As you’ve certainly come to expect, when seeing a Porsche Design watch on MONOCHROME, stuff like ergonomics, comfort, quality of build, value-for-money or understated design will be mentioned. And this article will be no exception, as Porsche Design introduces its newest sibling in the 1919 collection in a rich, brown, chocolatey hue. Equipped with a fresh dial and a new proprietary movement, we go hands-on with the Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer Flyback Brown.
A Porsche Design watch will always be free of unnecessary frills, details that are just there to be details. You will not find métiers d’art or precious stones on a Porsche Design, nor will you see paint-splashed cases. No, Porsche Design watches are designed and constructed with a specific idea in mind, a certain concept to respect. And yes, although that might seem a bit dull to some, it is most definitely worth your time and money because just like the cars, they are superbly engineered. Besides this very German approach to design and watchmaking, they contain more details than you might spot at first glance.
Since it’s conception, Porsche Design is about understated, sleek, ergonomic design and the watches, with the first ever “PD” introduced in 1972, follow suit. The 1919 collection features a case with a central container that includes the lugs. Well, not lugs in a traditional way, but smooth, straight extensions to the case on which the strap or bracelet is attached. The large knurled crown grips very well and is joined with two curved, elongated pushers that start at the strap-extension (lugs if you will) and gradually protrude more towards the crown. The pushers have been finished with a polished, bevelled edge giving the watch a bit of a dressier appeal. With this 1919 Chronotimer Flyback Brown, Porsche Design adds a new, warmer tone to the mostly monochromatic collection (either plain titanium or black DLC-coated titanium so far, both with black or blue dials).
The rich brown hue of the dial is very well executed – brown being a colour that is notoriously hard to get right. Blue is a bit easier since a lot of tones can result in a beautiful watch. Brown though, has a much smaller range of tones that work! The dial displays central hours and minutes, with a central chronograph hand tipped in red. The other indications include a 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock and a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock for the flyback chronograph, a running indicator at 9 o’clock and a date window at 4 o’clock. The contrast between the brown dial and white markers and digits is pretty strong so it can easily be read. The end result is a very warm, attractive dial set in one of the most original case designs we’ve seen in recent years.
Mechanically, this Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer Flyback Brown is different to the previous 1919 Chronotimers we’ve covered and reviewed. Those watches relied on third-party movements like the Sellita SW-500 inside the Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer introduced in 2016. This Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer Flyback Brown houses the specifically designed and developed Werk 01-200 movement (a so-called proprietary movement), which has been three years in the making and saw the light of day in the Exclusive Series watches, to coincide with the launch of the new Porsche 911 GT2RS and 911 Turbo S. It operates within COSC specifications, and is, of course, a flyback chronograph – which means it can be reset while running. In regular chronographs you have to stop, reset and then re-start the movement, but not with a flyback. The Porsche Design calibre WERK 01-200 is explained in more detail in a previous article, which you can find here.
The Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer Flyback Brown is an excellent package, and at a price of EUR 5,950 is not bad value for money. It comes on a smooth, brown leather strap with a folding buckle and will be available from August 2018. More details on porsche-design.com.