The watchmakers at Porsche Design have once again turned to the Porsche automobile brand for inspiration in developing the brand’s innovative new chronograph wristwatch series, called Monobloc Actuator, which features the chronograph push-buttons integrated seamlessly into the silhouette of the case.
The Porsche Design Monobloc Actuator collection is the result of a tri-national joint effort by watchmakers at Porsche Design Timepieces AG in Solothurn, Switzerland; product designers at Studio F.A. Porsche in Zell am See, Austria; and car engineers in Porsche Development Center in Weissach, Germany. The slide valves on the Porsche 911 RSR’s racing engine provided the blueprint for the watch’s signature feature: the multiply mounted rocker switch of the single, integrated pusher, flush with the right side of the case, which stops, starts and resets the chronograph function while also preventing moisture from penetrating the case during operation.
The 45.5 mm case — which is water resistant to 100 meters, meaning that, yes, you can safely operate the chronograph underwater — is made of titanium, a material that Porsche Design was among the first to use in watchmaking, as early as 1980. The movement is the self-winding chronograph caliber ETA Valjoux 7754, with a 28,800 vph frequency and a 48-hour power reserve. The bicompax dial features a 30-minute chronograph counter at 12 o’clock, a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, “function indicator” at 9 o’clock (basically a redesigned running seconds disk that lets the wearer know the movement is working), and date indication at 4:30. Like any chronograph watch with an auto-racing pedigree, it also includes a tachymeter scale, here printed on the dial’s outer edge. The recessed bezel around the dial has an inscribed 24-hour GMT scale, upon which a center-mounted, triangle-tipped GMT hand indicates a second time zone.
Both versions of the Porsche Design Monobloc Actuator GMT-Chronotimer with glass-bead-blasted titanium cases are available with matte black (above) or deep blue sunburst-effect dials (below), and on either a black rubber “LaserFlex” strap or a titanium link bracelet whose foldover clasp incorporates a fine-adjustment mechanism for a personalized, perfect fit.
Another version, the Monobloc Actuator 24H-Chronotimer, is available exclusively on a rubber strap with deployant buckle. It is distinguished by its black titanium-carbide-coated case, matte black dial, and motorsport-inspired “checkered flag” function indicator at 9 o’clock.
All models have screw-down crowns with a dashboard-inspired knurled pattern; hard-coated, scratch-proof sapphire crystals with double-sided anti-glare treatment over the dials; and screw-down casebacks with tinted sapphire crystals to show off the movements. Prices are $6,530 on rubber strap and $6,850 on a titanium bracelet; a limited-edition model model of the 24H-Chronotimer with a carbon fiber dial will also be available for $7,450. Scroll down to discover some live shots of the Porsche Design Monobloc Actuator models taken at Baselworld 2017.