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Porsche reveals the The "Porsche Design Indicator" at Baselworld 2004

At Baselworld 2004 the subsidiary of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, presented the new "Porsche Design Indicator" to the specialist world – a lavishly designed watch that combines chronograph functions with a mechanical digital display for the first time. This is made possible by what is currently the most complex, series-production wristwatch movement in the world operating inside this timepiece.

The "Porsche Design Indicator" is a groundbreaking innovation in the world of mechanical watches, as it shows stopped time intervals up to nine hours and 59 minutes in large digits. It was developed by the Swiss watchmaker Eterna SA, Grenchen, which is owned by the designer and Porsche Supervisory Board member, Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. The price of the "Porsche Design Indicator" is EUR 65,000 (including value added tax). Production has been limited to 50 units per year.

To power the "Porsche Design Indicator's" conventional functions, the developers selected a mechanical movement based on the automatic-calibre ETA/Valjoux-7750. However, the design for the main plate and bridges is completely new. In order to keep the overall height as low as possible, the Eterna watchmakers deliberately avoided a simple modular construction in favour of an integrated solution. To accomplish this, far more than 400 individual components had to be newly developed and fitted into special separator parts. In total, the complex mechanism of this chronograph consists of more than 800 individual components.

The design of the "Porsche Design Indicator" is consciously reminiscent of the styling of the high performance Carrera GT sports car. It represents dynamism, precision, power, state-of-the-art technology and perfection. The housing is made of the light and yet highly durable material titanium. The watchcase is waterproof to 50 metres, boasts a diameter of 49 millimetres and a thickness of 18 millimetres.

As with the first Porsche Design titanium watch in the 1980s, the buttons on the new "Porsche Design Indicator" chronograph are elongated, reflecting the design of the Carrera GT's pedals: full-length cross ribbing improves grip, and a two-to-one lever ratio makes the stop-button easier to use.

On the reverse of the casing, a sapphire glass bottom plate fixed with six screws allows a view of the oversized winding rotor. This – like all watch models in the new collection from Porsche Design – is weight-optimised: the blade of the rotor has been delicately worked with titanium on the inside, which contributes to a low mass while retaining a high level of rigidity. On the outside, however, the blade is made of solid red gold, to generate the necessary winding energy for the four spring barrels. The rotor's design is based on the look of a Carrera GT wheel rim.

This sporty chronograph comes with a robust, yet comfortable, soft caoutchouc band with a secure double hook clasp. On the inside, the black band matches the tread of the high performance tyres on a Carrera GT. This is not just attractive to look at, but also offers functional advantages: the tread grooves allow the skin to breathe, thereby reducing sweating.

Text/Photos: Porsche