By Cody D. Smith

Back at Baselworld 2017, Porsche Design released something that was very important to them; they had designed their first in-house movement. To get some background on their initial endeavor into the world of total in-house design, let’s take a look at what exactly it was that they released. Dubbed the Porsche Design Werk 01.200, it utilized a monobloc actuator with a pressure operated double sided rocker on the right hand side of the case. The engineers wanted to capture the essence of last year’s Porsche 911 RSR, highlighting the precision and intense attention to detail that both cars and timepieces can share. (It is worth noting that last year’s watch was only available to owners of the 911 RSR, further cementing its exclusivity as a luxury sporting watch.)

Overview

This year, the new “Brown and Leather” edition from their 1919 Collection will be available at Baselworld. It features a very sleek and sporty case with many quirks that make it stand out from the rest of the crowd and truly demonstrates its heritage in the heart of motorsports.

The case measures in at a healthy 42mm by 14.9mm thick, is crafted of bead blasted titanium, and incorporates a beautiful deep, chocolaty brown dial that fits in with the aesthetic of the strap harmoniously. As well as the rest of the current collection, it retains its pedal style chronograph pushers. Upon closer inspection you may notice something that doesn’t quite make sense for a chronograph; it lacks a tachymeter around the outer edge of the dial! The company has said that it wanted to sacrifice the tachymeter to keep in spirit with the 911’s functional aesthetics. This is quite an unusual move, but one that I support as I believe that it makes the dial very uniform and clean, keeping in line with the rest of the watch.

More and more automotive design cues give it a sporty look and feel that will appeal to many gear heads and enthusiasts alike. The one complaint that I have regarding this new release is the use of a date window at the 4 o’clock position. I feel that this gives a cluttered impression on an otherwise sleek idea. It’s almost out of place considering Porsche’s intent of keeping this one’s legibility as clean as possible. What is the price to own this contemporary racing companion? Only 7,450 USD.

The Movement

There are no major surprises here. It is the Werk 01.200. This is the flyback chronograph designed last year and it does the job well, allowing multiple laps to be timed in quick succession with the use of only one pusher. It does however feature an entirely black PVD coated movement, an open worked barrel, and a tungsten rotor that Porsche claims will always provide a smooth wind. The power reserve has not been announced yet, but if it keeps in tune with the previous members of the 1919 lineup it will be capable of 48 hours. The screwdown sapphire caseback allows for a view into the in-house caliber that operates at 4HZ. Water resistance comes in at a standard 100 meters, so no diving with this racer.

Final Thoughts

I must admit that although this is not my taste in a timepiece, I really enjoy the overall look of this chronograph. It is sporty yet reserved in its simplicity and added class thanks to its neat brown dial and brown leather strap. Some people may argue that Porsche has no place in the world of horology and that they are simply capitalizing on the hearts and wallets of their car buyers, but I think that they have come off to a solid start with lots of room for growth in the future with their timepiece designs. Be sure to check this one out at Baselworld this year, it may surprise you. For more info, visit Porsche Design online.