Recently, we took a closer look at Porsche Design‘s latest collection, watches that play on the connections between the automotive and the watchmaking industry (clearly, not many brands are as legitimate as PD to do it), the new Sport Chrono Sub Second. The inspiration was simple, the instruments from the latest Porsche Panamera dashboard. In addition to these models with subsidiary seconds, another watch has been recently unveiled, this time with a chronograph function – a speciality of the brand, and something a car lover can’t overlook. So here’s the new Porsche Design Sports Chrono Automatic Chronograph.
From the Panamera to the wrist
Cars have always been part of Porsche Design’s DNA. Obviously. The designer of the 911 was also the founder of the Porsche Design studio, Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche, so the connection is as clear as crystal. The brand’s very first watch, the 1972 Porsche Design Chronograph I was directly inspired by the instruments from the Porsche 911 dashboard with a matte black dial, pure white indices and hands and the central red stop seconds hand that mimicked the tachometer. Altogether, an essential, instrumental yet harmonious design that resulted from the underlying function, perfectly in line with the philosophy of Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche.
Design must be functional, and functionality must be translated visually into aesthetics without gags that first need to be explained – Ferdinand Alexander Porsche.
This sentence perfectly sums up the idea behind the design of every single item he created. And this is still translated in modern watches and the current cars produced by the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer.
This year, Porsche presented a new version of its high-end sports Gran Tourer, the Panamera – with revised aesthetics and a modernised interior, plus some technical updates for more efficiency, of course. Included in the options list is the so-called “Sport Chrono Package”, which in addition to a sharper chassis, a more reactive engine and gearbox settings, and a louder exhaust, includes a clock on the dashboard that can serve as a lap timer. For the first time in a Porsche car, the 2020 Panamera includes an exclusive chronometer from Porsche Design, with a high-quality metal dial, ceramic indices and manufacture-made hands with Super-LumiNova. With its unmistakable design provenance, now that you can have the clock in your car, wouldn’t it be nice to have the same look on your wrist? This was first possible with the Sport Chrono Sub Second and now with the Sports Chrono Automatic Chronograph.
The Porsche Design Sports Chrono
This new “Sports Chrono” collection is based on a well-known, emblematic design of the brand, the 1919 case. As such, we find most of the ingredients that made this watch not only successful but also special. Minimalist, functional, yet instantly recognisable, the case is shaped like nothing else available in the industry. Robust yet aerial, sleek yet complex, with a shape driven by ergonomics, it accounts a lot for the style of this watch.
The Sports Chrono Automatic Chronograph is housed in a 42mm case with a 14.9mm height. In typical Porsche Design tradition, it is made of titanium, finished with a bead-blasted surface and coated with black carbide. Clearly, a stealth-looking watch. The signature open lug module is retained, contributing to the visual lightness and architectural look of the watch. It isn’t a compact watch per se and has presence on the wrist. However, this model needs to be tested, since its case is one of the most comfortable PD is producing.
This Porsche Design Sports Chrono is worn on a perfectly integrated leather strap, secured by a butterfly folding clasp with safety pushers. The strap is made from genuine Porsche car leather. The crown screws down and the watch is water-resistant to 100m. On top is a slightly domed sapphire crystal with efficient anti-reflective coating.
The undeniable resemblance between the car and the watch is to be seen on the dial. Again, no unnecessary features here, just the essential. This watch is all about legibility and clarity of indications. The matte black surface is combined with pure white markers and tracks, providing great contrast. The different indications are well-positioned and simply designed, so reading elapsed time is a matter of a quick glance. Hour markers and hands are luminescent and the display is classic, with a running seconds indicator and 6-9-12 layout.
Inside the case is Porsche Design’s proprietary chronograph movement, the calibre WERK 01.100. Based on the Valjoux architecture, it is produced by a Sellita according to the brand’s internal specifications, meaning that the decoration is different and the movement is chronometer-certified. This automatic chronograph runs at 4Hz and boasts 48h of power reserve. Through the sapphire caseback, the specifically decorated and engraved bridges can be seen.
Availability & price
The Porsche Design Sports Chrono Automatic Chronograph is released in the permanent collection and is now available at retailers and at the brand’s online boutique. It is priced at EUR 5,605, CHF 5,750 or USD 6,150. More details at www.porsche-design.com.