BRAND OF THE MONTH: Porsche Design Inaugurates a New Era for Chronographs

Porsche Design MONOBLOC ACTUATOR Collection

Time measurement and motorsport are inherently linked, like a balance wheel and an escapement. As a reliable instrument for measuring time, a chronograph can accurately tally and document outstanding achievements and best times, precise to mere fractions of a second. As such, the chronograph has come to symbolize the athletic spirit of competitive sports and has inarguably become the most popular complication among watch aficionados.

Technology Transfer between Motorsport and Watchmaking

With the new MONOBLOC ACTUATOR Collection, Porsche Design sets new standards in the art and science of time measurement. The watchmakers at Porsche Design Timepieces AG in Solothurn, Switzerland collaborated with the designers at Studio F. A. Porsche in Zell am See, Austria and the engineers at Porsche Development Centre in Weissach, Germany to develop this line. The result is a revolutionary new approach to the operation of a chronograph. The role model for this innovative mechanism is the racing engine of the new Porsche 911 RSR: a paradigmatic example of precision and performance on the highest level.

The timepieces comprising the MONOBLOC ACTUATOR line achieve the unprecedented feat of literally engineering the chronograph’s buttons seamlessly into the case of the watch. A multiply borne rocker switch alternately sets into motion and halts the chronograph mechanism of automatic Calibre ETA/Valjoux 7754. Like the valves in the racing engine of the 911 RSR, this mechanism provides absolute precision, dependability, and continual, reliable protection against moisture penetration throughout operation. This means the stopwatch function of this chronograph, which is pressure-resistant to ten bar, is operational underwater.

The MONOBLOC ACTUATOR GMT-Chronotimer model versions offer the ideal companions at 24-hour races, or simply jetting across multiple time zones. Each version comes in a 45.5 millimetre titanium case, the staple material for the brand since its innovation in 1980. The watches, available with a matte black or a deep blue sunburst-dial, come on a rubber strap, or an all-titanium bracelet, which utilizes a folding clasp with integrated fine-adjustment-mechanism to ensure a perfect fit.

The MONOBLOC ACTUATOR 24H-Chronotimer features an innovative black titanium-carbide coating over its titanium case, a matte black dial, and a checkered-flag-design function indicator at “9 o’clock” — especially useful due to its optimal readability. This model is exclusively available on a rubber strap with deployment buckle.

The new product family — unveiling at Baselworld 2017 — is further proof of Porsche Design’s passion for innovation and performance. Maintaining the design philosophy of Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the collection demonstrates a product’s design is a logical consequence of its inner structure and function. The new MONOBLOC ACTUATOR Collection will be available in Porsche Design stores and select wholesalers starting in May 2017. Prices range from approximately $6,350 to $6,850.

 

Engineering Time

Stuttgart. Porsche Design. A brand that reflects both its origins and its philosophy in the name. Established in 1972, the designers have ever since drawn inspiration from Porsche’s performance in motorsports. The defining elements are design competence, technical thinking and the transfer of technology from sports car construction to watch development. A philosophy that can be traced back to company founder Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, designer of the legendary Porsche 911 and countless other racing cars; a philosophy which is still being honoured to this day.

Certain innovations and key movements in racing car construction have also found their way into the design philosophy of Porsche Design, such as the selection of new types of materials for weight reduction or matte black fittings to avoid reflections. Since day one, the aim has always been to think one step further, to reevaluate new technologies and to drive developments forward – in other words, to question the status quo. This is what makes Porsche Design watches not just first-class timepieces, but precision tools.

1972 – the first entirely matte black wristwatch
1978 – the first watch with an integrated compass
1980 – the first chronograph made entirely from titanium
2004 – the first watch with mechanical-digital display
2017 – the next innovative watch concept

Innovations that have become indispensable in the watch industry.

Since the brand’s beginnings, all products have been designed in-house at the design studio F. A. Porsche in Zell am See, Austria. When Porsche Design Timepieces AG, the think tank for technological development, was established in Solothurn, Switzerland in 2014, it was the beginning of a new era. This continues to be where the timepieces are produced to the highest quality and technical standards, without compromise.

The strategic partnership with Porsche Motorsport ensures that this philosophy will be continued in the future by the sharing of findings from new research in the world of motorsports, to the production of these timepieces. Consequently, Porsche Design Timepieces has been appointed the “Official Timing Partner” for the Porsche Motorsport GT work programme starting as of 2017.

Porsche and Porsche Design share a natural drive for constant improvement, the drive to be first, in motorsports but also in the watch industry. These shared values lead to timeless results with maximum performance.

For more information please visit Porsche Design on-line.

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1 Comment

  1. Alan Adler says:

    First of all, I have not tried this. But when I read this article and imagined using this watch, doubts quickly arose.

    95% of the time I start and stop a chronograph I am not looking at it. I’m watching some action. Conventional buttons assure your sense of feel that you are pressing the desired place. It seems a shame to me to give up that assuring feel that says, “Press here”, just for fashion and newness.