Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 Deep Blue
The Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 Deep Blue is a chronograph imbued with the styling prowess of the Swabian luxury lifestyle brand. Recently, Angus Davies got hands-on with this motoring inspired timepiece in London’s prestigious Knightsbridge.
This detailed review of the Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 Deep Blue includes live images, specification details and pricing.
In life, there are occasions when a product is designed which transcends function and becomes a work of art. The Le Corbusier chaise longue is not merely popular with psychiatrists, its form has become an icon. The architectural style of the Gugenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright remains a case study in structural design. And who can forget the cute Bialetti espresso maker with its distinctive eight-sided shape.
When it comes to automotive styling, no car can rival the Porsche 911. First released in 1963, it has retained its original, distinctive line of form. Its shape may have evolved over the years, fulfilling all technical requirements for performance, economy and safety, but the essence of the original 901 has been retained. Over the last 53 years, Porsche has become a byword for design. It therefore should come as no surprise that the name has gone on to appear on a myriad of different luxury products.
Porsche and Porsche Design are two separate entities, but the design prowess of both organisations continues to endure. With an array of luxury products in its catalogue, Porsche Design tantalises admirers of the car marque with clothing, eyewear, writing instruments and, most notably, timepieces.
The brand has been offering timepieces for some time, previously working closely with Eterna. However, in recent times Porsche Design has branched out on its own. The brand has released many supremely attractive watches. I recently had the opportunity to handle one of its timepieces in the company’s boutique in Knightsbridge, London just a few metres away from the legendary Harrods department store.
The Chronotimer Series 1 features an anthracite dial, with contrasting dark blue rings encircling the subdials and main dial area. The contrast between the two tones is very subtle, but I suspect will look more noticeable in different light conditions.
The hour and minute hands are contemporary in style and are lined with white luminescent material. The hour markers combine short batons, for even-numbered hours, with neat Arabic minute markings displayed at the odd-numbered hour positions. There is almost an economy with detail on this timepiece which accords a tidy, uncluttered appearance.
A small seconds display resides at 9 o’ clock, while opposite, an aperture reveals the date. Adjacent the date, an applied Porsche Design logo glimmers in the merest suggestion of light.
Positioned along a north-south axis are two chronograph registers. They are larger than the small seconds display and dominate the dialscape. The upper subdial displays a 30-minute register, while below a 12-hour register is positioned. Both chronograph registers share the same generous scale.
Occupying the periphery of the dial is a minuterie in crisp, angelic white, which, in conjunction with the central chronograph seconds hand, makes reading off elapsed time intervals child’s play.
Finally, a tachymeter scale adorns the bezel, allowing the wearer to determine the speed of a vehicle over a known distance.
The titanium case evinces a highly polished, almost glossy appearance. It gleams resplendently in ambient light. Despite the significant case height of 14.62mm, the modest case diameter of 42mm means the timepiece bestows an unobtrusive residency upon the wrist.
The crown is delightfully knurled, proving simple to grip and gloriously attractive to look at. The highly polished pushpieces are generously proportioned, providing a large surface area on their vertical flank for ease of manipulation. The lugs of the case arc gently, assuming a calm, relaxed persona.
A critical area of great design is tactility and the blue fabric strap with matching stitching feels magnificent, reinforcing, once again, the success of this horological ensemble.
Porsche Design has equipped the Chronotimer Series 1 Deep Blue with an exhibition case back. The pane of sapphire crystal is black-tinted and similar to the windows of the 1980s 911 Turbo cars I coveted as a child. Tinting this pane of sapphire crystal does slightly inhibit the wearer seeing the automatic movement, however, the overall aesthetic justifies any impairment in seeing the ETA-Valjoux 7750.
The ETA-Valjoux 7750 needs little introduction. It has a legendary reputation within the watch industry for faultless reliability. However, it could never be described as the prettiest movement in existence. Porsche Design has endeavoured to augment the beauty quotient of the calibre by tinting the glass, fitting blued screws and equipping the movement with a personalised Porsche Design branded rotor.
Another strength of the ETA-Valjoux 7750 is ease and affordability of servicing. Indeed, as any 911 owner can attest, the servicing costs of this iconic car are comparatively modest, reinforcing the similarities the watch shares with the supercar.
The dial of the Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 Deep Blue exhibits a restrained, almost simple design layout. There are no fussy details or extraneous elements, everything is designed to confer ease of read off. The subtle contrast between the anthracite dialscape and the low-key deep blue accents is sublime. Moreover, the use of neat, crisp white markings on the subdials and minuterie augment legibility.
The proportions of the titanium case should ensure suitability for a broad section of the watch buying public, proving neither too big nor too small. The highly polished, exuberant case looks very appealing and provides the perfect complement for the restrained dial.
Porsche Design has elected to use a tried and tested, ultra-reliable ETA-Valjoux 7750 which should confer faithful and reliable service as well as low on-going running costs.
Ultimately, is the Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 Deep Blue a design icon? No, to be an icon a product needs to have widespread recognition. Unfortunately, the timepieces made by Porsche Design lack the awareness of say a Rolex Submariner and recognition is a prerequisite necessary to be termed a ‘design icon’. Nevertheless, if Porsche Design keep producing magnificent watches like this modestly priced chronograph I suspect it will only be a matter of time before some of its models share the same ‘iconic’ status as the legendary 911.
- Model: Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 Deep Blue
- Reference: 4046901408770
- Case: Titanium; diameter 42mm; height 14.62mm; water resistant to 5 bar (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and case back.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; chronograph; tachymeter scale
- Movement: ETA-Valjoux 7750; self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve 48 hours
- Strap: Blue fabric strap supplied on folding clasp.
- Price: €3950 (RRP as at 19.12.2016)