Depancel is once again paying homage to fervent collector Jürgen Clauss. Thirty years after seeing his first French berlinette, he’s lost nothing of his inner child and has become one of the car’s most specialised restorers. Featuring a ‘new old stock’ Valjoux base, every detail of this Swiss Made chronograph highlights its distinguished racing character – and celebrates his outstanding career.
For Jürgen Clauss there are really only two blue berlinettes in the world: only two of these fully-restored little French racing cars, ready and waiting to take on any and every mountain climb and show off their agile sporting talent. Jürgen Clauss is one of the only people anywhere to have his own personal collection of these classic cars that are as noble as they come, striving to restore them with only genuine parts – a Herculean task that has kept him busy for the best part of 30 years now.
150 lucky drivers
Now, Depancel is once again celebrating his all-consuming passion. Very few people will remember that this release is in fact a second edition: the first one, comprising only 300 watches, sold out in less than 24 hours a couple of years ago. Indeed, to preserve the rarity and value of the inaugural timepiece, Depancel and Jürgen Clauss have waited two whole years before creating a second version. But exclusivity comes at a price: this time there will only be 150 watches, for 150 especially lucky gentleman drivers.
Why so lucky? Because this watch is that much more demanding in terms of watchmaking standards. For one thing, it’s a chronograph, the first ever to have been made in collaboration with Jürgen Clauss. While the first edition focused on lines and styling, this version addresses Clauss’ desire to highlight his passion for driving,
A ‘new old stock’ movement
What is more, the chronograph is also the first developed in collaboration with Jürgen Clauss (and only the third in all by Depancel) to be Swiss Made, as many motor sports lovers would expect any such watch to be.
Depancel has aimed very high, using a genuine ‘new old stock’ 7753 Valjoux: a truly original mechanical chronograph that’s never been used, not some movement fresh out of an automated factory. Having discovered it, Depancel has given the movement a bicompax layout and fully restored it. Brimming with authenticity and passion, the approach is right in step with Jürgen Clauss’ own ethos: for the past thirty years he’s been giving a new lease of life to berlinettes that were pretty much falling to pieces when he bought them.
Inspired by one man and his passion
The key ingredients of Clauss’ passion are all over the piece, as witnessed by his signature and the characteristic blue of his favourite car. The dial is sun-brushed, the applique hour markers are in a luminous blue and green directly inspired by the dashboard dials of the berlinette, and the chronograph’s two pushers are circular-grained to resemble two pistons. On its insert, the signature Depancel strap reproduces the leather pattern of the sports car’s bucket seats – also to be found engraved on the movement’s oscillating weight visible to the rear of the watch through the sapphire caseback. The seconds counter even mimics the profile of the headlights, mirroring the gleam in the eye of the young Jürgen Clauss when he bought his first such car at the age of 25. Now he has ten of them in all, including the only one ever produced in 1968, registration 4712GE76, now fully restored and out on the roads of Europe. The flame still burns bright.
Featuring a diameter of 43mm, just 150 Jürgen Clauss Chronographs will be made, each individually numbered. The watches come on a leather strap (€1795) or with a two-strap combination (leather and metal, €1895). Set a reminder now for pre-sale starting on June 27, 2023. Learn more about the limited edition Jürgen Clauss Chronograph today on the Depancel website.