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Utility Above Military: The Porsche Design Chronograph 1 Utility – Limited Edition

Utility Above Military: The Porsche Design Chronograph 1 Utility – Limited Edition


In the late 1970s, Porsche Design developed the stainless steel military chronograph. The timepiece, which was characterised by reliability and optimal readability, attracted the interest of the aviation industry. Soon, international air forces, such as the pilots of the US Air Force, wore a Porsche Design chronograph on their wrist. Today, more than 40 years later, the legendary Chronograph 1 is making a comeback in the form of the Chronograph 1 Utility – Limited Edition. This time, the watch’s patented titanium carbide material promises a more durable, scratch-resistant and lighter case, while the historic dial design has also undergone a transformation.

A newly interpreted dial

The new product differs from its historical ancestor in three main ways. Above the day and date windows, Porsche Design have replaced the word ‘Military’ with the word ‘Utility’, thus underlining the timepiece’s tool watch characteristics. Meanwhile, the ‘TiC’ logo situated between 1 and 2 o’clock is a new interpretation of the ‘3H’ symbol of the military chronograph. While ‘3H’ stood for the use of tritium, known for its colour properties that guarantee readability in the dark, ‘TiC’ stands for titanium carbide, the innovative material used for the watch’s case. Today, of course, it is no longer tritium that ensures that the indices can be read even in the dark, but rather Super-LumiNova. The third key distinguishing feature lies between 4 and 5 o’clock: a screaming marmot. The word above it, ‘Mankei’, is a colloquial Austrian term for the animal. Previously, a tiger’s head used to be visible at this same position, representing the animal of the US Air Force. By contrast, the marmot represents a collaboration between Porsche Design and the F.A.T. Mankei hut, Ferdi Porsche’s restaurant on the famous Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria.

A titanium carbide case

In 1963, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche created the 911, demonstrating that Porsche products should not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also must fulfill a clear function: the harmony between modern form and function is crucial. With the vision of transferring these principles to other areas, he founded the design brand Porsche Design in 1972. Therefore, when developing the Chronograph 1 Utility, the manufacture’s designers considered what would Ferdinand Alexander Porsche have done to improve the functionality of the in-house watches while maintaining modern design. They found the answer in a titanium case made from their own patented material, titanium carbide.

While all-black Porsche Design titanium watches previously only had a titanium carbide coating, the manufacture has now dared to make an entire case out of the material. As with the Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar, which was presented last year, the case of the Chronograph 1 Utility – Limited Edition is made entirely of the material. Titanium carbide boasts several impressive properties. Despite its astonishing lightness, it is also robust and scratch-resistant. However, the hardness of the material also presented a challenge for Porsche Design. With a diameter of 42.7 mm, the new product is around 2 mm larger than the basic model of the Chronograph 1. This size increase was necessary because no hole for the screw could be cut into the titanium carbide case. Therefore, enough space had to be created to accommodate a container to house the movement instead. Finally, the closed titanium caseback features two important details: ‘Flyback’ and ‘Utility’ lettering as well as the watch’s limitation number.

The movement of the Chronograph 1 Utility – Limited Edition

Powering the new watch is the Porsche Design chronograph calibre WERK 01.240 with flyback function. The flyback function of the chronograph allows starting, stopping and resetting in one single operation, which, in combination with the titanium carbide case, makes it an ideal companion for outdoor activities. The power reserve is 48 hours.

The straps

The ‘BUND’ leather strap, which is also used on the Chronograph 1 Utility – Limited Edition, is also symbolic of the military chronograph. The new product is delivered on a slate grey calf leather strap, as is used in the Porsche interiors. The chronograph’s features also include a white textile strap with a badge that has the coordinates of the F.A.T. Ice Race in Zell am See. This textile strap can be worn comfortably over a ski suit and is therefore ideal for winter sports activities.

Price and availability

The titanium carbide watches from Porsche Design are very popular. Porsche Design presented a complete titanium carbide case for the first time with the aforementioned Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar, which was available exclusively to buyers of the sports car. Of the 2,500 buyers of the 911 Dakar, over 1,000 decided to purchase the watch. It is therefore not surprising that the Chronograph 1 Utility – Limited Edition, limited to 250 pieces, is now available to everyone on the open market. The Porsche Design Chronograph 1 Utility – Limited Edition can be pre-ordered from October 9, 2023 on and will be available from January 15, 2024 in Porsche Design stores worldwide and selected watch retailers at a price of 11,950 euros (RRP).

BRAND Porsche Design
MODEL Chronograph 1 Utility – Limited Edition
CASE MATERIAL Titanium carbide
DIMENSIONS Diameter: 42.7 mm
Height: 15.5 mm
WATER RESISTANCE 100 metres (∼ 10 bar)
DIAL Matt black with white accents
STRAP/BRACELET Slate grey strap with Porsche vehicle leather and additional interchangeable strap in white textile with print
FREQUENCY 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
FUNCTIONS Chronograph with flyback function, day and date display
PRICE EUR 11,950 – limited to 250 pieces