A German piece of engineering needs to do what it is designed for and it needs to do that well. It will most likely be a perfect blend of functionality, aesthetics and it will sport a certain degree of inconspicuous innovation. Porsche Design is as German as it can get, with a couple of firsts in watchmaking, which helped in gaining validity in the business. The first ever Porsche Design product was a watch, the PVD coated Chronograph I in 1972. Now, 43 years later, the brand introduces the Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer All Black Titanium, which embraces the same design merits as the original. And here is the review of this architectural piece.
Just to remind you, Porsche Design was founded in 1972 by Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche. The design elements of the very first product from the brand are still very much alive in this 2015 introduction. The first wristwatch, conveniently the first product designed under the Porsche Design brand, followed the philosophy from the Bauhaus era. Eliminating all elements that do not support the functionality bestowed upon the product at hand, the Chronograph I was a clean and extremely useful watch. PVD coated to reduce glare and reflections, clean and highly contrasting dial to aid legibility.
The Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer All Black Titanium is black, very black. And that might put you off at first, but it will probably grow on you faster than you might expect. It did with me anyway, so it is bound to happen to any of you. Admittedly, you first would have to splash a bit of your hard-earned money on this to experience the All Black in all its gloomy glory. The flat black titanium carbide coating of the case and bracelet takes away any possible glare and reflection, so it will never sparkle literally.
It does stand out in a surprising way though. The flat black color is the first reason, the sculpted lugs probably the second. This feature is very noticeable and anyone who approached me about the watch, commented positive. It is something different than the usual lug-design out there. Different is not always a good thing, it can also mean an overly designed element but this is not the case with the 1919 Globetimer. It simply works! It adds something to the watch, or as a matter of fact to the collection because the
When going through the specification of the Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer All Black Titanium, one thing stands out. It is not a complicated watch, but one designed with the highest regards of functionality, exactly what German engineering is known for. Yes it only shows the time, with two time-zones and a date, but it does so in the best way possible.
Visually, you could say there is one more feature that needs to be addressed. The sculpted lugs deserve some more credit, since they are a recognizable and key design element of the 1919 Globetimer and Porsche Design in general. As mentioned before it makes it a stand-out timepiece, and we’ve seen this on numerous Porsche Design watches in the past. A little over a year ago we published an overview of the brand in an installment of our Wednesday Watchtime articles, we mentioned the 2007 Porsche Design Worldtimer. This particular one featured, you’ve guessed it, sculptured lugs! That particular watch used a digital display for the second time zone, operable through a second crown. For the 1919 Globetimer Porsche Design opted for a classical second time zone by indication of a central hand and a proprietary scale on the dial.
Dial and hands
The dial of the Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer All Black Titanium is very clean, uncluttered and legible. That is always helpful when wearing a watch every day or at least frequently. It is also useful when travelling and setting the second time zone. A clear dial and indication of time (zones) helps while in transit towards your exotic holiday location or that important international business meeting. You need time at a glance, right? The dial is slightly stepped, adding a bit of depth to it. It is a nice touch and divides the dial into segments for the indication of hours, minutes, seconds and second time zone. Each indication receives their own ‘ring’ around the dial.
An outer scale displays the running seconds with large markers at every hour and smaller ones in between. The second ring from the outside displays the hours in crisp, printed digits. The digits at 12, 3, 6 and 9 are coated in luminous material, which last quite a while when charged with a decent amount of (sun)light. One more step inward, you will find the GMT-hour markers, in a 24 hour scale. On the center part of the dial the stylized logo with the brand name is located at the top part, and a date window is placed at three o’clock. This setup of the date is usually some indication of the selected movement, but more on that later.
The hands for the hours and minutes are slightly opened up at the first part from the axis, and also coated in luminous material in the same color as the outer hour markers, a greenish blue hue as we see in most watches. The red-tipped, white seconds hand reaches out all the way to the most outer part of the dial. The final hand, that indicates the second time zone, is a big arrow-tipped hand with an red colored lume on it. This red lume is slightly weaker in dark circumstances, but still noticeable at a glance.
Case and strap
Porsche Design has a reputation to uphold when it comes to choice of material. They are responsible for the first ever chronograph wristwatch executed in titanium, launched in 1980, and every watch available in the current collection is done in this lightweight, hypoallergenic and non-corrosive material. The Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer All Black is entirely done in titanium, even the bracelet. The case and bracelet are finished in a black titanium carbide coating, harking back to the iconic Chronograph I from 1972. The coating is extremely matte, reducing any glare or reflection to a minimum.
The case measures 42mm across and is glass bead-blasted for a matte finish, regardless of which version you choose. The non-coated version is left unfinished after blasting, the coated version is, well, coated. The full titanium bracelet received the same treatments. All the links articulate nicely around your wrist, and never pinch your skin or anything. The folding buckle is pretty standard in design, but equally well finished as the rest.
A nice touch is the very narrow bezel, which allows for a dial that covers almost the entire case. Visually, this enlarges the case. Combine this thin bezel with the sculpted lugs and it is almost as if the case is suspended in between the lugs. On the caseback you will find the corresponding cities to all the time zones there are, making it easy to figure out what to set the GMT-hand at, based on your home time. This is engraved into the caseback, along with various other markings of make and model.
Finally, the time, date and second time zone are adjustable via the large, knurled crown. Pull it out one step, and turn it in one direction to adjust the date, or the GMT-hand in the other direction. Pull it out a second step and you can adjust the time. Pretty basic stuff, but it works perfectly. Operating the screw down crown feels smooth and sturdy.
Porsche Design isn’t fussy about revealing what powers their watches and that is a welcome trait. Inside the case of the 1919 Globetimer ticks an automatic Sellita SW330-1 (The 1919 Datetimer is powered by a Sellita SW200). The SW330-1 movement is an almost direct clone from the ETA 2892 movements, which are being supplied to third parties less and less.
The movement itself measures 4.1mm high and 25.6mm wide. It operates at a frequency of 28,800 beats per minute and provides roughly 42 hour of power. Even though it is an automatic movement, you can wind it if needed through the crown. Just unscrew it, and turn it in one direction to wind it up.
This alternative to ETA can also be found in the other watches, like this one (to name just one). It is likely that we will find the SW300, and the Valjoux 7750 clone, the Sellita SW500 in more and more quality Swiss watches like this Porsche Design.
The Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer has a number of very strong features that should push you into at least considering it as a next purchase if looking for something with a clear design, high functionality and extreme comfort on your wrist.
- Extremely comfortable as a result of solid build and case-design
- Properly good finishing compared to price-level
- Highly legible timing indications
- Sculptured lugs are a true added feature in terms of design
- Lightweight and durable due to choice of material for case and bracelet
- Very dark watch, might not be for everyone but an alternative is the non-coated version
- The overall design might be a bit cold, lacking the usual frivolity luxury watches tend to have
- No clue on a third reason not to consider this, do you?
The Porsche Design 1919 collection comprises of a time-and-date-only watch, the Datetimer and this Globetimer, both available in titanium or titanium carbide coated titanium. Both models come on either a rubber strap with pin-buckle or a matching bracelet (i.e. titanium or black) so eight different combinations in total. Prices start at 2,950 Euros for the Datetimer on rubber, and this 1919 Globetimer All Black is the priciest model in the range, available at a retail price of 3,950 Euros. For more information visit their website, Porsche-Design.com.