Following years of development work, Porsche Design presents a global innovation in the manufacture of mechanical wristwatches—the material titanium carbide. It’s an even lighter, hypoallergenic, and highly scratch-resistant material that’s unique in the manufacture of watch cases. The Porsche Design brand is once again demonstrating its innovative strength exactly 50 years after the company founder Ferdinand Alexander Porsche revolutionized the world of watches with the first entirely black wristwatch. The revolutionary material, which is worthy of the company’s 50th anniversary, will feature for the first time in the limited-edition Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar, the dark case of which is made entirely from this innovative material. The new abbreviation “TiC” for titanium carbide adorns the dial in striking red. The crown and push buttons are still made from titanium.
Compressed, baked, and honed.
Explaining his urge to innovate and perfect, F. A. Porsche once said “It gives me pleasure to make things better.” Adhering to this credo, the master watchmakers at the company’s factory in the Swiss town of Solothurn put their developments to the test again and again. Asking themselves the question as to what F. A. Porsche would change based on the technical means now available, the developers turned their attentions to the titanium case and its PVD coating. The aim was not to develop a better coating, but to reconceptualize the case construction to explore new dimensions in quality and durability. The idea of an entirely new material was soon born: a scratch-resistant non-oxide ceramic used not merely to coat the case, but to make it in its entirety. This involves titanium carbide granules firstly being compressed under several tons of pressure and then being “baked” at over 2,000 degrees Celsius. This condenses the granules and irreversibly turns them into a homogeneous compound. The technical term for this procedure is “sintering.” The blank generated in this way is then milled and honed into shape. Even the minutest of scratches in the case are now a thing of the past. Another advantage in addition to its high degree of resilience is that titanium carbide is not subject to any visible aging process and is even lighter than titanium. This latest innovation therefore does justice to the brand’s DNA, as Porsche Design has always created durable products that last a lifetime. The ceramic material can be recognized by its striking black powder–coated look and elegant crystal structure. Its purist and timeless aesthetic additionally embodies the attributes with which Porsche Design has been associated for 50 years.
Innovative design meets an innovative material
F. A. Porsche first succeeded in transposing his idea of sports car design, aesthetics, and functionality to a watch in 1972 with the entirely black Chronograph I timepiece. As the upshot of the smart transfer of technology from the field of motorsport, this “first sports car for the wrist” also marked the birth of Porsche Design. Eight years later, the team led by F. A. Porsche created the first chronograph made entirely from titanium—incomparably light, tough, and also hypoallergenic. With its patented titanium carbide material, Porsche Design is once again exploring new avenues and setting new standards in terms of form and function, true to the approach of the company founder Ferdinand Alexander Porsche.