We’ve often talked about parallels between watchmaking and other industries. One to regularly be mentioned is the obvious connection to cars. Both are mechanical items at heart and can rely on an enormous following from across the world. The prime reason for this link is the fact that motorsports (and subsequently cars in general) have a lot to do with timing. Acceleration, top speed, lap times, and endurance records, all revolve around covering as much ground in as little time possible. One more parallel is the use of limited and/or special editions. Cap off a production run at a certain level and immediately a watch instantly attracts more attention. With cars it’s no different, as clearly showcased with the new Porsche 911 Sport Classic we’re featuring today. Oh, and there’s a limited-edition Porsche Design watch too, for good measure.
Porsche can look back at a storied and at times rocky history, and has often stood on the verge of bankruptcy. After quite a few near-saves, and with somewhat divine intervention from the Porsche family in the 1970s, the company is now thriving. It has just presented the quarterly results and without going into too many details: sales and operating profit are on the rise, big time!
Looking back in time there are countless key moments and monumental cars that had a deep impact on the brand, motorsports or cars in general. The first overall win during the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans for instance, and the 18 that followed since. Or even entering Formula 1 as an engine supplier for McLaren, with TAG-funding by the way, in 1983. The result? In just a few short years, the McLaren team won two constructor’s championships, three diver’s world championships and 25 race wins.
And it’s not just in racing where Porsche has been able to reinvent itself a number of times. The 911 is an absolute motoring icon after roughly 60 years of development, but do you know what has almost certainly saved Porsche from going under in the early 2000s? The Cayenne, Porsche’s big SUV. It would be a new chapter in Porsche’s history, and by now Porsche has built more than a million of them. Yet to most, the 911 remains at the heart of it all and still serves as the benchmark for a sportscar.
The Porsche 911 2.7 RS
The Porsche 911 was introduced in 1964 and has been honed to perfection over its close to 60-year lifespan. Throughout all 8 generations, one thing has stood: the engine placement. From the very first to the very last, every Porsche 911 has had its engine behind the rear axle which makes for a unique and thrilling driving experience.
Out of all the variations Porsche has built, few are as legendary as the 1972 911 Carrera RS 2.7. Porsche planned to build just 500 of these, aimed to homologate the 911 for FIA GT4 class racing. The car quickly sold out after its launch at the 1972 Paris Auto Show, which convinced Porsche to build 1,025 more (so 1,525 in total). Famed for its handling, which could get quite lairy with that heavy engine out the back, the Carrera RS 2.7 is one of the most sought-after 911s and remains a needle-in-a-haystack model. In sales listing or at auctions, this car will regularly fetch prices well north of the USD 1 million mark.
Porsche fitted the car with its 2.7-litre flat-6 engine, which produced 210bhp. It doesn’t sound like much compared to today’s sports cars but back then cars were quite a bit leaner, to say the least. So with 210bhp on tap, and excellent traction, the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 was rather fast. The car was usually painted in an off-white colour, with contrasting “Carrera” striping down the side, or in bright 1970s colours with black striping. And the most stand-out feature, besides the classical Fuchs wheels? The ducktail rear spoiler of course! And that’s one of the elements that connect it to its modern-day counterparts, visually at least.
The Porsche 911 Sport Classic
The concept of the Sport Classic isn’t new, as Porsche made a special Sport Classic run of the 997 generations of 911s. Only 250 of these cars were built between September 2009 and January 2011 and it quickly became one of the most desirable modern 911s. The very light grey, close to white paint job featured two subtle stripes down the “spine” of the car, had a bubble-top roof and black Fuchs-inspired wheels. And of course, round the back, that iconic ducktail spoiler flicking its tail up in the air. Performance-wise, it had a non-turbo flat-6 engine producing just over 400bhp, with power to the rear wheels only. While it would have cost you a cool quarter-of-a-million euros when new, second-hand prices have about tripled.
So what’s new with the latest (and perhaps greatest) Porsche 911 Sport Classic? Well, quite a lot actually! It’s not simply a copy & pastes job Porsche did, albeit the basic recipe is very similar, at least from the outside. The 992 generation of the Porsche 911 is still one of the very best sports cars you can buy today, even though purists might feel it’s too digital, too disconnected compared to previous generations. Nevertheless, even with a base-911 you can still have loads of fun and be assured it will perform time and time again. It’s as reliable as, let’s say an ETA 2824 or Valjoux 7750. Built to be driven, built to last.
Under the Heritage Design Strategy deployed by Porsche, the new Porsche 911 Sport Classic is the second model to be released. This sees the Style Porsche design department work together with Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur to reinterpret iconic 911 models, design features and equipment from the 1950s to the 1980s.
The 2022 edition of the 911 Sport Classic comes with the wide-body normally reserved for the 911 Turbo and 911 GTS and of course that iconic ducktail rear spoiler (which is fixed). The Fashion Grey metallic paint is taken from early Porsche 356s and is a very light tone of grey. Down the middle, we once again see a pair of racing stripes in a slightly different tone. As an alternative, the 911 Sport Classic is also available in black, grey or blue paints, or in a Paint to Sample bespoke colour. Other exterior design elements include the double-bubble roof, a racing roundel on the door with the number ‘60’ with ‘Porsche’ underneath it, and wheels inspired by the classic Fuchs design.
On the inside, the Porsche 911 Sport Classic also differs from other models. Rich cognac leather is used for the seats and doors, with the iconic ‘Pepita’ houndstooth fabric for the inserts. The two-tone dash houses a digital instrument cluster, with a sports-chrono timer, mounted on top. The seven-speed manual gearbox has an auto-blip function that compensates for engine speed differences when shifting down. Sounds like a great deal of fun to hear, especially through the tailored exhaust system.
Power comes from the 3.7 litres twin-turbo flat-6 engine, with 550bhp and drive to the rear wheels only. This makes it the most powerful manually-shifted 911 available today. With that, you’ll hit 100kph in about 4 seconds and can soldier on to a top speed of 315kph. Porsche will build only 1,250 of these, surely finding its way to specially selected clients with ease. And the price for all this magnificence? That starts a little over EUR 272,000, which is quite a bit more than a regular 911 Turbo, but probably a good investment in the long run nonetheless.
The Porsche Design Chronograph 911 Sport Classic
Porsche Design, founded by Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche in 1972, is the go-to manufacturer for Porsche (the car company) when it comes to watches, despite its collaboration with TAG Heuer from time to time. After all, it’s no secret the first-ever product to emerge from the Porsche Design studio was a watch, and even today they play a big part in the company’s operations.
To go with the Porsche 911 Sport Classic, Porsche Design has taken its Chrono 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition and gave it a little overhaul. In looks at least, because technically it is very much a modern watch. The 42mm wide titanium case with integrated lug bars is coated in black and topped with a polished bezel. The fact this is blacked out should come as no surprise as in 1972 Porsche Design started things with the all-black Chronograph 1.
Based on the architecture of the regular 1919 Chronotimer Flyback, the dial now comes in one of three configurations. Each one has a black base, with teal-coloured details and white markings. There’s one with a solid black dial, one with a double grey stripe just like the car, and one with a houndstooth-like pattern that’s often found on the seats of vintage Porsches. Combined with a cognac leather strap from the same type of leather as used in the cars, it gives the Chronograph 911 Sport Classic quite a unique look.
The movement inside the Porsche Design Chronograph 911 Sport Classic is the brand’s Werk 01.200 automatic chronograph with flyback functionality. We’ve regularly covered this impressive calibre before, so we won’t bore you with all the details. Something we do want to point out though is a wheel-shaped rotor that matches the car. Pretty cool, right?
It retails for EUR 12,500 and is available to buyers of the Porsche 911 Sport Classic only. With only 1,250 of those cars being built, the watch will be just as limited at the most.
Quick Facts – 42mm x 15.60mm – sandblasted titanium mid-case, black coated – polished titanium container – sapphire crystal on both sides – screw-down crown with chronograph pushers – 100m water-resistant – black dial with optional grey stripes or houndstooth-pattern – teal-green, red and yellow details with white markings – hands and indices with Super-LumiNova – Porsche Design Calibre Werk 01.200 – automatic flyback chronograph – central hours and minutes, running indicator, central chronograph seconds, chronograph 30min and 12h counters, date – cognac Porsche vehicle leather strap with interchangeability system – folding clasp in titanium – available to Porsche 911 Sport Classic owners only, and limited to 1,250 – EUR 12,500
Editorial Note: the images of the 1972 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 are sourced from CarScoops.com.