Porsche Design is celebrating a major milestone in true style. 50 years after Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche founded Porsche Design, the brand is celebrating this milestone anniversary by auctioning two icons from the archives. The two legendary designs being auctioned by Sotheby’s are a unique timepiece based on the pioneering Porsche Design Chronograph I and an impeccably restored 1972 Porsche 911 S 2.4 Targa. Sotheby’s will present these two ultra-desirable tributes to the Porsche Design legacy as highlights in their bi-annual Luxury Week series in New York. Whoever is lucky enough to win the bid on the exclusive timepiece will not only receive the ultra-exclusive watch, but the keys to that stunning 911 S 2.4 Targa.
However, to fully appreciate what’s on offer, let’s go back to the early days of Porsche Design and the inception of the Chronograph I. F. A. Porsche had the vision of transferring design principles from Porsche’s famous sports cars to the wrist in the form of a special timepiece. The result was the world’s first all-black wristwatch. Finished with a matte black dial, a red stopwatch second hand, luminescent hour indices and high-quality anti-glare crystal, the Chronograph I was designed to ensure optimum readability, taking direct inspiration from the anti-glare gauges in Porsche’s sports cars. Thus, F. A. Porsche established the link between these two icons of the road and the wrist.
Now, 50 years later, the one-of-a-kind Chronograph 1 - 911 S 2.4 Targa celebrates F. A. Porsche’s pioneering vision. Not only does this one-off timepiece pay tribute to the 911 Targa in its name, the unique winding rotor on the back of the case also mimics the historic Fuchsfelge wheels found on the 911 Targa from 1972.
While the watch certainly carries jaw-dropping levels of desirability, what we really can’t take our eyes off is that practically factory-fresh 1972 Porsche 911 S 2.4 Targa. Proudly bearing the design signature of F. A. Porsche, this one-off classic has been restored as a unique collaborative project between Porsche Classic and Porsche Design. As you can imagine, a great deal of the design input came from Studio F. A. Porsche in Zell am See, Austria. Uwe Makrutzki, Head of Porsche Classic Factory Restoration, provides some insight: “Our general philosophy in a factory restoration project is to restore the vehicles to be as faithful to the original as possible,” he explains, but this project wasn’t any ordinary restoration. “We deliberately took a different approach with this project. We've created a unique vehicle that blends tradition and present day, and bears the signature of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche.”
To further link this unique sports car with the legendary Chronograph I, it borrows the timepiece’s colour scheme. As you can see, black is the dominant theme inside and out, however, the Targa roll bar represents a special highlight, finished in Platinum Satin rather than the brushed stainless steel of the classic model. This unique 911 Targa features original historic fabrics such as the black Sport-Tex checkered flag upholstery on the seat centres, door paneling, and dashboard.
As you might expect, the car features several design elements to mark the occasion: a ‘50 Years of Porsche Design’ plaque with a facsimile signature of F. A. Porsche is placed on the grille of the engine cover at the rear, while the the side stripes, headrests and dashboard, among other elements, also feature the ‘50 Years of Porsche Design’ logo - all marking the brand’s milestone year. The cherry on top of this extremely appealing package is a restoration case with detailed documentation, a key fob and a model car that has also been converted to match this unique classic.
While the finishes applied to this gorgeous 911 certainly carry a modern twist, the beating heart of this sports car remains true to the model that rolled off the line 50 years ago. Nestled behind the rear wheels you’ll find a 2.4-litre air-cooled flat-six producing 190 hp and 216 Nm of torque. While today’s 911s produce more than double that figure, this 1,075 kg featherweight still possesses more than enough sporting ability to put a massive smile on your face. So, if you’ve taken a fancy to what might well be the world’s ultimate watch and car combo, make sure you don’t miss Sotheby’s New York auction between November 29th and December 14th.