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The New Racing-Inspired Depancel Allure Manual Chronograph

Inspired by the golden age of motor racing, Depancel captures the spirit of passion, freedom and madness.

| By Robin Nooy | 3 min read |

The 1970s are laureled by many to be the greatest era of motorsports to date. All fields of racing went through revolutions in technology, and the top drivers achieved rock-star-like allure like never seen before. Names like James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi and many others graced the sport and pushed it to new heights. Even cars became famous, such as the Porsche 917, the Lotus 72, or the Ferrari 512M. That lively spirit of racing is captured perfectly in Depancel’s latest, the new Allure Manual Chronograph. 

With a name like Depancel, derived from the illustrious French car manufacturers Delage, Panhard and Facel Vega, it’s no surprise the brand often looks at racing for inspiration. The pairing of a mechanical watch and motorsports is a very natural fit of course, and the two even have a deeply intertwined history as time-measurement is of course crucial in racing events! The new Allure Manual Chronograph neatly combines this in a watch that is technically very close to last year’s Allure Legend 60s Chronograph. It shares the same stainless steel case, which is 39mm wide and 13mm thick, and has classical mushroom-style pushers flanking a signed crown. On top, there’s a box-shaped sapphire crystal with a second flat one around the back to reveal the movement.

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Where the Allure Manual Chronograph turns in another direction compared to its predecessor is the dial, which comes in grey or blue. Contrasting elements like the black or silvery-white tachymeter & pulsometer scales and 30-minute chronograph counter, and the Tangerine orange (or McLaren Papaya-orange with a bit of imagination) details all add to the racing flair of the watch. The retro racing theme continues with applied markers and central hour and minute hands with beige Super-LumiNova and a Tangerine orange central chronograph seconds hand. The marker at 12 is exchanged in favour of the brand’s shield-like logo, which keeps things neat and tidy. The central section is finished with the script “Depancel” and “Motor racing instrument”.

Depancel once more opted for the manually wound Seagull ST1901 movement, which is based on the famous Venus 175 calibre. This column-wheel chronograph movement runs at a frequency of 21,600vph and has a power reserve of an acceptable 45 hours. It’s covered by a stainless steel caseback which is secured in place with six screws, and a sapphire crystal to give you a full view of the movement. Although the architecture gives it plenty of details to discover, and the movement does have some degree of finishing, it’s not exactly Haute Horlogerie. However, and to us, this is a big part of the appeal of this movement, and the Allure Manual Chronograph as a whole, the Seagull ST1901 usually keeps the price very modest!

And in that sense, the new Depancel Allure Manual Chronograph also delivers. Priced at a very reasonable USD 650 / EUR 650 / GBP 575, you get a very good-looking manually wound chronograph with tons of character. It comes on a black, brown or blue leather strap with a ‘Traforato’ perforated finish, coloured stitching and a pin buckle or deployment clasp. A Grain-of-Rice stainless steel bracelet is also available as an alternative. All in all, Depancel once again delivers a very compelling watch with a solid amount of detail and sporty touches at a very respectable price point.

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