Following the wave of micro-brands and their original, often accessible offerings, Depancel is a French brand specialising in automatic watches inspired by the world of cars – specifically glorious French vintage cars. The name Depancel is the contraction of three famous French car manufacturers, Delage, Panhard and Facel Vega. Using a model of co-creation with its community and pre-order campaigns, the brand’s watches offer excellent value for money. The brand recently upped its game with the launch of an automatic chronograph with a Swiss movement, the Allure Chronograph, which returns in a bright and bold limited edition named The Tangerine.
Several collections are produced by Depancel, all with rather original designs, such as the Serie-R Cruiser and its unique case. At MONOCHROME, the Series-A Allure Chronograph is, by quite a margin, the most interesting of the models, primarily because of its cool design and Swiss movement offered at a fair price. Behind the creation of this watch is a call to the community. Indeed, Depancel didn’t start to design its watch from scratch but instead asked its followers and fans for input. And after compiling feedback from 10,000 fans, the result was a watch that features cool design cues, solid mechanics and excellent value for money.
The first editions of the Depancel Allure Chronograph (limited to 500 pieces) are now sold out. Luckily, it’s back in a new limited run with a bold and colourful scheme known as the Tangerine. And looking at the watch, you’ll certainly understand its name. In short, the Tangerine Limited Edition relies on what made the previous editions successful and introduces new colours and textures into the equation.
Let’s first talk about the basics. The Depancel Allure Chronograph is a sporty, robust take on the racing clock. It has presence on the wrist and is meant to be powerful. The stainless steel case measures 43mm in diameter and 15mm in height. It isn’t going to be your best option for a business watch, although the lug-to-lug measurement remains reasonably controlled at 48.5mm. The good news regarding the specifications is the comfortable water-resistance of 100 metres and the presence of a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.
The shape of the Allure Chronograph – and the Tangerine edition – is classic. A round watch with mushroom pushers, it is a no-surprise model. What makes it stand out are the details and some features, such as a nice polished bevel on the side, contrasting with the brushed surfaces, a nicely designed crown with a coloured accent and a fixed bezel with a tachymeter scale that is not only easy to read but crafted from ceramic, made to last.
Under the see-through caseback is a movement that marked a step up for the brand. Indeed, the Tangerine, like all previous Series-A Allure watches, is powered by a Swiss-made Valjoux 7753 movement. A tried-and-tested calibre that needs no introduction, it is presented here in a two-register layout with a date display. It is decorated with a specific rotor with Geneva stripes (the classic models feature a honeycomb pattern). The movement itself is nothing exceptional, but it’s pleasant to see it in a watch from this price range.
What makes the Tangerine limited edition unique is the dial. Not only does it have a specific colour scheme, but it also comes with its own horizontal striped pattern. The watch’s name is obvious, thanks to the multiple touches of orange and red – on the small seconds ring, on the central seconds hand, inside the 30-minute counter and on the minute track. This dial is nicely executed, with a lot of depth and textures. And even if there’s a date window, its integration is nicely done and balanced. All elements are generously coated with Super-LumiNova.
The Depancel Allure Chronograph Tangerine Limited Edition is worn either on an H-shape steel bracelet with a triple-folding clasp or a blue driving leather strap with orange stitching (not available at the time of our photoshoot). It is a limited edition of 100 pieces, available from 31 January 2023 on the brand’s website. It will be priced at EUR 1,695, which again represents excellent value for the money, considering the overall quality of the watch.
For more details, please visit www.depancel.com.