REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars Wrist Time Reviews

One could hardly do more to distil the essence of a Porsche 911 into wristwatch form than Danish brand REC has done with their 901 watch collection. Using actual salvaged metal from iconic cars to make watches heavily referencing the designs of said cars is what the brand is all about, and we have previously looked at the Ford Mustang-based REC P-51 here and the Mini Cooper-based REC Mark I M2 here. Now, based on and partly made from Porsche 911 cars, we review all three versions of their new REC 901 collection watches with dials made from metal recovered from vintage cars. My first impression was surprise at the evident build quality, and then at the price point which is a bit higher than the brand's previous watches I am familiar with.

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars Wrist Time Reviews

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars Wrist Time Reviews

Niche by nature, the company's strength is that it has a very well-defined target audience. That means people like the founders themselves who are passionate about cars, vintage cars in particular, and specifically admire certain brands and models. Car enthusiasts don’t exactly lack options for timepieces that cater to their interest, but many will likely at least appreciate the love and attention that went into making these REC 901 watches a worthy tribute to the Porsche 911.

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars Wrist Time Reviews

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars Wrist Time Reviews

Before getting into the details of the REC 901 watch, I want to touch upon a point about watches that I feel is illustrated well here. The power of a watch to symbolize something that has personal meaning to the wearer is often a part of what drives enthusiasts to get as deep into their hobby as they do. This is most often achieved through design touches as well as through other elements of the watch's history or association that can perhaps be broadly called "storytelling," to use a marketing term. I don't necessarily consider these things smoke and mirrors even though they are more intangible parts of what is being sold.

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars Wrist Time Reviews

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars Wrist Time Reviews

In any case, this is what REC watches are largely offering - though backed up with high quality and solid construction. For example, I can imagine that for people who consider the Porsche 911 to be one of the most beautiful cars ever made, something like the REC 901 will be like a little happy place they can go by gazing at their wrist even in the midst of a stressful or tedious daily existence. That is how watches often are for me, anyway, if for different reasons. In the REC 901 watch, this is achieved through design cues, both subtle and overt, as well as the knowledge of its dial material and the story of where it came from. I suppose happy owners won’t even care if you call it gimmicky.

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars Wrist Time Reviews

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars Wrist Time Reviews

I'm speculating a lot about how Porsche fans will feel because I am just not much of a "car guy" myself, I confess, even though I can appreciate the sexiness of a Porsche - and please set me straight in the comments if I'm just way off. But as I said, sparking the imagination of the wearer through design and storytelling often applies to watches in general in different ways depending on the watch - and I think we can all agree that it gets quite subtle and often downright obscure. The REC 901, on the other hand, takes a more straightforward approach.

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars Wrist Time Reviews

"Porsche" is written nowhere on the REC 901 watch, but one of the most satisfying and successful design elements is the way case profile echoes the famous curves of the 911. There are a lot of other direct references to the car that we'll come back to shortly. What will also be satisfying is knowing that the dial itself was actually part of a Porsche 911 car at one point. That's the storytelling part, and REC rightly put a lot of effort into its presentation and does a pretty good job with it.

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars Wrist Time Reviews

REC 901 Automatic Watch Review: Made From Recycled Porsche 911 Cars Wrist Time Reviews

Each watch comes with a "Story Card" that, using NFC or a QR code, leads your smartphone to a video about the particular car used to make your watch. All three watches I received have the VIN WP0ZZZ91ZCS101234 1976 indicated on the plaque on the 9 o'clock side of the case. The video tells of a 1976 Porsche 911 that was purchased in 2003 (with all original parts) in Denmark as a fixer-upper "father-son project" (heartwarming). The hood was replaced as part of the restoration, and the original hood became the dials of these REC 901 watches - that's the scratchy scrap metal texture you see. The 1976 Porsche 911 was restored and remains in use.

What do you think?
  • Interesting (28)
  • I want it! (24)
  • I love it! (15)
  • Thumbs up (10)
  • Classy (4)
  • Word Merchant

    I rather like the look of this, especially the steel version with the orange accents. The case shape, various textures and even the bow tie power reserve somehow all harmonise. I even like the partially open dial. Very unlike me.

    I don’t get the Porsche aesthetic connection at all, mind you. Finally, the price does seem high and I’ve no idea about the quality of the movement. But an interesting design nonetheless (to my eyes).

  • IG

    The only visual connection between the watches and the 80s Porsches is the faux grille. The month and day disks are clever though.

  • ??????

    Rather handsome in some post-apocalyptic way. Don’t get the Porsche connection – actually, nothing here speaks for Porsche.. and the name “REC” – stands for recycled? Excellent name for a watch…

  • BrJean

    How many of these watches should I buy to be able to assemble Porsche 911 from them?

    • Word Merchant

      Only one of them. But you do need to purchase the auxiliary add-on kit to complete the car.
      The add-on kit is essentially a Porsche 911, but without the watch.
      I hope that helps.

  • John Smith

    As a car enthusiast and a proud owner of a 991 all I can say is WTF! I see Zero resemblance and a cheap watch that is way over priced! Honestly if I really wanted a Porsche watch connection on my wrist I’d go over to that famous auction site and purchase a true Porsche Design watch with a nicely finished ETA , Swiss made, nice case and strap for less then this abortion!!

  • John Smith

    As a car enthusiast and a proud owner of a 991 all I can say is WTF! I see Zero resemblance and a cheap watch that is way over priced! Honestly if I really wanted a Porsche watch connection on my wrist I’d go over to that famous auction site and purchase a true Porsche Design watch with a nicely finished ETA , Swiss made, nice case and strap for about half of what this abortion costs!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4a29296f7c52ea9cd8a03da4da6890f0a917217fa97d687a6d4377e5d00e7ba9.png

    • Svetoslav Popov

      sorry, but this porsche desing watch is plain ugly

      • Tornyi Barnabás az isten

        Just like the glorified Beetles.

      • IG

        Just like the glorified VW Beetles.

  • I appreciate the fact that they resisted the temptation to model the design after the Porsche’s dashboard, floor mats or bumper bracket, but it’s too bad they couldn’t recycle up a decent handset. All the shtick in the world is pointless if the legibility suffers.

  • SuperStrapper

    This must be a joke. Any of this watche’s competitors, with the same Miyota movement and mineral crystal would be $200-$400. Why is this one almost $2000? And why does it have the wimpiest handset ever (and the saddest lume shot you might ever see)?

    I’d rather see an ugly car made from recycling a dumpster full of half baked Ill conceived watches that never should have been.

  • Bill Davidson

    Apparently they took a bunch of old Porsches and RECtum….

  • Allan

    These watches never really seem finished to me. Ive been watching the brand for a while and they even stock some of them on amazon now.

    They all leave me cold and i feel this car gimmick is wearing a bit thin. This watch has absolutely no visual cue to associate it with porsche so its a case of using ‘ porsche 911 ‘ as a means to attract a specific audience.

    The overall design is very messy. The lume is awful and the hands are very weak. Legibility is bad and they do nothing for me.

    The movement is a little workhorse but the pricing seems rather inflated (mineral crystal?) especially without any kind of horological foundation.

  • Yan Fin

    …and if you are also an animal person, this watch can be complemented with a strap from your beloved dead animal.

  • BNABOD

    I like one thing, the case back.it does ressemble the early 911 wheels but aside from that and at a ridonculus 1700 bucks I am not feeling much else but pain in my eyes from trying to find the hand set. Is there one? I get the creators of the brand like 911. I like chocolate, a lot, but it does not mean that what I am building next must emulate the next bar I shove down my throat. Inspiration is ok but how about creating a watch for what it is? inspired by a desire to build a quality piece that is unique and simply based on horology. No need to create a back story and who gives a rat’s arse if it is made of old 911 hood.

  • This design is post modern and dare I say a bit post apocalyptic in a Mad Max sort of way. As a massive Porsche fan and owner I can say that apart from the Fuchs back, nothing else is an obvious 911 design cue not to mention Fuchs wheels have been seen on other models as well (914 anyone?). Porsche has quite a bit of commonality in the looks of instrumentation, especially in the vintage stuff (I’ll leave out modern Porsches where whole interiors are similar) so the only design cues coming thru loud and clear are the ones of “recycled” (perhaps) automotive stuff. I do appreciate the fact no actual 911s are taken off road for this project because as any Porsche enthusiast knows, those cars belong on the road. Now if we take a leaf from Porsche’s design book, the result should accomplish a form-follows-function approach, with excellent usability and ergonomics, plus a few idiosyncrasies thrown in for good measure. This is where these watches fall a bit short. Legibility should be much better for instance just compare the dials with the gauges used for inspiration if in doubt. It’s a decent effort. It needs to be a teutonic anal-retentive one though. Just my two cents…

    • Yojimbo

      after accounting for exchange rates, your two cents means you owe me five dollars you Kraut bastard

      • Canadian here dude, though I like cabbage…

  • Raymond Wilkie

    What am i looking at ?

    • IG

      Three wristwatches.

  • Marius
  • SwissMatic

    That watch has rust in it.

  • Svetoslav Popov

    Strange decision to review REC here, where watch snobs are main auditorium. The watch is beautiful to me and I own a P51, which is amazingly designed too. To all the haters in the comments I would say – this watch is not created with the purpose of showing off. It is very different from Porsche Design products. Its main target are people who appreciate Porsche 911 for its design, not because of its status symbol qualities. I went with the 02 version and I think that skipping the lume altogether would have been a wise decision. Similar to the Mustang watch. It would have voided the main reason for complaints 🙂

  • cg

    When is the Trabant edition coming out eh? LOL with “scratchy” bits

    • Packaging that much smoke inside a reasonably sized watch represents a great challenge.

  • Mark1884

    Well, I think this a perfect time to use one of my “C” words
    Clunk !

  • CognacSocialist

    This watch is a SHITTER!

    • Marius

      Just to be clear, it’s a shitter`s shitter.

  • That’s one of those watches I don’t like, just personal taste there, but admire none the less. “Thematically focused” says it well. They took the hackneyed car theme and made something with it’s own coherent design language which I think works. The hands are too short (What’s with micros and short hands? Are longer hands that much more expensive?), but the overall finish looks surprisingly good.

  • Beefalope

    Ugly gimmick watch.

  • DanW94

    I think they captured the 911 body design fairly well with the case shape and grill feature. The dial just doesn’t come together though. A miss for me. Ambitiously priced also.

  • BJ314

    These guys are committed to producing the ugliest watches possible out of metal salvaged from wrecked cars.

    I guess its nice that they have found a niche?

  • Phil leavell

    Well at least they found something to use a Porsche for . And I think it looks better than the car and the watches still ugly . Looks like a piece of hubcap an oil dipstick Nuts and Bolts Ugg

  • Shinytoys

    Bet it runs very fast ?

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    I’m sold. Having looked at the previous designs, I think they’ve got a good thing going. They’re watches for people who love cars, and there’s a lot of people who love cars.
    As such, what I think of it, and would I wear it doesn’t matter. They’re well built. The car enthusiast wants an original and interesting watch, that speaks to them of what they love, namely cars. I think that’s what they’ve achieved with these watches.

  • Andrew Buckley

    I quite liked the P-51, but boy have they made a dog’s dinner of this one (apologies to any dog owners who wouldn’t dream of feeding this to their pets).

  • Omegaboy

    Another watch where being able to actually tell what time it is is not a priority. Why not just leave the hands off entirely and do something else with the dial? A little stick shift? A steering wheel? Maybe a miniature Blaupunkt radio.

  • TrevorXM

    It makes me sad. Once part of a magical original series 911, now a poorly designed watch powered by a bargain bin sweatshop made Miyota movement. I think I will go downstairs and comfort mine, patting its dash, and tell it that everything is going to be okay as long as I’m alive and it won’t be cast aside. This is so all so wrong.

  • Yanko

    I have seen many dumb things in my life. I have just added this one to the list.

  • Ulysses31

    It looks poorly finished and rather ugly. The lesson it teaches is that if you take something good and recycle it and turn it into something else, that also becomes desirable somehow. So, if I eat a gourmet meal, and my body recycles it, and I then dehydrate my “output” and compress it into a disc and put it in a watch, people will want to buy it? Perhaps if someone famous were to do it, it would command a higher price?

    If you love the car, fair play to you. It’s a good car. But if your love for something extends into getting the posters, the t-shirt and the Porsche-themed Christmas-crackers, you’re taking it too far. Enjoy your car for what it is and don’t sully your wrist with an ugly watch that doesn’t really reflect the Porsche design ethos in any obvious way.