April 26, 2024
The Valjoux 92 Returns in the Depancel x Worn & Wound Collaboration
in partnership with

When teaming up for a watch collaboration, having a good starting point is essential—a concept, an aesthetic, a notion, an era, etc. When Depancel approached us about creating a limited edition, they came prepared. Not only did they know they wanted to bring a bit of an American flavor to their Eurocentric automotive-inspired designs, which we were happy to provide, but they also had a cool movement they wanted to build off. Not something new, but rather something old– the Valjoux 92.

A successor to the Valjoux 23 family of manually wound chronograph movements, the Valjoux 92, made in the 1950s and 60s, introduced a different and more efficient technology for coupling the chronograph; an oscillating pinion. Though invented in 1887 by Edouard Heuer, the oscillating pinion was still uncommon in wristwatches at the time, providing a simpler and more economical alternative to the horizontal clutch (though it is a clutch) as it features fewer components to function. Later used in the Valjoux 7750, oscillating pinions became a standard in mass-produced chronograph calibers.

Though using the simpler coupling mechanism, the Valjoux 92 still utilizes a column wheel for actuation, but interestingly, it has 7 columns instead of the 9 from earlier Valjoux models. Featuring 17 jewels, the Valjoux 92 beats at 18,000 bph and has a power reserve of 39 hours. For the collaboration, the movements have been modified (more on that below), serviced, and restored by Depancel’s watchmakers. The movement is visible through the display case back, something you won’t find on vintage Valjoux 92 watches.

With an exotic engine born in the mid-20th century ready to use, we decided to build on Depancel’s Allure line of mechanical chronographs for the design. With 39mm x 45.8mm steel cases, box sapphire crystals, and 20mm lugs, the Allure’s case provided a balance of new and old, but the dial really shines. Mixed finishing with brushed, polished, and gloss surfaces combined with applied markers that are both lume fill and delicately painted, the dial is luxurious and sporty, ideal for a mid-century motorsport chronograph.

This is where things get a bit fun and different. While having a Valjoux 92 inside would be enough for most collabs, we wanted to push the concept further and add something new and unexpected. This got us thinking about what chronographs do and how they display information. All chronographs count elapsed time (they are stopwatches, after all), and many feature tachymeters for determining speed—a motorsport staple. Others include telemeters for judging distance by counting the difference between the light and sound of an event (think lightning and thunder), pulsometers, and even occasionally respirometers.

Multi-meter chronographs, those with more than one of the additional indexes, are nothing new, but most function the same way: you start the chronograph and follow the tip of the chrono-seconds hand to the desired information. Our question was, why always the tip and not the back? Extending the hand the other way, a second pointer can track another index clearly. With the dial of the Allure’s radial symmetry in mind, we wanted to use the center area to display more information. We chose a pulsometer scale, read within the center circle starting above six via the back of the chrono-seconds hand. We believe this makes for a much cleaner design and, simply, a more interesting one.

We dropped the running seconds sub-dial and kept the minutes to push things further into unique territory and keep the focus on chronograph functions. The result is a single-eye chrono with a large pulsometer index at the center and a tachymeter around the edge of the dial. The last challenge was how to bring some American flavor into the mix.

After pouring through images of classic American cars, particularly Corvettes, and Mustangs, we landed on a cool mint green as the primary color for the dial, a color the French team at Depancel said was not something you would see on a historic European automobile. For us stateside, the mint green had an air of carefree coastal style that we associate with the heyday of American automobiles. Top-down, Jan & Dean on the radio, a cool wind in your hair…

Featured in gloss lacquer, the mint green pops off the otherwise dark gray metallic dial as though it is actually car paint. Combined with brushed textures and polished bevels, the dial feels as cool and decadent as the cars that inspired it. The case is equally well-finished with brushed surfaces and polished bevels. Depancel’s signature aluminum ring can be found on the crown, and a plate on the right side commemorates the collaboration. The watch is mounted to a black leather strap with light green stitching to complete the picture.

The Depancel X Worn & Wound Allure Valjoux 92 is a unique combination of new and old. It is a chronograph for chronograph collectors who appreciate the opportunity to enjoy an old and revered movement with a new design. Limited to 20 pieces, the Depancel X Worn & Wound Allure Valjoux 92 is priced at $3,900 and is available through the Windup Watch Shop. As the numbers are so limited, if you are interested in purchasing, please get in touch with us directly at [email protected].

We’re also excited to say that the Depancel X Worn & Wound Allure Valjoux 92 will be on display and available at the upcoming Windup Watch Fair San Francisco, running May 3rd to May 5th. For more information on the event, please follow the link Windup Watch Fair

Kat Shoulders

Product Design
Gaël Boujon
Zach Weiss


in partnership with
April 26, 2024