New Porsche Chronograph 1 Targets Targa

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Before I highlight the connection between the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 All Black Numbered Edition and a 1972 Porsche 911 Targa, know this: the new watch is going to piss off a whole bunch of people . . .

Five hundred. That’s how many horophiles bought a Porsche Design Chronograph 1 – 1972 Limited Edition.

I reckon these buyers gave Porsche Design $10k believing that ”Limited Edition” meant “limited edition.” As in “ve vill build zese vatches und nicht mehr!” What’s the German word for PSYCH!

Original Porsche Design Chronograph 1

With the introduction of the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 All Black Numbered Edition, there are now two new titanium Chronograph 1’s, both 40mm, both based on the original Porsche Design Chronograph 1 (see: Top Gun 2 Watch: Orfina Porsche Design Chronograph 1 and Review: IWC Porsche Design Titanium Chronograph).

Let’s play spot the differences between the two variants, shall we?

In the picture above, the old new old watch (1972 Limited Edition) is on the left. The new new old watch (All Black Numbered Edition) is on the right.

The Numbered Edition has different markings on the tachymeter – including the word “tachymeter” – between the top of the watch and the number 360. The ‘72 Limited (left) wears the original under-sink-plumbing Porsche Design logo. The All Black Numbered wears the new, half-a-square logo.

Porsche’s media kit for the $10k All Black Numbered Edition claims the new chronograph offers “numerous upgraded details” over the Limited Edition (both released in 2022) – enumerating none.

As the NE adds the text “chronometer certified” in red under a thinner, stretched-out version of “Porsche Design,” you’d be forgiven for thinking the All Black Numbered’s back assward heads-up indicates that the new new old watch shelters a better movement than its 1972 Limited Edition predecessor.

Porsche Design Caliber WERK 01.140

Nope. Both PD Chronos are powered by Porsche Design Caliber WERK 01.140. Both are COSC-certified chronometers. Which is great. The caliber in question is a gorgeous, accurate, Valjoux 7750-based engine – with no stupid sticker on the see-through caseback marring the view.

Not so great: Porsche is “limiting” production of All Black Numbered Edition Porsche Design Chronographs to 1000 timepieces.

As a collector, the difference between owning one of 500 watches (the 1972 LE) and one of 1500 virtually identical watches (1972 Limited Edition plus the Numbered Black Edition) is . . . a feeling of betrayal.

These suckers are not cheap. Unless the Chronograph 1 supply vs. demand equation rivals that of new Porsche automobiles – which still require either a $50k or $100k premium depending on the model – the new new old Chrono 1 dings the value of the previous version’s resale value.

While we’re at it, how did buyers of the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 GP2022 Edition – the same watch as the ’72 Limited Edition attached to a white strap – feel when the 500-piece 1972 Limited Edition came along?

Pretty good, not bad, they can’t complain. Porsche Design only made 50 GP2022’s, they sold out in days and the ice race shtick is way more distinctive than the plain Jane 1972 Limited Edition and All Black Numbered timepieces.

Don’t get me wrong. Limited, numbered, folded, spindled or mutilated – however you package it, the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 is a stunner, both inside and out. But it’s clear Porsche Design – now owned by Porsche – figured the new new old watch’s marketing campaign needed a bit of horsepower.

Enter a restored a 1972 911 Targa festooned with a few bits and bobs designed to convince the world that the vehicle was “inspired” by the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 All Black Numbered Edition watch. Here’s how the Porsche PR spins it:

Like the special edition model, the grille on the engine cover at the rear features a ‘Porsche Design 50th Anniversary’ badge with a reproduction of [Porsche Design founder] Ferdinand Alexander’s signature . . .

There is a ‘Porsche Design 50th Anniversary’ badge on the passenger side and the same logo also decorates the vehicle document folder and tool bag . . .

“Unlike any regular restoration project, the goal wasn’t to rebuild the car as close as possible to the original,” Porsche Lifestyle Group Chief Design Officer Roland Heller told Robb Report.

“In honor of our company’s founder, the philosophy we applied was to restore this unique sports car the way F. A. Porsche would have built it today—and a major inspiration for the restoration was the Chronograph 1 and its minimalist black design.”

You cannot be serious! Designer F.A. Porsche would not have condoned messing with the donor car’s engine (upgraded to “S” spec), slathering the Targa with high-gloss platinum paint, blacking out the logo and pasting 50th anniversary badges hither and yon.

That said, I’m sure Porsche Design’s Marketing Department is pleased with the watch -> car concept’s reception. What better way to get the usual suspects to flog a been-there-seen-that new new old $10k Porsche Design watch than to flog it alongside a new old car?

Four-wheeled hype aside, is the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 All Black Numbered Edition worth $10k? Jawohl! Not because the Chrono’s inherently collectible; Porsche f*cked that up.

Because F.A. Porsche was a masterful minimalist whose original design nailed it, and the 40mm version with clear caseback makes the watch fresh and funky. Every. Single. One.

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