Custom-Built Timepieces By Porsche Design: Revving Up To Your Own Dream Watch
Cristiano Ronaldo, Bill Gates, David Beckham, LeBron James, Ellen DeGeneres, Maria Sharapova . . . the list of celebrities who own a Porsche (or two or three) is almost endless.
Launched at the German IAA International Automotive Show in September 1963, the Porsche 911 has been one of the most successful sports cars in history. Combining streamlined design with sporty performance and competitive spirit, it has remained a singular style icon since the first time someone put its pedal to the metal.
Aside from the 911’s exceptional technical prowess and iconic style, clients also appreciate the high level of personalization opportunities that Porsche offers, allowing them to make their dream car a truly unique vehicle.
A favorite pastime of many fans is checking out the online Porsche Car Configurator, which allows a variety of options for designing one’s own turbo-charged speedster. Legend has it that some car enthusiasts visit the Configurator for a little relaxation or before going to bed to ensure sweet dreams.
Powerful expression of individuality
And now there’s good news for all “Porschephiles” with a penchant for luxury wristwatches: Porsche Design has announced quite a cool concept with few boundaries for personalization: the online Custom-Built Timepieces Program.
At its heart lies a configuration interface with menu navigation and an overall design similar to that of the Porsche Car Configurator. With stunning attention to detail, customers can choose from a great variety of different options displayed in real time. According to Porsche Design, no fewer than 1.5 million variations are possible.
From watch club timepieces to custom-built
The idea behind the concept goes back to when the Porsche Design AG was founded in Solothurn, Switzerland in 2014.
“It was then known as the Porsche Design Club Watch Concept,” says Gerhard J. Novak, general manager of Porsche Design Timepieces. In order to bring it to a new level with such a high degree of customization, the company had to explore new ways of manufacturing.
“To be able to offer a watch with more than 1.5 million options in serial production, we had to make significant changes to the current ordering and manufacturing processes,” adds managing director Rolf Bergmann.
They took inspiration from the sequential production process of Porsche’s sports cars. With Solothurn located in the watchmaking region of Biel, the company has easy access to some of the best Swiss suppliers, an important element that helped implement the new process and guarantee high quality.
As soon as a customer has configured the desired timepiece, or one that matches their Porsche 911, a code identifying the specific options selected is sent to them. This code can be used to start the order process with any Porsche dealer.
The details are then sent to the timepiece manufacturing facility in Solothurn and forwarded to suppliers. The entire process from order placement to delivery takes between eight and twelve weeks.
Speeding up individualization
The design process begins with the case, which is based on the Porsche Design Chronotimer 1 series and made of lightweight, durable titanium. There is a choice between glass bead-blasted natural titanium and black PVD carbide coated titanium, which hardens the surface even more.
Under the hood, the brand’s in-house-developed Werk 01.100 movement ensures high performance and precision. It’s a C.O.S.C. certified chronometer tested under the rigorous requirements of the Chronofiable standard. This automatic chronograph movement is the flagship of the Porsche Design collection.
The customization options for the rotors are amazing. You can practically build a movement that highly resembles elements of an owner’s sports car. From the classic 911 Carrera rim, including the two-tone Porsche Crest in the center, to the 911 Carrera Exclusive Design wheel version with gold badge, there are six different rotor types to choose from.
As with the outer edges of the rims of a Porsche car, the color on the rotor edges can be chosen from the original Porsche color palette. Hard to imagine but even more fascinating, the size of the rotors, crafted with a precision accuracy down to five-thousandths of a millimeter, is equal to a 1:22 scaled-down version of the original car rim.
The Porsche crest, measuring around 50 mm on a vehicle rim, is a mere 3.3 x 4.4 mm when reduced to the watch size.
More Porsche style can be added to the wrist by way of the dial, which features a black backdrop and Super-LumiNova coating on the markers and hands.
Porsche Design offers a variety of exterior and interior colors for the small ring placed around the dial’s flange and two different types of hands. The bezels either display classic minute markers or a tachymeter scale.
300 possible configurations for straps and bracelets
Particular attention is paid to the bracelets and straps, which are available in three sizes.
Matching the cases, the titanium bracelets are available in glass bead-blasted natural titanium or black-coated titanium carbide, secured by either a butterfly deployant clasp or a regular deployant clasp with seven-step fine adjustment.
The leather straps are based on the current Porsche 911 generation’s interior, sport a butterfly deployant clasp, and are offered in 14 different colors. Even more colors of genuine Porsche thread are available for the stitching, allowing up to 300 different possible configurations.
In addition, customers who want to jazz up their timepieces with the ultimate Porsche touch can have the sapphire crystal case backs individualized with laser engravings, which can also be applied to the box.
The new Porsche Design Custom-Built Timepieces program starts in Germany in July 2020, followed by the UK and the U.S. in September at participating Porsche dealerships. The English version of the internet Timepiece Configurator will be available as of September 2020.
A basic Porsche Design custom-built timepiece ranges in price from €4,950 to €11,600 and includes up to three additional leather straps. Orders are placed exclusively through Porsche Centers and delivery takes eight to twelve weeks.
For more information, please visit www.porsche-design.com/custom-built-timepieces.