Porsche Design: 50 Years of Making Things Better


In 2022, Porsche Design is paying tribute to some of its most iconic product creations. Among them is a faithful re-edition of “the first all-black chronograph” from 1972, the legendary Chronograph 1.

In 1972, Professor Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche, the visionary behind the legendary Porsche 911, established his own design studio separate from the family car making business founded by his grandfather. Driven by the idea to apply his signature design language to products beyond automobiles, the first and most iconic product to emerge from that studio was a wristwatch, simply called the Chronograph 1, which would prove both influential and enduringly popular and serve as the precursor to other items under the Porsche Design brand, including sunglasses, luggage, and even electronics.

This year, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of both Porsche Design and the Chronograph 1, the company has unveiled a (almost immediately sold-out) limited-edition timepiece that channels the trendsetting look of the 1972 original, alongside a restored Porsche 911 S 2.4 Targa automobile from the same year that takes aesthetic cues from the watch and vice versa.

Visually, the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 — 1972 Limited Edition is a nearly pitch-perfect replica of the historical model — which is probably best known these days as the watch Tom Cruise sported in the 1986 blockbuster film Top Gun (and which will make another appearance in the sequel) — albeit occasionally swapping historical verisimilitude for high-tech modernity in several important aspects (the 40.8-mm case of the new model, for example, as well as the bracelet, are made of bead-blasted titanium with a black carbide coating rather than the PVD-coated stainless steel of the original). The Chronograph 1 – 1972 Limited Edition was such a success it sold out within days. The good news, however, is that Porsche Design recently announced the next generation of the iconic chronograph: the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 – All Black Numbered Edition:

“Iconic designs like these are timeless and built to last. They are honest, sleek and strive to perform as best as possible without compromise. This is at the center of every Porsche Design product, and will continue to be as we move into the next 50 years.”

Roland Heiler, Chief Design Officer of Porsche Lifestyle Group and Managing Director of Studio F. A. Porsche

Like the Chronograph 1 from the 1970s, which brought elements of car dashboard design to a watch dial in a way that hadn’t been done before and also brought the now ubiquitous “all-black” aesthetic into mainstream watchmaking, the Chronograph 1 – All Black Numbered Edition comes with a matte black case, dial and bracelet. White, luminous-coated hands and markings on the dial provide optimum legibility. The crown, clasp and dial feature the current Porsche Design logo while the sapphire-crystal case back reveals the Porsche Design winding rotor. The hands of the tachymeter and date display were designed with the rectangular shape of the original baton hands in mind, however, with the addition of a pointed tip for precise time indication.

This edition is powered by the Porsche Design WERK 01.140 with COSC certification. Both the watch and the movement are produced at Porsche Design’s own timepiece manufacturing facility in Solothurn, Switzerland. The Chronograph 1 – All Black Numbered Edition will be available for delivery starting November 2022, but pre-orders can now be placed online and in-stores. Explore the latest generation of the iconic Chronograph 1 here.

Specs

ModelPorsche Design Chronograph 1 All Black Numbered Edition 
ManufacturerPorsche Design Timepieces AG, Biberiststrasse 18, 4500 Solothurn, Switzerland
FunctionsHours, minutes, seconds (subdial at 9 o’clock), daydate display, chronograph: hours (0 to 12), minutes (30), (red) central seconds hand
MovementPorsche Design 01.140 chronograph, COSC certified, 28,800 vph, 25 jewels, 48-hour power reserve, diameter = 30 mm, height: 7.9 mm
CaseGlass-bead-blasted titanium case with black titanium carbide coating, sapphire crystal, water resistant to 100 m
BraceletGlass-bead-blasted black titanium bracelet with titanium carbide coating, steel folding clasp with fine adjustment
DimensionsDiameter = 40.8 mm, height = 14.15 mm
Price$10,500

About Porsche Design

“If you analyze the function of an object,” Professor Ferdinand Alexander ‘Butzi’ Porsche famously said, “its form often becomes obvious.” It was on this principle that Porsche, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the German luxury automaker, designed his most legendary contribution to the automotive world, the iconic Porsche 911, in 1963. In 1972, in Stuttgart, Germany, he also founded the Porsche Design Studio to apply his creative prowess beyond the world of cars and into the wider universe of luxury objects. Two years later he moved it to Zell am See, Austria. His objective from the beginning: take Porsche principles beyond the frontiers of the automobile. His design standard: the pursuit of the perfect symbiosis of form and function. And he succeeded in an impressive fashion with his very first product — a watch, to be presented as a gift to Porsche employees, known as the revolutionary Chronograph I. Since then, designs for the timepieces have remained in Zell am See, while manufacturing now takes place in a new state-of-the-art watchmaking facility in Solothurn, in northwest Switzerland at the foot of the Jura. “Designed in Austria, Swiss Made” — the mission of the new workshop, called Porsche Design Timepieces AG, from the outset was to bring the principles of Porsche car manufacturing to high watchmaking.

This unique synergy between car design and watch design came to full fruition in 2020 with the launch of Porsche Design’s custom-built Timepieces program, based on the same production principles used in the manufacturing of Porsche sports cars, with a digital configurator modeled on the existing Porsche car configurator that customers can use to personalize their vehicle. More than 1.5 million configurations are possible, representing what is most likely the most seamless integration of watch and car design on the market today.

Porsche Lifestyle Group CEO, Dr. Jan Becker, commented, “It fills us with pride to see that Porsche Design has continued to develop the vision, innovation and creativity of the brand in the decades since it was founded by Prof. F. A. Porsche, and we continue to inspire customers all over the world with our diverse product portfolio.”
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