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Mechanical Alarms, A Quirky Complication

Mechanical Alarms, A Quirky Complication


Mechanical alarm watches are a quirky complication. Mechanical alarm were once incredibly important, but since the invention of the clock radio and the mobile phone, their functionality has become completely obsolete.

This doesn’t take away the fact that mechanical alarms are a complex and interesting complication. To have a countdown system and a complete hammer-system, mechanically integrated into a watch is some next level engineering. Oddly, a mechanical alarm is often much more affordable than a minute repeater.


Today, we are going to look at 3 modern mechanical alarms worth looking into.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox

The Memovox has been one of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s key models for the last few decades. The watch was introduced in 1951, and has been one of their best selling and most recognizable watches ever since. Modern Memovoxes come in a few different styles: the Polaris Memovox and the Master Memovox.

The Polaris Memovox is a more sporty take. It comes on either a rubber strap or a steel bracelet, and has a waterproof case. The Master Memovox is a more formal take on the 1950’s classic. The watch comes on a leather strap and had a more formal feel to it.

Vulcain Cricket

Vulcain may be a brand that doesn’t sound familiar to most, but they were one of the ‘big players’ in the watch industry in the 1950’s 1960’s. Sadly, Vulcain took a big hit during the quartz crisis.

Vulcain in fact produced the first mechanical alarm movement, which gave them the ticket to worldwide fame. Before Rolex claimed the term ‘President watch’, Vulcain was the choice of many US presidents. Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Trumann, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson all wore Vulcain watches.

The brand was reborn in 2002, and has an impressive lineup of modern alarm watches.

Tudor Heritage Advisor

If we think of Tudor, we think of the Black Bay line. People often forget that Tudor has a whole catalogue next to the Black Bay line, but these watches often get little to no attention. The Tudor Heritage Advisor is one of those watches. The watch features a mechanical alarm, and looks nothing like a Black Bay. Certainly a watch worth looking into.