MONOBLOC ACTUATOR

The Porsche Design Timepieces AG utilized technology transfer from the world of motorsport to develop the technology of the new Monobloc Actuator Titanium Chronograph from Porsche Design. Inspired by the functionality of the high-RPM mechanical valve control of the Porsche 911 RSR, the engineers at Porsche Design Timepieces AG invented an integrated rocker switch, which controls the chronograph’s operation entirely from inside the watch’s case. This prototypical example of performance at the highest level exemplifies precision engineering in the smallest possible space.

What qualities do motorsport and time measurement share in common: Precision, functionality, and performance in every second. Like a racecar, a wristwatch is a typical product of the 20th century, which has repeatedly spurred engineers and technicians to achieve progressively greater feats. Porsche Design is the intersection of these two worlds.

Established by Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche in 1972, Porsche Design has always drawn its inventive spirit from numerous sources, the foremost being Porsche’s unique competence in motorsport. The goal is to create technically inspired products outside the automotive world, yet with the same high standards of aesthetics and function that distinguish Porsche motorcars. Achieving this objective means constantly questioning the status quo, developing innovative technical solutions, and conducting intensive tests to guarantee long-lasting performance.

Then as now, the unflagging drive for top performance and precision, combined with a technology transfer from racecar construction to watchmaking – found nowhere else in the watch industry! – are the duty and the motivation that continually keep Porsche Design one step ahead.

This ambition helped Porsche achieve its unique reputation and can be traced to the year 1948. Just two weeks after its delivery, the very first Porsche 356 won its first mountain race in Innsbruck. With its significantly better overall package – consisting of low weight, high drivability and strong engine performance – the legendary sports car bested its competitors and left them far behind. At Porsche, one still describes this today as “Intelligent Performance”. It is readily visible on the racetrack, where victory or defeat is decisive.

Motorsport was the second focal point in the 1960s, alongside the further development of serially manufactured vehicles, of which there was only one series at the time: first the Porsche 356 and afterwards the 911. Under the guidance of F. A. Porsche, who joined the company in 1957 and first took responsibility for its design department in 1962, numerous racing vehicles were developed, which performed with outstanding success in endurance races. More than thirty thousand victories on the world’s most demanding racecourses earned Porsche an outstanding reputation as a highly competent manufacturer of sports cars. The brand’s name became synonymous with the highest level of engineering competence. This heritage and its associated prestige also characterize Porsche Design today. To develop its new products, Porsche Design enjoys exclusive access to the decades-long experience and expertise of the sports car manufacturer.

Thanks to this winning combination, Porsche Design has emerged during the past forty years as a powerful source of innovations for high-end mechanical timepieces. In less than half a century, with wristwatches basing their identity and character on technical innovation, functional design and an aesthetic that defines new styles, Porsche Design has repeatedly set new standards in the watch industry.

The beginning of this success story coincides with the company’s very first wristwatch, the Chronograph I from 1972. With this timepiece, which premiered in an era when watches were primarily worn as jewellery, Porsche Design started a trend that has become an integral feature in the world of watches: the color black. As is true of every product from this house, the design resulted from a thorough re-examination of the underlying function, which, in this instance, is the optimal readability of the dial.

The solution was found in the cockpits of the era’s racing vehicles. To reduce glaring reflections, which interfered with the readability of the instruments, and to assure maximum contrast and the quickest possible reading, the dials on cockpit instruments were matte black, above which white indicators were boldly and unmistakably visible. Porsche Design successfully transferred this unbeatable combination onto the dial of its watch. A black face with white markings and hands beneath a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal facilitated instantaneous and intuitive reading of the time display, even in adverse lighting conditions. A sporty icon with instrumental character was born.

The next innovation of Porsche Design followed with the debut of the first all-titanium chronograph in 1980. Here again, motorsport was the mother of this idea. Extremely tough and resistant, yet lighter in weight than stainless steel, titanium had been used by Porsche in the construction of engines for racecars because this corrosion-free material satisfies all of the engineers’ technical requirements for resilience, resistance and durability, which it unites with extraordinarily lightweight. Thanks to these specifications, and in combination with titanium’s antiallergenic characteristics (an essential aspect in the world of wristwatches), this timepiece again embodied state-of-the-art engineering and impressively reaffirmed the company’s innovative power.

Since its invention in the 19th century, the chronograph has been regarded as the most important horological complication. Thanks to their ability to measure and display the duration of elapsing and elapsed intervals, chronographs have accompanied countless events the fields of science and sports. After the Chronograph I and the Titanium Chronograph, Porsche Design now presents another pioneering achievement: the Monobloc Actuator. This model’s concept for controlling the chronograph mechanism is not only trailblazing, but also futuristic.

With this unconventional chronograph and its innovative operating concept, Porsche Design sets another milestone in its history and again makes a remarkable contribution to the further evolution of high-quality and technically sophisticated wristwatches.

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