The Depancel Legend 60s is a twin-register throwback with bags of styleFergus Nash
- The Depancel Legend 60s is their first hand-wound mechanical chronograph.
- It follows a more competitive and serious design language than the Meca-Quartz Serie-A Stradale.
- The Seagull ST1901 movement is based on a vintage Swiss movement — the Venus 175.
If you’ve somehow missed some of our previous articles about Depancel, then the first thing you’ll notice about the young French brand is that motoring runs through their veins. They may not have any history in motorsports or sponsorships of F1 teams, but through their designs you can see the racing spirit that inspires all of their watches, whether they’re vintage-styled calendars or ultra-modern skeletons. Their latest release is the Depancel Legend 60s, which as its name suggests, honours the twin-register mechanical chronographs that populated every racetrack of that time period.
Depancel have already touched on 1960s design with their previous Serie-A Stradale, however the core difference between these two watches is the use of a hand-winding mechanical movement in place of the Meca-Quartz that doesn’t satisfy the purists. We’ll get back to the looks of the watch, but the movement does demand some attention. With Depancel’s ethos of affordability, there was really only one movement they could choose for the Legend 60s to remain spiritually accurate — the Seagull ST1901. A Swiss brand called Venus started producing chronograph movements in 1933, among which their column-wheel actuated calibers were considered some of the best. They were absorbed into the brand which would eventually become ETA in 1966, but their legacy lives on through evolved designs and reissues. The Seagull ST1901 is a clone of the Venus 175, which thanks to Chinese mass-production can be bought incredibly cheaply. A look through the sapphire display caseback shows the beautiful, organised chaos along with blue screws and brass wheels that make the watch feel much more expensive than it is, all while being a generally reliable movement as well.
The case is classic 60s all the way through, in both dimensions and style. The lugs sweep around with their curved brushing done finely, and a strip of polish along the edge giving things a slight refinement. The crown features a stacked design with a black centre for added grip and style points, with an etched Depancel shield showing that no corners were cut. The pushers maybe look a little small in comparison to the case and crown, but that is quite an extreme nitpick. The diameter is 39mm with a thickness of 13mm, and the lug-to-lug length is a very wrist-friendly 46mm. It rides the line well between sporty presence and comfort on small wrists.
The dial of the Depancel Legend 60s is rather more stern than the artistic Serie-A Stradale, but that is designed to match the strictly competitive nature of racing. It also makes the watch much more versatile, should you want to wear it in a formal setting with that gorgeous optional beads-of-rice bracelet. The dial comes in either a panda or a reverse panda colour scheme, with a contrasting ring beneath the tachymetre scale that makes things super legible along with the simple Arabic numerals and bright red seconds hand. The panda version is actually a silver instead of a white, with a vertically brushed dial that adds a lot of depth beneath its applied indices.
The Depancel Legend 60s pricing and availability:
The Depancel Legend 60s is available for pre-order from March 28th, with the first 240 pieces individually numbered. That special collectors edition will also include a poster, signed by Clément the brand’s founder. Price: €650
|Case Dimensions||39mm x 13mm x 46mm|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Dial||Silver panda or reverse panda|
|Power Reserve||45 hours|
|Availability||Available for pre-order|