The Porsche 911 sports car had been around for about 10 years when the family company set out on a new goal in the early 1970s: to branch into luxury lifestyle products.
It was called Porsche Design and run by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the son of the legendary engineer. The first product was a chronograph wristwatch, designed by Porsche and made by Swiss company Orfina.
The case was matte black chromed steel, a first for the watch industry. It was marketed as an accessory for Porsche drivers but the design caught on and Porsche also made a stainless steel version.
In 1978, Porsche Design got together with the International Watch Company (IWC) to develop further watches using different materials. First there was an aluminium case and a resin bracelet. Later they produced the first all-titanium watch, the Titan Chronograph.
Since then Porsche Design has diversified into all sorts of luxury goods. But to celebrate its original watch programme, it will this month launch a new range – the Porsche Design Chronotimer Collection, made in Switzerland by famous Swiss watch company Eterna.
Porsche Design bought Eterna in the 1990s. The watchmaker began business in 1856 and has a number of industry firsts to its name, including the first wristwatch
with an alarm. That was in 1914.
In 1948 it changed the way self-winding watches would be made when it introduced its Eterna-matic, an extremely efficient movement running on five low-friction ball-bearings.
Porsche Design says the look of the Chronotimer Collection timepieces is inspired by the nonreflective instruments in a race car cockpit, which are entirely matte black except for the white numerals and hands.
This combination, along with a double-sided, seven-layer-coated nonreflective sapphire crystal, minimizes glare, says the designer.
All the models in the collection use a titanium case, waterproof to 50m. The cases are all 42mm in diameter and offer a variety of surface finishes and material choices for the strap, including leather, high-tech fabric, titanium, and rubber.
The bezels are available in matte black titanium, brushed titanium, or 18k rose gold. The dials come in matte black, carbon, deep blue, or white.