Before I highlight the tenuous connection between the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 All Black Numbered Edition and a factory-restored 1972 Porsche 911 S 2.4 Targa for sale at Sotheby’s, let’s deal with this: the new watch is going to piss off a bunch of people. No less than five hundred, in fact.
That’s how many horophiles bought a Porsche Design Chronograph 1 – 1972 Limited Edition. I reckon these buyers gave PD $10k laboring under the impression that “Limited Edition” meant “limited edition.” As in “ve vill build zese vatches und nicht mehr!” Yeah, didn’t turn out that way.
Both Porsche Design Chronograph 1’s are 40mm titanium timepieces based on the original Porsche Design Chronograph 1. The old new old watch is on the left, the new new old watch is on the right. Let’s play spot the differences, shall we?
The Numbered Edition (right) has different markings on the tachymeter – including the word “tachymeter” – between the top of the watch and the number 360. The NE also sports the words “chronometer certified” in red under a thinner, stretched-out version of the words “Porsche Design.” The Limited (left) wears the original kitchen sink plumbing-inspired Porsche Design logo, the Numbered wears the new logo.
Porsche’s media kit for the $10k All Black Numbered Edition claims the new chronograph offers “numerous upgraded details” over the Limited Edition (both released in 2022). You’d think that the Numbered’s back assward heads up (“chronometer certified”) indicates that it shelters a different, presumably better movement than its predecessor.
Nope. Both PD Chronos are powered by Porsche Design Caliber WERK 01.140. Both are COSC-certified chronometers. Which is great. Not so great? Porsche is “limiting” Numbered Edition production to 1000. As a collector, the difference between owning one of 500 watches and one of 1700 virtually identical watches is . . . a distinct feeling of brand betrayal.
Then again, how do you think buyers of the sold out Porsche Design Chronograph 1 GP2022 Edition – the same watch with a white strap – felt when the 1972 Limited Edition came along?
Pretty good, not bad, they can’t complain‘! PD only made 50 GP’s and the ice race shtick is way more distinctive than the plain jane Limited or Numbered pieces.
Don’t get me wrong. Limited, Numbered, GP’ed – however you dress-up it up, the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 is an absolute stunner inside and out As was the original Chronograph 1 chronicled in our posts Top Gun 2 Watch: Orfina Porsche Design Chronograph 1 and Review: IWC Porsche Design Titanium Chronograph.
To celebrate Porsche’s 50th and flog a thousand $10k watches ($10m gross thank you), the automaker’s restored a 1972 911 Targa and festooned it with a few bits and bobs designed to convince the world that the result was “inspired” by the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 All Black Numbered Edition watch.
Like the special edition model, the grille on the engine cover at the rear features a ‘Porsche Design 50th Anniversary’ badge with a reproduction of [Porsche Design founder] Ferdinand Alexander’s signature . . .
There is a ‘Porsche Design 50th Anniversary’ badge on the passenger side and the same logo also decorates the vehicle document folder and tool bag.
Yup. You read right. Two virtually identical watches “celebrated” by two virtually identical commemorative cars. Both of which are “resto-mods.” ‘
“Unlike any regular restoration project, the goal wasn’t to rebuild the car as close as possible to the original,” Porsche Lifestyle Group’s chief design officer Roland Heller told Robb Report. “In honor of our company’s founder, the philosophy we applied was to restore this unique sports car the way F. A. Porsche would have built it today—and a major inspiration for the restoration was the Chronograph 1 and its minimalist black design.”
I’m thinking designer F.A. Porsche wouldn’t have messed with the donor car’s engine (upgraded to “S” spec), slathered it with high-gloss platinum paint (with the logo in non-historic matte black) or put a bunch of badges hither and yon. But I’m sure the watch inspired the car in the marketing sense of the word.
Is the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 All Black Numbered Edition worth $10k. I think so. Is the “commemorative” Carrera worth its $275k and $375k estimate. Oh hell no. You can buy a lot better vintage Porsches for that kind of money, cars that will hold their value.
But I reckon the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 All Black Numbered Edition is worth $10k. Not because it’s collectible. But because F.A. was a masterful minimalist, and the new watch maintains the original’s design integrity while adding modern technology. It’s a hit.