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Expensive News – Two new Porsche 911-inspired chronographs are divergent takes on a design classic

Expensive News –
Two new Porsche 911-inspired chronographs are divergent takes on a design classic

Two new Porsche 911 inspired chronographs Divergent takes on a design classic

Two new Porsche 911-inspired chronographs are divergent takes on a design classic

NEWCOMER SINGER REIMAGINED AND THE VENERABLE PORSCHE DESIGN BOAST: LESS IS FAR MORE

Over the past five decades, several — well, actually, a lot — of Swiss watchmakers (and some German ones, too) have offered up Porsche 911-inspired chronographs. Simply, this one car has been a wellspring of countless automotive- and motorsport-inspired horological precepts, designs and calibres (movements) starting with the first Porsche Design wristwatch in 1972 right up through today.

Cases in point: The just released Singer Reimagined Track 1 Chronograph and the all-new Porsche Design Monobloc Actuator GMT-Chronotimer.Nine years after Professor F.A. Porsche designed the 901 (911) he launched the Porsche Design brand. The company’s first product? The Porsche Design Chronograph I. Rob Dickinson founded the So Cal cult air cooled 911 (964) restoration and modification shop Singer Vehicle Design in 2009. Now, eight years later, and with partners Marco Borraccino and Jean-Marc Wiederrecht (watch designer and watchmaker respectively), he launched the Singer Reimagined brand recently in Geneva.

The first product? The Singer Track 1 Chronograph. A distinctive neo-vintage chrono design that dispatches customary subdials, replacing them with enhanced legibility concentric circle dials courtesy of the rather revolutionary movement that strictly adheres the stringent “form follows function” 911 design ethos.

Porsche redesigned the 911 for 1989 because Porsche without the 911 had become unthinkable. When the front-engined 928 was revealed as the Neunelfer’s intended successor, Porschephiles, having …

Curiously, Porsche Design also just released a somewhat revolutionarily designed watch: The Monobloc Actuator GMT-Chronotimer. It eliminates perhaps the most distinctive feature of a chronograph other than the three classic subdials: the pushers. Replacing conventional chrono pushers with “invisibly” integrated ones, inspired in part by the technical principles behind the rocker-arm valve control of the 911 RSR.

Are these two timepieces’ temporal proximity all a coincidence? Dickinson says it is, and that he hadn’t given any thought until asked. Difficult to imagine. However, he certainly seemed genuinely flattered at the comparison — as well he should be. What is undisputed is that the Porsche 911 is a timeless source of visionary timepieces, including these two.

Porsche Design Monobloc Actuator GMT-Chronotimer titanium

Porsche Design’s titanium Monobloc Actuator GMT-Chronotimer draws inspiration from the 911 RSR and hides its chrono pushers behind a rocker-arm valve control-inspired mechanism on the side of the case.

ABOUT THE WATCHES

Singer Track 1 Chronograph

  • Watchmaker: Signer Reimagined + Agenhor: Atelier Genevois d’Horlogerie
  • Inspiration: The Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer
  • Price: CHF 39,800 (approximately $41,000 at press time)
  • Notes: The 43-mm cushion-shaped limited launch edition (50 examples) Singer Track 1 Chronograph without question takes some design cues from 1960s  and 70’s Heuer chronos (in a massively assertive oversized sort of way); as with the most well-known Porsche Design watches, the case is titanium, but all that said, the real star here is the revolutionary AgenGraphe Caliber by Wiederrecht/ AGENHOR. Again, sans traditional subdials. Worth 40 grand? If you already have a half-million-dollar Singer 911, then sure.

Porsche Design Monobloc Actuator GMT-Chronotimer

  • Watchmaker: Porsche Design
  • Inspiration: 911RSR
  • Price: $6,350
  • Notes: As with its iconic early-1980s predecessor the IWC Porsche Design Titanium Titan Chronograph (from which it barrows many design elements — many), and numerous other PD watches that have followed, the 45.5mm Monobloc Actuator is a chronograph completely (case, bracelet, crown and rocker-arm) fashioned from titanium. Again, sans traditional pushers. Worth six grand and change? Pretty standard fare for a fine Swiss watch these days.

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