The 2014 Porsche Design Chronograph Titanium Limited Edition is yet another masterpiece of German design. Delivering just the right combination of manliness and reserved elegance that could only be compared to that of a Porsche 911 Carrera sports car, it is issued as a limited edition of just 500 pieces, which is a pity: collectibility or not, the world, which is dominated by tasteless, soulless objects of industrial design, needs more beautiful things like this one.
Porsche Design’s, um, design is almost always easily predictable. In this regard, the German brand reminds me of Apple Computers as it was when Steve Jobs was in charge.
Their design language is well-developed and highly articulated, and thoroughly calculated: they never leave anything to chance. It looks like nothing is added or subtracted just because an executive board or some guy in a room full of computers decided to “play a little” with additional elements just to make the piece “look more, um, complex, you know”.
I don’t know how many iterations of their new timekeeper (and other objects of industrial design) they sculpt from Styrofoam before giving it a final go-ahead, but it seems that, well, a lot. Every single element of the case, including the oversized setting crown, looks like the brand has invested thousands of man-hours in creating this work of art. And don’t let the seeming simplicity of the piece fool you: it is that rare case where it takes more effort to make an object look simple than to make it look complex.
As usual, the watch is elegant in that reserved way we came to like since the German brand Braun delivered its first product designed by Dieter Rams.
You can see that the timekeeper’s titanium case features a unique “unibody” design with only the back cover screwed down with eight polished screws. The matte black dial, too, offers a completely flat surface, which is decorated with twelve rectangular hour markers and a seconds/minutes scale, which is echoed by vintage-looking 12-hour and 30-minute chronograph and small seconds sub-dials located at 6, 12, and 9 o’clock respectively.
There is no guilloche, no meticulous skeletonization, and no complex three-dimensional surfaces, but nevertheless, the face of the gadget looks absolutely, unquestionably stunning with the thin bezel with its usual tachymeter scale serving as a perfect frame for this picture.
The legendary ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic movement was, too, extensively modified. Hidden behind a black tinted sapphire crystal, the mechanism has all of its visible parts blacked out and decorated with Geneva Stripes, while its original oscillating weight has been replaced with a new part that features the famous “Porsche Design Icon” logo (it is also visible on the dial and the oversized setting crown).
Measuring almost 15 millimeters thick, the wristwatch is obviously not for the kind of persons seeking ultra-slim timekeepers, but I still can’t call it too thick: for timepieces powered by the Caliber 7750, this is a pretty normal size. Just make sure that your shirt has wide enough cuffs to accommodate this beautiful monster.
Photos: Porsche Design
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Porsche Design Chronograph Titanium Limited Edition specification
Price: €4950 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Movement decoration: Blacked out parts, Geneva stripes, skeletonized oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph, tachymeter
Case: Titanium, bead-blasted
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 14.62 mm
Dial: Matte black
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black calfskin strap with black stitching and a bead-blasted folding clasp made of titanium and stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Sapphire, tinted black