Motorsport-themed watchesMotorsports-themed watches are the newest trend: Porsche, Mercedes, Mille Miglia and Shelby Cobra inspire new designs
Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer
Cars and watches have a strong bond – speed being measured by time – but the relationship goes much deeper.
Take Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, grandson of the car company’s founder and designer of the Porsche 911, who scandalously broke watchmaking tradition in 1972 by creating the world’s first black timepiece. “I wanted a watch to go with the car,” he said. “Black, like the speedometer and rev counter in the 911, because it doesn’t dazzle when you read it.”
In 1980, he did it again with the first wristwatch made from titanium. F A Porsche passed away in 2012, but his legacy lives on through his Porsche Design group.
This year saw the release of a 42mm chronograph that combines a motorsport tachymeter with F A’s functional design ethos; the 1919 in its name a reference to the founding year of the Bauhaus school of modernism, to which F A was devoted. “If you analyze the function of an object, its form often becomes obvious,” he said.
In this case that form includes, naturally, a black titanium case, and a non-reflective sapphire crystal glass that ensures the dial is as easy to read as the ones on his beloved 911. And, with 100m of water resistance, it should endure as long as his revolutionary design choices.
A podium finish of motorsport-themed timepieces