October 22, 2014
by Ariel Adams
The Porsche Design Timepiece No. 1 is the first watch to debut from the new “independent” Porsche Design watch brand. We first spoke about the upcoming Porsche Design Timepiece No. 1 here, when discussing Porsche Design’s plans to produce their own watches after breaking up with long-term production partner Eterna.
You can see that previous article for more information, but in a nutshell, rather than work with outside partners, Porsche Design will be doing watch production themselves. Apparently, that also means in-house movement production in the future, but we aren’t there yet. For now, Porsche Design has released two new timepieces (essentially the same watch with different case finishes, but with two different names) that are the Porsche Design Timepiece No. 1 and the Porsche Design Chronograph Titanium Limited Edition. Nice watches, but the names are a bit bland.
Let’s further be clear that both watches are limited editions, and that the difference in naming is pretty confusing for what is essentially the same watch. Having said that, let’s take a look at this new Porsche Design watch itself. Porsche design has a long history with both black PVD-coating processes as well as using titanium as a watch case material. I believe Porsche Design was the first to use PVD (physical vapor deposition) on a production wrist watch. That was in the early 1970s, and it was a big deal because, for the first time, you could have a black-colored metal watch case that wasn’t merely painted.
Early PVD case coating technology was not nearly as good as it is today, but even then, the 1972 Porsche Design Chronograph was a cool item. Today, it is a bona fide classic, and the Porsche Design Timepiece No. 1 is directly inspired by it, though it isn’t exactly an homage. Further, the Porsche Design Timepiece No. 1 and Porsche Design Chronograph Titanium Limited Edition will not have bracelet options at launch. Actually, I am not sure if they will ever have bracelets, but it seems like a logical thing to do given the brand’s historic penchant to produce cool bracelets for their watches, and because the Original 1972 Porsche Design Chronograph famously came on one. Bracelet production is a bit more complicated, so I understand that it might take a bit longer, but I hope they arrive eventually, because in my opinion a case like this is begging for a nice bracelet to compliment it.
The Porsche Design Timepiece Number 1 and Porsche Design Chronograph Titanium Limited edition each feature 42mm wide titanium cases, with the former being PVD-black coated. Each is offered in a bead-blasted finish with gives them a neat looking industrial “tool watch” feel. With just 50 meters of water resistance these aren’t super sport watches, but I have a feeling that number will get better in the future. There is a sapphire crystal over the caseback with a view of the movement as well as an AR-coated crystal (coated on both sides) over the dial. Note that the rear crystal is tinted black to give the movement a dark looking finish.
Inside the watch is a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement with custom automatic rotor. The dial of the Porsche Design Timepiece No. 1 and the Porsche Design Chronograph Titanium Limited Edition is pure Porsche Design no-nonsense function with a hint of style. This is where the original Chronograph is most homaged. It is solid, restrained sports watch at its best and gives the dial a highly functional and timeless feel. I even like how it is complimented by the slightly rounded case. Overall, a solid offering from Porsche Design. Though, one issue people are going to have is the price, which feels a bit high for what you are getting, despite the Porsche Design name. The reference 4046901830908 Porsche Design Chronograph Titanium Limited Edition is priced at $6,850 and the reference 4046901830892 Porsche Design Timepiece No. 1 is priced at $7,550. Each of the two models will be limited to 500 pieces. porsche-design.com