Porsche Design: A Clear Vision of the Future
Porsche Design emphasizes innovation and functional design. Considering its strong connection to motorsport, it comes as no surprise that they craft modern chronographs like the Monobloc Actuator and Chronotimer in addition to three-hand watches.
5 Reasons to Buy a Porsche Design Watch
- Sporty, modern luxury watches
- Cases in titanium or rose gold
- High-quality Swiss calibers and in-house movements
- Innovations, including the chronograph rocker switch
- A direct connection to motorsport
Following in the Footsteps of Porsche Automobiles
There's no mistaking where watches from Porsche Design Timepieces AG come from. Their designs clearly have roots in the equally technical and sporty appearance of Porsche automobiles. In addition to futuristic designs, this German company's Austrian product developers put a strong emphasis on technological advancement made possible by their frequent collaborations with Porsche Motorsport. One example is the Monobloc Actuator Chronograph, which has a rocker switch integrated into its case instead of the two push-pieces commonly found on chronographs. This innovation was inspired by the high-speed valve control mechanism of the Porsche 911 RSR's engine. Since stopwatches play such a large role in motorsport, Porsche Design has a particular focus on chronographs.
Porsche Design watches come in stainless steel or high-quality titanium. Titanium is lighter than stainless steel and is temperature and corrosion resistant. Having a lighter material is especially practical for this manufacturer's larger watches, which can be up to 47 mm in diameter. Carbon dials and bands made of titanium or rubber round off the sporty look of Porsche Design watches.
Porsche Design sources their automatic and quartz calibers from Swiss companies like Sellita and ETA. These movements allow for various features, including a GMT function, date display, or day display. Porsche debuted their first in-house caliber in 2018: the chronograph movement 01.200 with a flyback function. They've even had it certified as a chronometer by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, or COSC).
How much do Porsche Design watches cost?
|Dashboard||9,000 USD||✓||Gold case|
|Monobloc Actuator 24h-Chronotimer Limited Edition||7,900 USD||✓||Rocker switch|
|1919 Chronotimer Flyback Brown & Leather||6,800 USD||✓||In-house caliber 01.200|
|Worldtimer||5,600 USD||‒||World time watch|
|1919 Chronotimer||4,500 USD||✓||Indices as hour markers|
|Diver||3,900 USD||‒||Three-part case for water resistance up to 1,000 m (100 bar, 3,281 ft)|
|Chronotimer||3,900 USD||✓||Contrasting bright elements on a dark dial|
|1919 Globetimer||3,400 USD||‒||Second time zone|
|1919 Datetimer||2,500 USD||‒||Date display|
|Titanium Eterna Chronograph||1,100 USD||✓||Grooved rotatable bezel|
|P10||790 USD||✓||Tachymeter scale|
|P10||680 USD||‒||Date display|
Prices for Entry-Level Porsche Design Watches
The quartz-powered models in the P10 collection serve as the entry point into the world of Porsche watches. The three-hand model with a date display and 39-mm stainless steel case costs around 680 USD in mint condition. Its dial resembles the first compass watches made in collaboration with IWC. At 33.4 mm, P10 chronographs with a tachymeter scale are geared toward women and demand about 110 USD more. You can choose from a black or ivory-colored dial.
You'll find more stainless steel watches in the Flat Six series, which gets its name from the six-cylinder boxer engines used in Porsche's luxury vehicles. The most distinct features of these 44-mm watches are the large Arabic numerals and indices that mark the hours. Three-hand editions with a date display sell for about 1,000 USD. If you'd prefer a Flat Six Chronograph, plan to spend around 2,000 USD.
When it comes to men's chronographs, Porsche Design has quite a lot to offer. Almost every collection contains at least one of these desirable watches. Models with a 40.5-mm titanium case and the automatic ETA Valjoux caliber 7750 are the most affordable. The case back bears the inscription "Made by Eterna." After Porsche Design purchased them in 1995, Eterna SA built watches under the Porsche Design name for a number of years.
These chronographs have a rotatable bezel, which is easy to operate thanks to a series of grooves. Each bezel features either a tachymeter scale or a minute scale for divers. With a water resistance of up to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft), you can even take these watches swimming and snorkeling. The hands and indices are coated in luminous material, guaranteeing you can tell the time in any lighting condition. The black dial has a 12-hour counter at 6, a small seconds at 9, and a 30-minute counter at 12 o'clock. You can purchase a never-worn example of this rare titanium watch for between 1,100 and 2,300 USD.
Monobloc Actuator: With the Revolutionary Rocker Switch
The Monobloc Actuator caused quite a stir at Baselworld 2017. Instead of the usual push-pieces, its chronograph function is operated via a rocker switch integrated into the titanium case. What's more, this timepiece displays a second time zone by means of a 24-hour scale and additional hour hand. There's also a date display at 4, a 12-hour counter at 6, and a 30-minute counter at 12 o'clock. A rotating disc at 9 o'clock serves as a mechanical function display that shows the caliber – in this case, the ETA 7740 – is ticking. Prices for a mint-condition Monobloc Actuator GMT-Chronotimer fall between 5,000 and 6,800 USD.
The Monobloc Actuator 24h-Chronotimer Limited Edition is limited to a run of 251 pieces. This number comes from the Porsche GT 911 RSR's 251-cm wheelbase. Its color scheme also resembles this sports car. Shiny red subdials and white hands and indices contrast beautifully against the matte black dial and case. Expect to pay around 7,900 USD for this special edition.
Other Chronograph Collections
Timekeeping plays a pivotal role in the world of motorsport, which is why chronographs dominate Porsche Design's watch landscape. The Chronotimer collection commemorates the Chronograph I, Porsche Design's first watch from 1973. Like their matte black predecessor, most of these timepieces have dark dials and cases that help the light hands and indices pop even more. As seen on other models, a tachymeter scale runs around the bezel. The popular ETA Valjoux 7750 powers these 42-mm chronographs, which change hands for 3,900 to 4,600 USD new.
The Dashboard series contains eye-catching chronographs with a tri-compax layout. You can choose from a variety of designs, some more colorful than others. As the name suggests, these watches clearly take their inspiration from the dashboards found in sports cars. Manufacturers like TAG Heuer and Omega produce similar models. Prices for a Porsche Design Dashboard begin around 1,800 USD. However, this collection also features watches with gold cases, which cost anywhere from 9,000 to 11,500 USD.
The 1919 Collection: Sporty yet Elegant Watches with an In-House Caliber
If you're looking for something a bit more understated, you should take a closer look at the 1919 collection. This collection is named after the year the Bauhaus was founded. The Bauhaus was a school of art and design in the eastern German cities of Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin from 1919 to 1933. Despite its short lifespan, its principles continue to influence modern design to this day. The watches of the 1919 collection take Bauhaus minimalism and give it a sporty twist. For example, the wide gap between the lugs and the case help these 42-mm automatic watches feel less imposing.
You can buy a 1919 Datetimer with a date display in very good condition for around 2,500 USD. The 1919 Globetimer is the perfect watch for frequent travelers thanks to its second time zone. This timepiece requires an investment of about 3,400 USD. There's also the 1919 Chronotimer with a stopwatch function, which costs some 4,500 USD. This watch stays true to minimalist ideals and does without Arabic numerals for the hours.
The 1919 Chronotimer Flyback Brown & Leather features the in-house caliber 01.200. This movement boasts a flyback function and a 48-hour power reserve. As you may have guessed, brown dominates this watch's design, from the dial to the leather strap. The Chronotimer Flyback sells for just under 6,800 USD.
Dive Down to 3,000 ft with the Porsche Design Diver
Porsche Design also makes diving watches. Older models with a compass watch design are the most affordable. These timepieces are water resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft), making them suitable for professional divers. Thanks to its grooved edge, the diving bezel is easy to operate while wearing gloves. A well-maintained Porsche Design Diver demands about 2,800 USD.
Porsche Design's newer diving watches have a unique system of seals, resulting in a water resistance of 1,000 m (100 bar, 3,281 ft). The stainless steel case sits inside a titanium bridge, which is connected to the strap. To set the time, you have to lift the hinged case out of the bridge. A display for the dive time runs around the dial's edge and is operated using the bezel. Luminous hands and indices and a large, 47-mm case make telling the time easy no matter how deep you dive. Prices for these professional diving instruments start around 3,900 USD.
Around the World with the Worldtimer
Porsche Design created the Worldtimer with frequent travelers in mind. A window at 3 o'clock indicates a second time zone of choice, while a display at 9 o'clock shows the time in that time zone. Once you've set your local time, the time in the other time zone automatically adjusts. There are two push-pieces for operating the Porsche Design Worldtimer: one at 2 o'clock for the second time zone and one at 4 o'clock for setting the time. On the case back, you'll find an overview of the timezones and their abbreviations. This globetrotting watch sells for around 5,600 USD.
The History of Porsche Design
Industrial designer Ferdinand Alexander Porsche founded Porsche Design in Stuttgart, Germany in 1972. Despite his passion for watches, he is perhaps best known for his work in the sports car industry. The Porsche 911 is one of his most famous creations. The first watch, the Chronograph I, appeared in 1973. Its matte black chromed case made this stopwatch a sensation in an era dominated by stainless steel and gold watches.
Porsche Design began working with the International Watch Company, or IWC, in 1978 – a partnership that would last 20 years. Their success was almost immediate, with the release of a compass watch with a removable compass integrated into its case back in 1978. This was followed by the market's first chronograph with a titanium case and bracelet in 1980. IWC had to develop new production methods to create this timepiece.
Porsche bought shares of the Swiss watch manufacturer Eterna in 1995. Eterna is one of the oldest watch companies based out of Grenchen and produced watches for Porsche Design in the years after their acquisition. In 2014, Porsche founded Porsche Design Timepieces AG with its headquarters in Switzerland. Since then, they have been manufacturing their watches at this location. When it comes to developing new products, the team in Switzerland works closely with their Austrian colleagues at the Studio F. A. Porsche.