Dan Henry Watches have released some of the best-looking affordable watches in the past few years. Drawing inspiration from coveted vintage watches and other classics, Dan Henry’s watches are sure to look the business.
The namesake of the brand, Dan Henry, is an avid collector of vintage watches and has an impressive catalog to reference when creating new watches. All the watches are named after a specific year, likely for the time period to which the watches pay homage.
Most of Dan Henry’s watches are mecha-quartz chronographs, something I have been covering extensively in the past few reviews. The Dan Henry 1962, the latest release from the brand, is the subject of this review and is arguably the boldest design they have released.
Putting on the 1962
At 39mm wide with a 45.9mm lug-to-lug distance, the 1962 is rather conservative in size. Strapping the watch on, you are greeted with a design that melts on to your wrist. The twisted-lyre lugs slope down gently to hug the wrist. Given the makeup of mecha-quartz movements, the 1962 is also light on your wrist, never making you feel weighed down by the watch.
The 1962 has a lug width of 20mm and the included leather straps taper beautifully. This taper aids in a smaller wrist presence than you would expect from a similarly sized watch. At 13.5mm thick, a good bulk of that being the domed mineral crystal, the 1962 doesn’t sit too tall on your wrist. The domed crystal helps the watch slide easily under your shirt cuff without adding a bulge to your cuff.
Given the twisted-lyre lug shape and overall dial layout, you may get some Speedmaster vibes from the 1962. Dan Henry has stated in the description of the watch that part of the inspiration for the 1962 are chronographs that have been on the track as well as the moon. This overall design is classic and looks great both on and off the wrist.
The bold dial of the 1962 is detailed and legible. Most of the dial is dark blue with various orange accents on the subdials. The dial can almost fade to black in darker lighting conditions and then pops to a bright blue in the sunlight.
Given the complex nature of most chronograph dials, it is nice to see Dan Henry as the only text on the dial apart from the subdial numerals. Each subdial contains concentric rings which add some texture and play with the light in a different way than the rest of the dial. Each subdial has white hash marks and hands with accenting orange numerals.
The Seiko VK63 movement powering the 1962 gives it a familiar subdial layout. A 60-minute totalizer is at the 9 o’clock subdial, running seconds at 6 o’clock, and a 24-hour subdial linked to the main time is at 3 o’clock. While this is no fault of Dan Henry, I wish Seiko would create a mecha-quartz movement with a 24-hour subdial that is able to be set independently to act as a second time zone or as a 24-hour totalizer for the chronograph.
The applied markers on the 1962 are polished and patterned with lines running toward the center of the dial. This texture creates a subtle effect that isn’t apparent until closer inspection. Each marker is also flanked by an orange dot that is lume-filled.
While the lume colors and pattern are well done, the amount of lume left something to be desired. Another layer or two of lume could make a huge difference in how the 1962 looks at night.
Tapered hands with a lume-filled strip make up the hour and minute hand. Each hand is highly polished which aids in legibility against the dark dial. The central chronograph hand is a bright orange baton with a small lume-filled strap toward the end. The colors of the 1962 and where they are placed were all obviously selected carefully as the orange never feels overwhelming or too loud.
The crystal used on the 1962 is a K1 mineral crystal, which I do find to be an odd choice. It is not scratch-resistant like sapphire nor can it be polished like a plexi crystal. I would have liked to see Dan Henry use sapphire as they have done on some of their quartz chronographs or opt for plexi.
Case and Bezel
As with all Dan Henry watches I have handled, the finishing is extremely well executed, especially given the price point of the watch. The brushed surfaces on the watch are all consistent and clean with sharp lines and a pleasing grain. The polished surfaces are free from blemishes and transition perfectly from the brushed surfaces.
The lugs are well proportioned to the case and the twisted-lyre lugs create an elegant shape that makes the 1962 feel like an instant classic. Dan Henry has helped take care of any strap change withdrawal you may have and has included 2 leather straps that match the color scheme of the 1962.
The bezel of the 1962 is your standard tachymeter bezel. The aluminum insert is dark blue with white markings to coordinate with the rest of the dial. The bezel slightly extends beyond the main case of the watch.
Accented with knurling, the signed crown is an ample size that is easy to grip to set the time. The pushers are completely polished, large, and easy to depress. As with all Seiko VK movements, you are greeted with a sweeping chronograph hand upon starting the chronograph function. These movements, being mecha-quartz, also yield satisfying clicks when operating pushers.
Another welcome addition on the 1962 given the price point is the caseback. A screw-in case back is engraved with the profile of the Maserati Tipo 60 “Birdcage” sports car. Given that chronographs have a long history with cars and racing culture, the caseback motif feels right at home. While 1962 is the model of the watch, it is also the number of pieces that Dan Henry made of the watch. The caseback contains the numbered edition of the watch.
For $260 it’s hard to argue that the 1962 isn’t good value. As I’ve stated in other mecha-quartz chronograph reviews, these watches are a great way to get the best of both worlds of quartz and mechanical. The movements are largely consistent between these watches and it comes down to the design the wearer loves.
The 1962 is beautifully designed and the colors chosen are contemporary and well suited to the watch. If blue and orange aren’t your thing, two other options are available in a panda and reverse or “evil panda” dials.
Dan Henry has done a nice job separating this model from the sea of other quartz chronographs released this year. Given that they have a catalogue of inspiration like no other brand, it’s no surprise they created such a good-looking watch.
Check out the Dan Henry website
Dan Henry 1962 Specs