It seems robust scientifical theory that the unique part of the brain that makes many people go all gooey-eyed at the site of a tricked out 911 is also triggered in a similar fashion by the sight of a high-end mechanical watch. It stands to reason. Especially if they are both Porsches.
Porsche, at any rate, is proceeding on that assumption. With its “Exclusive Manufaktur” service, future Porsche owners here in the U.S. are able to personalize their new cars with an array of special custom details. And now, launched just this week in the U.S. market via Porsche Design’s website (and also through Porsche dealerships across the country), a new configurator system extends that near-bespoke idea to watches.
Prospective watch owners can now create their own personal take on the brand’s flagship watch, the Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1, which draws much of its design language from the 911 itself. Featuring a brand-new, in-house movement as standard (the chronometer WERK01.100) you start out by choosing between a black or natural titanium case. Before you know it, you’re swapping out the colors of the hands, the design of the bracelet, or accent colors in the chapter ring. Even the color of the thread on a calf leather strap and the design of the automatic rotor—available in a relatively standard-looking iteration, or shaped like the specific rims of the car you also dream of one day owning—can be personalized. Starting from the base level price of $5,150 (which is a piece of statement design on its own), you add specific items to the shopping list while the totalizer trips upward towards a ceiling of around $12k. Lead times are eight to 12 weeks.
A bit of backstory. Porsche Design was established in Zell am See, Austria, in 1972 by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, designer of the 911 and grandson of Porsche’s founder Ferdinand Porsche. FA Porsche operated for many years as an industrial design studio entirely distinct from the Stuttgart, Germany, carmaker itself until 2003 when the two merged. But his studio’s creations, including watches—he made the world’s first all-black titanium watch the same year he launched the company—and a raft of high-design household objects, sunglasses, and even a titanium tobacco pipe with cooling fins like a motorcycle engine, were always steeped in the rigorous Porsche traditions of functional and beautiful automotive design. And now, you get to have a hand in that process.