Depancel Sticks to a Tried-and-True Formula with the Legend 60s Chronograph

It has been awhile since we’ve checked in on Depancel, an up and coming watch brand based out of the sleepy alpine town, Annecy, France. It was their Serie-A Allure that last caught our attention last year – a dual-register automatic chronograph heavy on the automotive design cues, which for the spry brand, was their first-ever production chronograph. Since then, it seems they’ve come a long way in a relatively short time. Depancel has expanded their collection, defined their design language (primarily auto-inspired), and now they even have a showroom (in Annecy) for those keen on seeing their collection in the metal.

Despite the evolution, that doesn’t mean the brand has lost touch with the watch enthusiast community or their passion for all things automotive. Their new Legend 60s chronograph encompasses everything that has made the brand successful thus far.



The brand has heard a growing number of requests from Depancel collectors and enthusiasts alike to return to their racing chronograph roots. Even though they’ve done away with their online questionnaire that allows for the community to directly make suggestions as to what they’d love to see from the brand, the Legend 60s chronograph proves that they firmly still have their ear to the ground. And what better way to return to their “racing chronograph roots” than to develop a watch inspired by the Formula One racing scene in the 1960s.

The Legend 60s marks another first for the Depancel, and that comes in the form of using a hand-wound movement for the very first time. The engine in question is the Seagull ST1901, a movement that can trace its lineage back to the historic Venus 175 chronograph. Venus supplied some of the most accurate and reputable movements of the time, and was likely inside of the watches worn by those in the paddock or in the crowd while watching (and timing) the likes of Phil Hill, Bruce McLaren, and Sir Jack Brabham blasting their way around the track. Like the Venus 175 Chronograph, the Seagull ST1901 movement is sans an oscillating weight, displaying the entire architecture through an exhibition caseback.

On the flipside, Depancel decided to keep the dial as traditional as possible, opting to go with a Panda and Reverse Panda. But the more interesting dial feature resides on the outer edge. A pulsometer scale up to 150 beats per minute, and a “red zone” should the ol’ ticker hit 200 bpm, is located from the twelve o’clock marker to three. The rest of the dial’s outer edge displays a km/h tachymeter scale up to 200 km/h, and like the pulsometer, also demarcates a “red zone” up to 240 km/h if at any point your foot gets heavy on the pedal.

Additionally the dial is hit with a vertical finish, acting as a base layer for the applied Arabic numerals, dual sub registers and my favorite subtle feature, a minute/second track with thinly marked numerals at every five minute/second interval. Depancel’s logo, inspired by the 1954 Facel Vega coat of arms, marks twelve o’clock and is similarly adorned on the crown flanked by a set of mushroom-style pushers.

Although the Legend 60s styling is purely vintage, it hits the sweet spot for a modern day case size at 39mm. The Legend 60s comes with a choice of either a Black or Brown Traforato (translation: perforated) calfskin leather strap, or a 7-link beads of rice style steel bracelet.

Pre-order for the Depancel Legend 60s chronograph opens up next Tuesday, March 28th. With your choice of either color leather strap, the pre-order price for the Legend 60s chronograph is $700. If you decide to go full vintage with their steel bracelet, then you’re looking at a pre-order price tag of $800. Each dial variation is limited to 240 pieces and will be numbered accordingly. Expected delivery of the Legend 60s chronograph is October of year and will retail for full price the following year. Depancel

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Thomas is a budding writer and an avid photographer by way of San Diego, California. From his local surf break to mountain peaks and occasionally traveling to destinations off the beaten path, he is always searching for his next adventure, with a watch on wrist, and a camera in hand. Thomas is a watch enthusiast through and through; having a strong passion for their breadth of design, historical connection, and the stories that lie within each timepiece.