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KNOW YOUR ROOTS

The origins of Porsche Design go back to a watch. A radical reinterpretation of a timepiece, the CHRONOGRAPH I from 1972 combined all the elements of the founder’s design philosophy, which exists to this day: functionality and durability through reduced design language. And this remarkable product stands for the close relationship between Porsche Design and its parent company Porsche. 
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The rerelease of the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 from 1972 is limited to 500 watches.

The design of the original was replicated down to the last detail using state-of-the-art technology.
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To mark the 50th anniversary of Porsche Design, the Porsche Classic team factory restauration has extensively restored a 911 S 2.4 Targa and reinterpreted it in the style of the modern vehicle.

The goal of the experts based in Stuttgart is the care and preservation of historic Porsche vehicles. They have decades of experience in this work and art. This is now paying off with this special Targa. The one-off quotes essential elements of the Chronograph I. The exterior and interior, for example, are kept in black. The classic Fuchs rims are anodized. And as with the modern special model, the Targa trim is glazed in Platinum (silky gloss), and a “50 Years of Porsche Design” plaque with a facsimile signature of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche is attached to the rear. In the interior of the one-off, checkered surfaces contrast with the black leather upholstery, at the same time building a bridge
to the modern special model. The fabric with its classic check pattern in black and gray can be found, for example, in the door panels, the center panels of the seats, and the lower section of the instrument panel.
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One of the biggest challenges during the restoration was the vehicle interior: modern material meets historic geometry. The strength and stretchability of the current fabric made it difficult to work on the 50-year-old upholstery. Thanks to the experienced saddler in the factory restoration team, this challenge was successfully overcome with the help of templates and sample parts.

Finally, Porsche Classic carries out the final road test itself as quality assurance for every restoration—and this classic is no exception. And so Porsche Classic Werksrestaurierung der Porsche AG created a unique specimen that combines origin and modernity and at the same time bears the signature of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche.
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»“The basic proportions of the 911–the typical Porsche width/height ratio, the plunging flyline, and the look of the side windows–are the hallmarks of its iconic image.”«

MICHAEL MAUER, CHIEF DESIGNER AT PORSCHE AG
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In the early 1970s, Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche was asked by Porsche AG to design a watch as an anniversary award. Although he had already left the company by then, he still had close ties to it. Like the 911, his design was radically functional. What is the main purpose of a watch? In any situation, however confused or complicated, it should clearly show the time. F. A. Porsche therefore took the idea for the design of the Chronograph I from the Porsche 911 dashboard, which he and his team had developed in the period after 1960s. He transferred the look and function of the instruments to the watch–based on the experience of extreme use in motor races
such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in which the previously used instruments were not clearly visible in all circumstances.

Diffused light and reflections made it difficult to read the speed or revolutions. “For that reason, F. A. Porsche wanted to have more contrast on the dashboard,” says Gerhard J. Novak, General Manager Porsche Design Timepieces. He designed the instrument panel with a black felt background, made the dials matte black, the indices brilliant white, and the hands white and red. The readability improved significantly.

To
this day, the 911’s instruments have remained matte black. This is reflected in the Chronograph I. A matte black face, luminescent white indices, white hands, and a second hand in eye-catching red.
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GERHARD J. NOVAK, GENERAL MANAGER PORSCHE DESIGN TIMEPIECES

“In the early 1970s, the new quartz movements were in vogue. But F. A. Porsche regarded them as unsuitable because they lacked longevity.”

The battery has to be replaced, and if you don’t have one on hand, the watch just stops. F. A. Porsche was convinced that a high-quality watch has a mechanical movement. He went against the times–and was absolutely right.
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In 1972, this design was a revolution. The world had not seen an all-black watch before.

The idea was quickly mocked: when are you supposed to wear this watch? At funerals? Believe it or not, its popularity began on the race track. The Chronograph I was loved by racing drivers due to its excellent readability even in challenging situations, and soon 911 drivers also wanted to own one.

For Gerhard J. Novak, this was a logical consequence of F. A. Porsche’s approach: “He declared that the Chronograph I was a watch for 911 drivers.” F. A. Porsche’s radical design ultimately established itself.
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“Today you can find black watches at almost every watchmaker,” says Gerhard J. Novak.

The close ties between Porsche Design and Porsche exist to this day–and are even stronger now that Porsche drivers can have their own watch made to match their customized automobile. In 2014, Porsche Design opened its own watchmaking facility in Solothurn, Switzerland, to cater to the diverse wishes of its customers. Fulfilling these exclusive preferences would be difficult using standard methods of series production. Porsche engineers with extensive experience of producing customized products helped set up the facility. Since the late 1970s, customers have been able to design their automobile according to their individual wishes. Porsche is still expanding this service today–right down to a personalized key fob. The engineers therefore knew how the processes and methods in such a production environment had to look.

Since the facility was established, Porsche customers have been able to choose from more than 1.5 million configurations for their watch and have the color and materials from their sports car incorporated into their timepiece.
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“Each watch is individually made by us. No two are the same,”

says Gerhard J. Novak. The designers, engineers, and watchmakers at Porsche Design set about reviving the brand’s very first product from the founding year and created the Chronograph 1–1972 Limited Edition, which marks the brand’s 50th anniversary and is limited to 500 pieces.
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The new watch builds on the unique features of the original: the face, crown, buckle, and case back are the same as its predecessor and bear the historic Porsche Design logo. However, the case and strap are not made of stainless steel like the original, but entirely from extremely robust and skin-friendly titanium. The tachymeter scale and date display retain the lettering from 1972, and the hands have the unmistakable rectangular shape of the original baton hands.

The inner workings of the watch are naturally state-of-the-art: the anniversary edition is powered by the COSC-certified Porsche Design Chronograph caliber, WERK 01.140, and therefore guarantees maximum precision. The movement of the second anniversary model, the Chronograph 1–50 Years of 911 Porsche Design Edition, is also technologically advanced. This watch is powered by the COSC certified Porsche Design Flyback Chronograph caliber, WERK 01.240. Thanks to the flyback mechanism, start, stop, and reset are combined in a single operation, making it easy to measure successive time intervals.
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MICHAEL MAUER, CHIEF DESIGNER AT PORSCHE AG

“The idea of combining pairs of opposites, such as function and design, unites the 911 and the Chronograph I. The design principles of Style Porsche and Porsche Design share the same roots.”

The exclusive winding rotor is visible through the sapphire crystal back, which is designed in the shape of the Turbo S wheel and painted in satin platinum, reflecting the finish of the 911 Targa 4 GTS Porsche Design Edition issued by Porsche to mark the anniversary. This takes the principle of the “sports car for your wrist” created by Porsche Design to new heights.

Since 2020, the opposite route has been available–from wrist to sports car. The Sport Chrono Collection offers a choice of seven watch models that integrate elements of Porsche vehicles, such as a strap made from Porsche interior leather. In addition to a chronograph, you can order an identical but larger clock for your vehicle’s dashboard. In this way, the timepiece taken from the Porsche 911 as the Chronograph I completes its journey back to the automobile, further deepening the alliance between Porsche Design and Porsche.

Porsche 911 Edition 50 Years of Porsche Design

Porsche recommends seat belt usage and observance of traffic laws at all times.