The Porsche 911 is one of the most iconic designs of our time and has become the global benchmark for sports cars. Created in 1963 by Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, it has evolved over five decades in response to new technology and safety requirements, with integrated bumpers and slanting headlights giving it a more streamline appearance but, in essence, that familiar teardrop silhouette has been retained.
In 1972, Porsche decided to apply the design principles of the 911 to a wider variety of technically-inspired everyday objects beyond the world of motoring and created the exclusive lifestyle brand Porsche Design. Inspired by motor racing and the classic VDO-made dials and gauges of the early 911, one of the first designs from the new studio was the Chronograph I, with its Bauhaus simplicity and practicality reflecting his design philosophy.
This style-defining classic was the first-ever all-black timepiece featuring a black, PVD-coated, stainless steel case and matte black dial, on a black bracelet. Porsche believed that white dial markers and hands had superior legibility, as evidenced in plane and car instruments. The studio first collaborated with Orfina for the manufacture of the Chronograph 1 and its movement, but produced some incredible designs with IWC (owned by VDO in the ’70s) from the late 1970s to 1997 – the Compass, the Titan (the first titanium watch) and the Ocean 2000 with water resistance to 2,000m – and then with Eterna. The studio also created sunglasses, fashion, consumer electronics and appliances, pens, sportswear and luggage.
Launched earlier this year at Baselworld, the latest timepiece in the Porsche Design 1919 collection is the Globetimer UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) world-timer, which reflects the original Porsche DNA and design cues of those early watches, while meeting the requirements of modern globetrotters.
Although it doesn’t have the external rotating bezel usually found on GMT watches, when you jet from one side of the planet to the other, local time is effortlessly adjusted in one-hour segments with the simple push of a button. A day/night disc helps you set the time for the correct half of the day in the new time zone. The date, linked to the local time, is indicated on an inner ring and automatically adjusts forward or backward, without the minute and home-time displays being affected.
Inside the 42mm tripartite titanium case, grasped between wide, open lugs, is the in-house Calibre Werk 04.110, based on the Sellita Caliber SW 200. The time-zone mechanism was developed and engineered by Porsche Design but manufactured by Dubois-Dépraz – the company with a reputation for making chronographs such as the legendary Calibre 11, the first automatic chronograph that appeared in the Heuer Monaco collection in 1969. The movement has a 38-hour power reserve, COSC-certified.
Available in titanium with blue or black dials, as well as a special gold edition. Priced from about R100,000. The P’6510 Black Chronograph 1972 Limited Edition, about R76,000, pays homage to the original Chronograph I.