they offer him a three-year contract. There is only one problem. They could not pronounce his name correctly so they started to call him Didixein. So now you know why the new watch is called the Vulcain Cricket André “Didixein” Ditisheim.

Nobody knew that a watchmaker from Swiss played for Madrid FC

When researching the history of Spanish football, including Real Madrid, it was only recently discovered that the player Didixein is actually André Ditisheim. Thanks to journalist Lartaun de Azumnedi, member of the CIEHFE (History and Statistics of Spanish Football Research Centre). This Spanish connection might be the reason that the Spanish CronotempVs club has picked a vintage Vulcain for a re-issue project, apart from the fact that this time piece has historical importance.

The Vulcain Cricket André “Didixein” Ditisheim gets the in-house V-10 caliber, which is an evolution of the original caliber. So it has two barrels, it winds manually and it operates at 18,000 vibrations per hour. The 39-millimeter stainless steel case is only 1 millimeter bigger then the vintage models – although the first model was 34 millimeters. The crown winds the barrels – one way for the time and the other way for the alarm – and sets the time in a traditional way. The pusher at 2 o’clock sets the alarm, by moving the black hand towards the time you want. Which is set either way too early (6:48) or at diner time, as you can see on the watch at the top of this article.

A chromatographic effect on the dial creates a vintage look. The shades of grey on the dial refer to the 1950-models of the Cricket, the first models in the 1940s had a single-colored dial. This special edition is limited to 47 pieces, probably referring to the year of the first Cricket.

About CronotempVs, the club behind this special edition

CronotempVs is a private watch collectors/enthusiast/amateurs club from Spain that collaborates with some major (and also rather unknown) brands to issue new models for them, mostly based on historical watches from those brands. In small quantities, in a ‘get it now or never’ way and always with respect to the original watch and watchmaker. So CronotempVs does not make the actual watches. It initiates them, it promotes them, it sells them, all together with the manufacturer.

Due to quorum limitations it’s not possible to become a member anymore. Even if you buy one of their watches we’re not sure if you get a membership. It somehow makes you think of a secret fellowship, but no matter what it is, they have made 19 models with brands like IWC, Chopard, Montblanc and Jaeger-LeCoultre so you definitely should take a look at what they have made so far. And if you buy one, tell us if you have become a member…

Technical data Vulcain Cricket André “Didixein” Ditisheim
no reference
Vulcain caliber V-10 | Hand-wound | Diameter: 28 mm (12 lignes) | Thickness: 5.6 mm | Frequency: 18,000 vph (2.5 Hz) | Parts: 165 | Jewels: 25 | Double-barrel | Hours, minutes, seconds, alarm (20 seconds) | Power reserve: 50 hours
Case and dial:
39 mm | 316L polished stainless steel | Thickness: 12.8 mm | Domed sapphire | Dial with shades of grey | Hour and minute hands and numerals with green super-luminova | Red lacquered central seconds hand | Engraved stainless steel case back | Water resistance: 5 ATM / 5 bar / 50 meters / 165 feet
Brown calf leather
Price Vulcain Cricket André “Didixein” Ditisheim:
€ 4.300 | approx. CHF 4’200 | approx. $ 4,600 | approx. £ 3,700 (all amounts excluding tax)

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