Out of the revived brands that came our way recently I have to say that Vulcain ranks up at the top in terms of what I’m interested in. To my surprise, we got a new Cricket last year that was just a tad bit expensive but I was still excited to see that someone cared enough to bring Vulcain back into the watch world. Now it seems like Vulcain is expanding the catalog with what is now their most accessibly-priced watch, the Vulcain Skindiver Nautique 38mm. And and while I can’t exactly tell if it’s poised to be one of the biggest hits of the year, I’ll admit that it sure does look pretty.
The “skindiver” sub-genre of watches is one of the most enjoyable watch collecting rabbit holes to explore. You can find a ton of vintage examples on eBay from long-lost brands at affordable prices. In the microbrand space, smaller companies are releasing modern interpretations, one of my favorites being the Halios Fairwind. You may see where I’m going with this but basically, we’ve got a ton of options today when looking for a skindiver-type watch. The Vulcain seems to do a good job of emulating those classic proportions with a case diameter of 38mm, lug-to-lug span of 44.5mm, and a 12.2mm case thickness. Even though the trend towards smaller sport watches has been thriving for some time now, I’ll still applaud brands for taking a risk in the sub-40mm space. All the other dive watch stuff is there, including a screw-down crown, 200m of water resistance, and a sapphire crystal.
The dial looks nice and simple and I like the way the minutes track locks in with the graduations on the rotating dive bezel. You can get the watch with a vintage-looking black dial with tan painted markers or a blue dial featuring the same. The tan coloring also extends to the baton hour hands for an even, aged look. At that point you’ll just have to asked yourself if you’re okay with faux-aging. It’s never really bothered me much. Finally, Vulcain pairs these models with a … leather strap? That’s right, even though this would kill it on a Tropic or higher-end nylon strap. Gotta say, that’s an interesting choice considering Vulcain isn’t offering anything but leather.
Vulcain Skindiver Nautique 38mm Specs
- Case Diameter: 38mm
- Case thickness: 12.2mm
- Lug-to-lug: 44.5mm
- Water Resistance: 200m
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Movement: Modified (“ghost date” removed) ETA 2824 elabore
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Bracelet: Quick-change leather
- Price: CHF 1,490
I can’t lie, this new Vulcain Skindiver Nautique 38mm looks great. But it’s just hard for me to find the value. I paid $775 for my Halios Fairwind, on bracelet, with a modified no-date SW200-1. The pricing of this new Vulcain clocks in at around $1,600 at the time of its release. Like I said before, you have a lot of options out there if you’re into this look, even down to the awesome Dan Henry 1975 Skin Diver starting at $280. It’s a cool watch and I love how close Vulcain stayed to their older divers. It’s just a little pricey for what it is. If you’re still into it though, the Vulcain Skindiver Nautique 38mm is available starting today on Vulcain’s site.
Michael Peñate is an American writer, photographer, and podcaster based in Seattle, Washington. His work typically focuses on the passage of time and the tools we use to connect with that very journey. From aviation to music and travel, his interests span a multitude of disciplines that often intersect with the world of watches – and the obsessive culture behind collecting them.
1 thought on “Vulcain Adds The Retro-Inspired Skindiver Nautique 38mm To Their Lineup”
I think both of these look great, and I’ve become a sucker for a blue dial with black bezel. This is a storied brand, but aren’t they kind of a zombie brand? I think the price should show a bit more hunger, but maybe I don’t know how to price this stuff. I think the size is very trendy, but a little small for me for a watch with a dive bezel. Even though Dan Henry doesn’t offer a blue dial variant, the 1975 is a good comparison. I am a bit surprised that watch doesn’t seem to get more love, though I do see some people post wrist shots of it occasionally. I have an early Dan Henry 1970. Other than wishing for longer lasting lume (they added more lume in the later variants), it’s an excellent watch. It’s served me well at the beach, lake, and pools and has never let me down after 4 years.