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.