In the year 2023, the illustrious Porsche 911, a true embodiment of the "iconic" designation, reaches a remarkable six decades of existence. This milestone remains far from inconspicuous, catching the attention of both Porsche enthusiasts and the innovative minds at Porsche Design. A tribute to this significant anniversary takes the form of the 911 S/T variant within the 992 generation, drawing inspiration from the lithe and nimble 911 S/T of 1970. Not to be outdone, Porsche Design enters the scene with the debut of the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 911 S/T timepiece, meticulously limited to a production count mirroring the 992 911 S/T: a mere 1,963 units. This watch allows for a measure of personalization, aligning elements such as the self-winding rotor and an exclusive production serial number with the unique specifications of one's cherished S/T vehicle.
Established in 1972 by none other than Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the visionary behind the original Porsche 911 and a scion of the Porsche AG lineage, Porsche Design stands as a distinguished German product design studio and brand. Although one might assume that Porsche Design has maintained an unbroken connection with Porsche's successive automobile launches, this practice has experienced a revival only in recent years. Porsche Design has undergone a transformation, evolving into an entity harmoniously synchronized with the strategic maneuvers and product cycles of Porsche AG, the automaker. The introduction of the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 911 S/T watch serves as a compelling testament to this heartening evolution.
Emerging from a transitional phase, the Porsche Design company embarked on a new horological journey in 2015 with the launch of their Timepiece No. 1. However, a significant watershed, underscoring the enhanced synergy between Porsche Design and the automaker, arrived in 2017 with the unveiling of the Chronograph 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. This timepiece not only matches the caliber of quality and design refinement synonymous with the luxurious 911 but can also be tailored during the vehicle configuration process to precisely mirror the specifications of the accompanying automobile.
The Porsche Design Chronograph 1 911 S/T watch boasts an impressive aesthetic, its titanium construction echoing the lightweight philosophy synonymous with the vehicle that shares its name. Adorned with the 911 S/T insignia at the 2 o'clock position, the watch's case measures 40.80mm in width, aligning harmoniously with the contemporary trend of slightly downsized timepieces – a size that only a few years prior would have exceeded 43-44mm. With a thickness of 15.15mm, the case accommodates the Porsche Design Werk 01.240 movement, an evolution from the venerable Valjoux 7750 architecture. This movement closely mirrors the dimensions of the 7750, measuring 30mm in width and 7.90mm in thickness. For the aficionados of horology, the operating frequency remains steadfast at 4Hz, coupled with a power reserve of 48 hours. In addition to these technical virtues, the watch features a commendable water resistance rating of "up to 10 bar dynamic" and a generously proportioned self-winding rotor, both of which contribute to its robust stature.
The Porsche Design Chronograph 1 911 S/T watch proudly bears the esteemed COSC chronometer certification, attesting to its remarkable accuracy. A notable inclusion is the flyback function, a practical complication particularly advantageous for spirited track days and fervent driving escapades. The rotor design draws inspiration from the distinctive wheel rim pattern exclusive to the 992 911 S/T, affording customers the choice to select a rotor that impeccably harmonizes with the chosen hue of their vehicle's wheels: Brilliant Silver, Dark Silver, Black, or Ceramica. Moreover, the center cap of the rotor can be adorned with the "S/T" insignia for the S/T models or embellished with the historic Porsche crest for the Heritage iteration.
Distinguished refinements, warranting the elevated pricing, encompass a titanium bracelet featuring secure screw-secured links along its entire length. This detail, a rarity, stands in contrast to the conventional usage of pins in titanium bracelets by most brands, even when screws are employed in their steel counterparts. This divergence results from variations in malleability and durability between the two metals. The bracelet further includes a quick-release mechanism and a folding clasp with precise adjustment. The front sapphire crystal features a "hard coating" along with "seven-fold anti-glare properties on both sides," ensuring exceptional legibility even in challenging conditions.
The dial design derives inspiration from the heritage-style tachometer found in select special edition and Exclusive Manufaktur 911 models today. This design melds white and green markers against a black backdrop, complemented by concentric lines encircling the Arabic numerals. Certain intricacies, such as the shift pattern (in white for the 911 S/T and gold for the 911 S/T Heritage variations of the Porsche Design Chronograph 1), as well as the subdial labels "M," "S," and "H" denoting minute, second, and hour counters, may evoke diverse reactions—some might perceive them as slightly excessive, while others view them as perfectly suited. Considering the plethora of information often presented on the modern 911 dashboard, including digital displays flanking the central tachometer, the watch's design resonates with the automobile's multifaceted nature.
The Porsche Design Chronograph 1 911 S/T watch is offered with both a titanium bracelet and a perforated leather strap crafted from authentic Porsche vehicle leather, featuring decorative stitching in GT Silver (strap sizes M and L included). The Heritage version comes with a Classic Cognac leather strap adorned with Classic Cognac stitching. Both the black and cognac straps elegantly complement the titanium watch head's black-green-red color scheme.
With a price tag of $13,500 USD, the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 911 S/T watch ranks among the more luxurious optional add-ons for the new 911. Notably, special edition 911s like the exclusive and limited 911 S/T often hold appeal beyond their driving pleasure, venturing into the realm of investment potential. For those who lean toward a collector's perspective, having the Porsche Design watch as a complement to the array of optional extras may indeed be a judicious choice. On a brighter note, envisioning a spirited Sunday morning drive through scenic canyons, accompanied by the sophistication of a cognac leather-strapped Porsche Design timepiece, paints an enticing picture of indulgence. For further information, interested parties are encouraged to explore the brand's official website.