The first-ever product to be launched by Porsche Design was a wristwatch, which was presented in 1972 and designed by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. A radical design back then and a great expression of the motto “forms follows function” this utilitarian concept would quickly gain new heights with Porsche Design’s emblematic 1970s Military Chronograph. More than 40 years after the creation of what’s possibly the most desirable vintage PD timepiece, it is somehow back with the new Porsche Design Chronograph 1 Utility Limited Edition, a watch with multiple references to historic models.
First having a direct connection with the world of motorsport, thanks to its design and its anti-reflective black coating (a first for the industry), the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 will soon catch the attention of military forces thanks to its performances. Models were made for the West German Bundeswehr or the flying squadron of the U.S. Air Force and were notably equipped with a red circular 3H symbol (which signified the use of the hydrogen isotope tritium) and the Orfina and PD logos were replaced by the word Military. These Orfina-made military models are today some of the most sought-after PD-branded watches.
This year, following several commemorative editions such as the 50-year collection or GP Ice Race model, the vintage-inspired watch of Porsche Design comes back as the Chronograph 1 Utility Limited Edition, and it’s directly paying tribute to military models – even though it has a pure civilian vocation. The 40.8mm x 14mm case is identical in shape to other versions of this model but is now made with the brand’s exclusive titanium carbide material, a first for a PD watch that isn’t connected to a specific Porsche sports car. Scratch-resistant, extremely lightweight and hypoallergenic, it is matte and has a darker colour, perfect in this utilitarian context. Crown, pushers and back are black coated.
The matte black dial of the Chronograph 1 Utility is what matters more, with its design elements reminiscent of vintage military models. Replacing the 3H logo is an identically shaped TiC mention (for titanium carbide) and the word Utility replaces the Military mention. The tiger’s head logo of the U.S. Air Force is replaced by a screaming marmot (called a “Mankei” in Pinzgau, Austria, and also Ferdi Porsche’s newly opened destination for car enthusiasts located on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road near Studio F. A. Porsche). Bold red accents and highly legible hands and markers complete the display. Two dots on the dial at 12 o’clock provide a clear orientation of the displays in the dark, and thicker second and minute numerals optimize readability.
The solid back is home to the COSC-certified calibre WERK 01.240, a proprietary automatic flyback chronograph. Again as a tribute to the past, the Chronograph 1 Utility is worn on a BUND-inspired leather strap. An additional white textile strap with the coordinates of the F.A.T. Ice Race in Zell am See is also included, and easy to change thanks to an interchangeability system.
Availability & Price
The Porsche Design Chronograph 1 Utility Limited Edition can be pre-ordered now on the brand’s website and will be available in Porsche Design Stores worldwide and at selected watch retailers from January 15, 2024. It is priced at EUR 11,950 and will be made in 250 pieces. More details at porsche-design.com.