For a while, the pandemic put on hold any thoughts we might have had of covering traveller’s watches. Thankfully, the very idea of travelling, as well as crossing borders and time zones, isn’t dead, and we can’t start wearing our GMT, dual-time or world time watches again. And, talking about this, there’s a new Porsche Design model that has just landed, a new take on the brand’s ultra-practical, clever Globetimer watch. And this new version couldn’t be more in line with the brand’s idea of stealthy, streamlined design. Let’s have a look at the new Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer UTC All Black.
The 1919 Globetimer UTC isn’t a new watch per se, having been first introduced at Baselworld 2019. What this watch is, is typical Porsche. Even though it is one of the rare models of the brand equipped with a complication (apart from the classic chronographs), this extra layer of features, like the rest of the watch, has been designed with practicality in mind. As Ferdinand Alexander Porsche would say: “If you analyze the function of an object, its form often becomes obvious.” And that’s where this watch comes to life, with one of the cleverest ways to adjust the time zones. Many GMT watches have to be adjusted by the crown (which is often screwed), obviously not the most practical method, neither the safest solution (I see you dust particles and humidity…)
Porsche Design and Porsche (the car manufacturer) have always shared a lot. After all, the design studio was created in 1972 by F. A. Porsche, the designer of the timeless 911, and the first product to come out of his mind was a watch! With the 1919 Globetimer UTC, Porsche Design once again looked at what its mother company Porsche does with its cars, which, apart from being fast and fun, are also superbly engineered. Form and function united. And in this particular case, the inspiration sits behind the 911 (and other models) steering wheel, in the PDK gearbox’s flappy paddles – with the famous + and – signs… See where this is going? One to go up, one to go down. And in watchmaking, this means pushers for the time zones!
The new 1919 Globetimer UTC All Black
Joining the three other members of the Globetimer UTC, all housed in grade 5 titanium cases with black, blue or brown dials, is now a new, black-coated edition. And this version is actually what I expected from the very beginning. Why? Well, there’s something natural about a black-coated Porsche Design watch. You have to keep in mind that the very first black-coated watch to be commercialised was the 1972 Chronograph designed by F. A. Porsche. So not only is this an emblematic design for the brand, but no one else is as legitimate as PD. And we come full circle, as the Globetimer UTC is now more PD than ever before.
Let’s first talk design. The 1919 Globetimer UTC All Black has the brand’s typical case shape that is found on the rest of this collection, with its clean, minimalist yet recognisable combination of a cylindrical central container with integrated hollowed modules that double up as lugs and attachments for the strap. These modules are responsible for about 99% of the watch’s personality, and despite being sleek, extremely simple in terms of design, they are the signature feature of the watch. This might be the definition of a great design… The case, of course, is made of glass bead-blasted titanium (what else for a PD watch?), measures 42mm in diameter and 14.90mm in height. Not the smallest watch you can think of, but ergonomics have also been integrated into the design brief, so as long as you have a wrist of more than 17cm, the watch will be a joy to wear – light, soft to the skin, hugging the wrist as it should.
The case is coated in black PVD all-around – crown, pushers, caseback, and clasp are all black and matte. The watch is worn on a sleek integrated leather strap, made of genuine Porsche vehicle leather with decorative stitching in black Porsche vehicle thread. It is closed by a triple-folding clasp with security push buttons.
Regarding the dial of this new 1919 Globetimer UTC All Black, no surprises… it’s (almost) all black too. Just like the rest of the watch, the display is clean and attractive. This watch is all about concentric indications and textures. The central part of the dial features a discreet circular-brushed pattern. Moving from the centre out, you’ll notice a succession of three different tracks. The first one is the date, indicated by a thin central hand with a white arrow tip. The second corresponds to the chapter ring for the hours, with thin minute markers and bolder, applied luminous indexes for the hours, echoing the large polished and luminous hands (which are perfectly sized). Finally, on the angled inner flange is the 24h indication, with a larger hand with a light blue arrow tip, a colour that is also found on the UTC inscription at 6 o’clock. Finally, a discreet round aperture is found at 9 o’clock and serves as a day/night indicator.
But let’s now go back to the UTC complication, or dual time function. And here, I’m going to quote Rebecca in our previous article, as she explained the whole idea behind the Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer UTC better than I would: “Many GMT or dual-time models are operated directly from the crown, but as any traveller possessing one of these watches knows, once you start fiddling with the crown, things can get complicated. How many notches of the crown have to be extracted to set the reference time? How many for the local time? Did you bring the instruction manual? Will setting local time paralyse the minute and seconds functions? The Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer UTC dispenses with these traditional systems. Two pushers on the right side of the case, which are very similar to the chronograph pushers on other Porsche Design models and inspired by Porsche’s PDK paddles, are responsible for making this watch so easy to use. The top pusher (+) advances the local (current) time in one-hour increments, while the bottom pusher (-) causes the hour hand to move in the opposite direction. The beauty of this system is that the time-setting function does not stop the minute and seconds hands, meaning you don’t lose chronometric accuracy. What’s the point, after all, of having a COSC chronometer-certified movement if every time you set the watch, the minute and seconds hand come to a halt?”
Extremely simple to use, practical to the max and secured, this system was possible thanks to in-depth work on the movement. The base is the familiar and relatively simple Sellita SW 200-1. What matters, in reality, is the UTC module on top, developed by Porsche Design. Since no pusher-actuated GMT module was available on the market (only brands like Patek or Ulysse Nardin have this in their collection), the brand simply designed its own and asked Dubois-Depraz to make it. The 4Hz movement runs for about 38 hours, and, as said, its precision is certified by the COSC. It also features a ball-borne, bidirectional winding rotor for better winding efficiency.
Availability & Price
The Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer UTC All Black is offered as part of the permanent collection and is now available from Porsche Design’s online store and its boutiques/retailers. It is priced at EUR 6,250.
For more details and orders, please visit www.porsche-design.com.