Vulcain is a Swiss luxury watch brand founded by Ditisheim brothers in 1858 in Le Chaux de Fonds. Today Vulcain is an undisputed leader and specialist in the production of mechanical alarm watches.

In 1858, the Ditisheim brothers made a grand entrance onto the watchmaking scene: their Manufacture was immediately noted for the quality of its products: complication watches, chronometers and chronographs. Located at the heart of the Neuchatel mountains, the cradle of Swiss precision, it was to receive international acclaim at the Chicago and Paris World Fairs. In 1890 Maurice Ditisheim created Vulcain Complication pocket watch .

The year 1947 has gone down in the record-books as an exceptional date in the history of watchmaking. That was the year the first truly functional mechanical alarm wristwatch was presented by the Manufacture Vulcain. It was equipped with what would become the legendary Cricket Calibre. For the first time, watchmakers and scientists had managed to achieve a mechanical alarm wristwatch powerful enough to truly awaken its owner.

For Vulcain, a company in the grand watchmaking tradition founded in 1858 by Maurice Ditisheim, this period marked the start of a new era. The Cricket watch soon established itself and was notably worn by Eisenhower, Nixon and Johnson, earning it the nickname of “The Presidents’ Watch”; it also accompanied some of the great mountaineering and maritime expeditions of the 1950s.

The 1980s marked the start of a period of changes of ownership, which ended in September 2001, when the brand and the patents were acquired by PMH SA. Based in Le Locle (Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland), the firm is building on this exceptional legacy to write a significant new chapter in the history of the Vulcain brand, thanks to a steady stream of innovations.

In 2008 Vulcain celebrated its 150’th anniversary.

In 2009, Rapperswil-based Excellence Holding acquired PMH SA, domiciled in Le Locle, which produces the VULCAIN watch brand.The goal of Excellence Holding, based in Rapperswil in the canton of St. Gallen, to unite smaller, exquisite, high-quality companies in the watchmaking and jewelry sector under one roof and to develop them further. The group employs 80 staff members and has sales of approx. CHF 100 million. The company’s portfolio includes the well-known Swiss watch retailer Les Ambassadeurs as well as the premium watch brand Jaermann & Stübi. Vulcain is represented internationally with more than 170 specialist watch retailers, primarily in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, France and Italy. Vulcain is being integrated in the Excellence Holding as an independent company. Its headquarters will remain in Le Locle in Western Switzerland.

About Excellence Holding AG

The Excellence Holding AG, domiciled in Rapperswil in the canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Centum Prata Group. The Excellence Holding AG owns the watch and jewelry specialist retailer Les Ambassadeurs (100%) with branches in Geneva, Locarno, St. Moritz and Zurich, the watch brands Jaermann & Stübi (60%), domiciled in Zurich, and PMH SA,  (100%), domiciled in Le Locle, Switzerland. The goal of Excellence Holding is to unite smaller, exquisite, top-quality companies in the watchmaking and jewelry sector under one roof and to develop them further.


  • 1858: Founding of the Manufacture Ditisheim frères in La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • 1889: World Fair in Paris, Vulcain wins an award for a Grande Complication watch, La Vallée de l’Arve
  • 1898: Ditisheim & Cie becomes the Fabrique Vulcain
  • 1919: New Vulcain factory, a large manufacturing facility to secure the future
  • 1947: Cricket, the first alarm wristwatch with a shrill chirping sound that delighted the world
  • 1958: Calibre 406 for the Cricket Golden Voice, a model designed for women
  • 1961: First dip for the Nautical, a diver’s watch unique in its kind
  • 2002: Rebirth of Vulcain, relocation in Le Locle
  • 2004: V-11, the Cricket calibre enhanced with a date display
  • 2005: Imperial Gong, the first tourbillon alarm watch, a stunning Grande Complication
  • 2008: The voice of the jubilee, the Anniversary Heart model, a tribute to the legendary Cricket calibre
  • 2010: V-21, the Cricket calibre enters the self-winding era. – Launch of the 50s Presidents’ watch

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