When I think about the 1960s, the first thing that comes to mind is the fashion, the social movements and the cars. It was the heyday of design that was stylish for the sake of style, which is the attitude that Roue wants to bring back. The brand’s latest muse is the Porsche 910 from 1966-7 and they’ve immortalised the icon in a watch called the TPS, available in five variations.
The Porsche 910 is a fairly overlooked chapter in the car maker’s history, eclipsed by the 911 we all know so well. It was one of Porsche’s dedicated race cars and had that iconic soft and flowing body shape that’s closer to the Jetsons than it is to the hard-line racers of today. Nostalgic and beautiful.
The dial on the TPS is reminiscent of the instrument panel found in the racer and with four of the watches arrayed in front of me it’s hard not to feel like I’m in the drivers seat about to set off on a flying-lap. The layout on the five variants is identical, a standard chronograph array with a 60-minute chronograph timer, a seconds timer and a 24-hour AM/PM indicator set in layered subdials. To cap off its racing pedigree it also features a tachymeter and pulsimeter.
Where the five watches differ from one another is their colouration and finishing, so let’s go through them. The first version, the TPS One is perhaps the most classic of them all – it has a black dial with orange accents that’s truest to the original 910 display – although it’s the only one missing from my imaginary dashboard and while I don’t have it here you know what to expect as it has the same layout, movement and size as the rest.
The TPS Three is the last of the original trio and is the most unique, with a sky blue dial and electrifying yellow accents. It feels less connected to the 910 than the others but more than makes up for it by reflecting the bright colours of 60s fashion the most. If I had a tie dye shirt I’d put it on and go preach about the power of love.
TPS Four and Five are the most recent additions to the collection. The Four is an inverted panda, with black dial and white subdials with yellow accents while the Five has a sunburst brushed silver dial with blue perimeter.
All of them are quite charming, especially as the tachymeter has been given more space than most, giving the dial interesting proportions, which fits nicely alongside the understated subdials. It makes the TPS a more playful twist on serious racing watches from the 60s like the Heuer Carrera – not to mention more accessible.
Flipping the watches over you can see the true homage to the 910, an embossed version of the car rendered in elaborate detail on the caseback. It looks like it’s bearing down on you like you’re the finish line of the Nürburgring – where the car had a historic win in 1967. The bonnet of the engraving is inscribed with the Roue logo and like the rest of the case it’s made from stainless steel.
The case on each is 40mm in diameter so they’re very comfortable to wear and almost anyone could pull them off – the perfect ratio of vintage wearability while maintaining legibility. They also feel light on the wrist, perfect for fast-paced driving, although the lugs are particularly straight and a curved version might sit on the wrist better. Speaking of legibility, the domed crystal has an anti-reflective coating and the hands and indices have been printed with super-luminova. The piece has 50m water resistance, although it’s a watch that wants to stay firmly on dry land and preferably tarmac.
Under the bonnet of all five you’ll find the Seiko VK63 meca-quartz movement for all the accuracy of a quartz movement with the feel of a mechanical chronograph thanks to its dry click and instant reset – so it’s the closest a battery powered watch will ever get to being a true mechanical chrono.
Additionally, they all come with two straps, a leather driving one and a sporty silicone option. The leather option is more in line with what you’d expect from a piece like this although the perforated design isn’t to everyone’s taste. The silicon is more comfortable, as you’d expect, and for that reason is my preferred.
The TPS is $310 (approx. £225) making it really accessible and a great introduction into chronographs for new collectors. The five variations also means the collection is versatile, suiting sporty styles as well as more relaxed and vibrant outfits.
Price & Specs:
Model: Roue TPS
Case/Dial: 40mm diameter x 13.4mm height, polished stainless steel with brushed finishing
TPS One (black dial)
TPS Two (silver dial)
TPS Three (blue dial)
TPS Four (black and yellow dial)
TPS Five (blue and silver dial)
Water Resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Japanese Seiko calibre VK63, chronograph hybrid meca-quartz
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, centre displays seconds from time function, chronograph minutes at 9 o’clock, AM/PM indication at 3 o’clock
Strap: Silicone rubber with an additional driver-style leather strap
Price/Availability: $310 (approx. £225), limited to 1,000 pieces
More details at Roue Watch.