Forgive me, this will be a deeply one-sided article. I will not focus on anything else but my own love and experience for once. Usually we see the light AND dark side of something, and try to share that with you, our readers. Not this time, oh no! Now, it has become personal! Why? Because of my passion for all things “Zuffenhausen“. Yes, there will be talk about watches and yes I will share my hands-on experience with you, however first I have to get something off of my chest…
A story on how an article comes alive and how a love-story for a single watch starts…
The basis of this story is simple, and although it finds its origin in my youth and love for cars, this article actually first started to take shape during Baselworld 2016. It is the culmination of envy, love, memories, a longing desire all mashed into one single new watch.
As a kid I collected a LOT of cars, starting with the little Hotwheels, Matchbox and Majorette cars in the 1:64 scale. I played for hours on end on my belly, with cars running around my bed, on the floor or on cartoon-like city-maps complete with parking lots, gas stations and fire departments. One little car always stood out, although I am sad to say I don’t have it anymore. A little old Porsche, in silver. I just loved that thing! Over the years I grew up and my love shifted from 1:64 to 1:18 scale models and again Porsche stood out.
Well, yes, this is where everything started…
This time a bright yellow Porsche 911 by Bburago was the culprit. Eventually this evolved into a deep interest in the brand, and the cultivation of extensive knowledge of the history of the brand, and of course its racing heritage. My collection of scale cars from just about all exotic brands shifted into a Porsche Racing focused one. Of course it included icons like the 917K, the 956, the 934RSR and the ultimate one; the unfathomable Porsche 917-30.
Just like later on with watches, my taste for cars evolved… to something slightly more exclusive
Ever since, I’ve been twisting my neck whenever a Porsche is near, always taking an extra second when seeing one parked in the streets, and being unimaginably envious of Frank when he got to go to Finland for a Porsche Driving Experience earlier this year. No hard feelings of course, but I can’t help it either since I have yet to feel the kick-in-the-backside of the flat-six behind me.
But, I hear you asking, how does this relate to watches? Well, of course there is the connection to Porsche Design and its timepieces, but during last year’s Baselworld another connection popped up. The Danish Connection if you will.
The Danish Connection, The REC 901 and my love for Porsche
During Baselworld 2016 I visited two Danish guys in a small, peculiar and wonky apartment just outside of the Baselworld fair. This sounds like a back-alley story but I assure you it isn’t. The meeting was with a young brand, venturing into automatic watches for the very first time but lacking the funds to splurge on a booth. The brand in question, REC Watches, offers watches with parts from actual cars for dials, but up until to 2016 they were all quartz, so not Monochrome-material to be honest. This changed when they started using panels (Hood, door, trunk) from the legendary Ford Mustang. No cars are harmed as only the ones that are too far gone to be put back on the road will be used. The parts ended up as dials in the P-51 collection, a direct hint to an equally legendary, American product; The P-51 Mustang fighter plane from WWII.
As I was discussing the brand, its watches and getting to know the people behind it in the process, we slowly headed into the direction of future projects. I was told a poll was started to gather input from collectors and clients as to what the next collection should embody. To me, there was only one clear answer. A brand that is (arguably) the best sportscar builder in the world; Porsche! Did I mention this was one-sided already? If you consider it for one second, the 911 is about as synonymous with the word “sportscar” as it can get. Of course there are other exotics like the Ferrari F40, the Lamborghini Countach or Diablo, the McLaren F1 but the one remaining constant is the 911.
The very “Rolex-like” approach to sticking true to one concept, and shaping and sculpting it into the best execution of said concept is admirable. So, naturally, Porsche had to be the chosen brand for REC Watches, and the poll showed this too with a huge gap to the second entry, the Dodge Charger. 63% of the votes went to the Zuffenhausen-based manufacturer which is a clear sign of the popularity of Porsche.
The guys from REC Watches have been hard at work bringing to light the 901 collection. 901, as this is the original name for the 911 but Porsche ended up in a legal hassle with Peugeot as it already had “dibs” on the number-0-number designation for cars (i.e. 205, 306, 405 etc.). The REC 901 collection uses parts that come off of original Porsche 911’s as dials, just as with the Mini collection, and the P-51 collection. Riddled with 911 references, the 901 collection doesn’t become tacky for one second.
If you go through the pictures, you should be able to find all of these details and more;
- Brake-disc styled rotor for automatic winding.
- Otto Fuchs-style caseback remembering the iconic wheels from the seventies.
- Rear-engine air-grille on the lug side of the case.
- Porsche-font digits throughout.
- 911 instrument gauge needle-inspired hands
- Crown that resembles the horn-cap on early 911 steering wheels
- Vin-plate cutaway resembling the license plate cutaway on the cars
- Color combinations inspired by seventies Porsche 911 interiors
Overall three different versions will be available, and you can find them all in the Kickstarter campaign. The project is long funded, but there is still time to go so you can find some nice deals on either of the 901’s. Just as with any REC Watch, you will receive an ID-card with the watch, to show you the story of your very own timepiece. This will tell you every little bit of information that is available about the car that your dial came from.
The movement inside the REC 901 collection is a Miyota-sourced automatic movement. The 9100 Caliber indicates hours, minutes and seconds on a central axis, day/date/month on a trio of discs (two of which are visible on the dial-side). The indications are completed by a fuel-gauge styled power reserve on top. The steel case has partially hidden lugs, and a kind-of helmet like build. It wears well, is nice and hefty on top of your wrist but doesn’t move around when wearing. It comes with a choice of straps matching the design and inspiration of watch, down to iconic seventies interior details, like the riveted seat vents or a black-and-orange ribbed strap. One of the stretch-goals is a strap featuring actual seventies Porsche-seatbelt material as inserts to further enhance the concept of RECover, RECycle, REClaim.
The REC 901 collection will start at EUR 945 during the now running Kickstarter campaign. This will save you about 45% on final retail prices.
To conclude this very selfish story, I can honestly say I want one. No, I even NEED one… The big question is though, which one? I have a clear idea of what I would go for, but I am also inviting all of you to tell us what you think of the concept and which your preferred model would be, the steel and grey 901-01, the steel and silver 901-02 or the black and orange 901-03. More information on REC-Watches.com or Kickstarter.com.