Revealed last week, the new Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 limited edition wristwatch (Ref. 168535-3002) celebrates the Swiss brand’s partnership with one of the most revered icons of European car industry. More than three decades ago, the timeless Porsche 928 has become a source of inspiration for the team that worked on Apple Macintosh. Now, their revolutionary 919 Hybrid sports prototype offers some design ideas for the Swiss watchmaker.
As you can see, the watch features a very interesting styling with vertical stripes on its sides reminding of an aluminum gas pedal of a sports car. The silver-toned dial of the timekeeper, too, bears a very strong relationship to the world of motor sports. Not only the stripes that are deeply carved into its machine-brushed surface strongly remind of a sports prototype’s rear air diffusors, but they also mimic quite successfully the black and white color scheme of the Porsche 919 Hybrid that the German car manufacturer decided to put against the dreaded Audi R18 e-tron Quattro that, too, feature a very efficient hybridized drive system.
The chosen theme is further supported by the gorgeously executed Chopard 03.05-M automatic chronograph movement. While lacking the normal for the Swiss creations Geneva stripes, blued screw heads and all the usual stuff, the mechanism offers a completely new approach to skeletonization that seems to be inspired by either automotive or even aerospace industry. The bridges, quarter panels and even some minor parts of the movement show lots of thin horizontal slits that, as simple as they are, give the tiny engine a completely new feel.
The mechanism itself is not very large, so the watch seems to be deliberately oversized. The idea was, probably to make an even stronger impression on an enthusiast, however there is clearly a functional part to it, too: a larger watch allows for larger dial elements that are a lot easier (and faster!) to read, something that is always a problem with chronographs that often seem to cramp to many indicators in a too constrained place.
Still, the timekeeper’s massive lugs seem to be quite long, so it is strongly advised to try this one on your own wrist before ordering the timepiece based on press photos and wristshots alone.
Although both Porsche entries at 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans event weren’t able to finish the race due to mechanical problems, the new Porsche 919 Hybrid, a completely new vehicle that has its 4-liter internal combustion engine augmented with an electric motor that drives the car’s front wheels, has proved to be quite a serious competitor to Audi and probably even gave the team’s boss some grey hair that wasn’t there before the race started.
If Porsche manages to polish out all the rough places in the vehicle’s design, there is a good chance that at Le Mans 2015 we will see a new winner that will have Chopard logo on its carbon fiber rear view mirrors.
At that time, the collector’s value of this new Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Limited Edition (Ref. 168535-3002) will probably hit through the roof and reach the lower boundary of stratosphere. At a price of €9950 or $12,890 USD the watch is not particularly affordable, however, the level of craftsmanship, the originality of design and the overall feeling of the device seem to completely justify the heavy price tag.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Limited Edition (Ref. 168535-3002) watch specification
Price: €9950 / $12,890 USD (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber Chopard 03.05-M, 28.8 mm in diameter, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 45
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 60 hours
Movement decoration: Skeletonized
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, flyback chronograph
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 45.00 mm
Case height: 15.18 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Opaline silver-toned
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Black, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber strap with polished stainless steel folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire, engraved