Timekeepers Club / November 9, 2022

Porsche Design Icons at Sotheby’s Luxury Week in New York

To mark the brand’s 50th anniversary, Porsche Design is offering two extraordinary design icons for auction in a special partnership with Sotheby’s auction house. An exceptionally restored Porsche 911 S 2.4 Targa, dating from 1972, and a unique timepiece based on the legendary Porsche Design Chronograph I, also dating from the year in which Porsche Design was founded. The two design classics not only pay homage to the close collaboration between the brands Porsche Design and the sports car manufacturer Porsche, but are also intrinsically linked by their shared heritage with Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the founder of Porsche Design and designer of the legendary Porsche Targa 911.

Sotheby’s Luxury Week New York 2022

At the end of the year, Sotheby’s will present these exclusive anniversary design icons to chronograph connoisseurs and car enthusiasts around the world as highlights in their bi-annual multi-category Luxury Week series in New York, which showcases the finest examples of products created at the highest intersection of art and luxury. The successful bidder will receive a stylish and exclusive box containing not only the unique timepiece, but also the key to the Porsche 911 S 2.4 Targa.

Following the world premiere of the 1972 Porsche 911 S 2.4 Targa at the start of the anniversary year in January, the unique Porsche Design watch was also recently unveiled at an exclusive event at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

One of a kind: Chronograph 1—911 S 2.4 TARGA

This unique piece, the Chronograph 1 - 911 S 2.4 Targa was developed especially for the auction at Sotheby's on the basis of the Chronograph 1 - 1972 Limited Edition. What makes it so unique is the design of the winding rotor on the back of the case, which corresponds to the historic Fuchsfelge® wheel of the Porsche 911 S 2.4 Targa from 1972. 

It was developed by means of elaborate design and testing by the engineers in the brands’ own watch manufacturing facility in Solothurn, Switzerland, and translates the movement of its wearer's wrist into energy to drive the mechanical chronograph caliber in a rotation-optimized manner. The timepiece also bears reference to the 911 Targa in its name. As a special collector’s item, it not only pays tribute to the past, but celebrates the present and leads the brand forward into the future.

The Porsche 911 S 2.4 Targa: the historic counterpart to the timepiece

The 1972 Porsche 911 S 2.4 Targa also returns in impressive fashion as a stunning one-off classic. The car, which bears the unmistakable design signature of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, has been restored as part of a unique project by Porsche Classic in close collaboration with Porsche Design. Much of the design input came from Roland Heiler and Studio F. A. Porsche in Zell am See. “Our general philosophy in a factory restoration project is to restore the vehicles to be as faithful to the original as possible,” explains Uwe Makrutzki, Head of Porsche Classic Factory Restoration at Porsche AG. "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."

The vehicle features original historic fabrics such as the black Sport-Tex checkered flag upholstery, and is embossed with ‘50 Years of Porsche Design Edition’ on the side stripes, headrests and dashboard, among other elements – all marking the brand’s milestone year. As a special highlight, the Targa roll bar has the same Platinum Satin finish, offering a new interpretation of the brushed stainless steel of the classic model. A ’50 Years of Porsche Design’ plaque with a facsimile signature of Prof. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche is placed on the grille of the engine cover at the rear. At the same time, the anniversary model also picks up the color scheme of the legendary Chronograph I designed by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche in 1972, with black dominating both inside and out. The on-board owner’s manual and tool bag were also individualized with the ’50 Years of Porsche Design’ logo. A restoration case with detailed documentation, a key fob and a model car that has also been converted complete the project.

The Road to New York

Both the vehicle and the timepiece spent six months as central exhibits of the special exhibition 50 Years of Porsche Design at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, before being presented to classic car enthusiasts and watch collectors outside of Europe for the first time at Monterey Car Week in California in August 2022. The journey of these unique specimens now provisionally ends in New York. Here, Stefan Buescher, CEO of the Porsche Lifestyle Group, will personally present them to a select audience and the press at the opening of Sotheby’s Luxury Week exhibitions in New York on November 29th, before they make their way to their new owner. 

The two one-of-a-kind collectibles are just as unique and exceptional as Porsche Design’s heritage. They embody the fascination and the myth of the automotive lifestyle brand and convey the design philosophy of F. A. Porsche. The exclusive auction in New York pays tribute to the pioneering spirit of our company’s founder and marks the crowning finale of our anniversary year. Even half a century after its inception, the brand has lost none of its DNA. Today, our designers work with the same passion to combine timeless, functional design with technical innovation in order to create the classics of tomorrow,” says Stefan Buescher.

Echoes of a purist design aesthetic

Built in 1972, the Porsche 911 S 2.4 Targa was restored and refurbished in an exceptional way by the experts at Porsche Classic over a period of two years. The Factory One-Off was built as part of the new Sonderwunsch (special request) programme, which combines craftsmanship and attention to detail to create individual sports car dreams. The classic is the historical counterpart to the limited-edition special model “Porsche 911 Edition 50 Years of Porsche Design” (model 992). 

Among other things, both models pick up on the color scheme of the legendary Chronograph I from 1972, the first product design by F. A. Porsche. The color black dominates both the interior and exterior. Like the special model, the one-off is equipped with Sport-Tex in a classic checkered pattern in black and cool gray. As a tribute to the brand’s anniversary, the car features “Porsche Design” lettering on both sides. The “50 Years of Porsche Design” logo embellishes the headrests while the dashboard is adorned with a silver-colored “911” plaque bearing the lettering “Edition 50 Years of Porsche Design.” As a special highlight, the Targa bar has been painted in high-gloss platinum – a modern reinterpretation of the brushed stainless steel of the historic prototype and thus a perfect match for the new vehicle.

The result is a one-of-a-kind vehicle that combines the original design with modern elements, bears the signature of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, and is reminiscent of the founding year of Porsche Design. “We chose this vehicle because the 911 continues to shape the Porsche legend to this day. It is characterized by outstanding sportiness and conveys an extraordinary driving experience. I was able to see this for myself during the final testing,” says Uwe Makrutzki, Head of Porsche Classic Factory Restoration. “While the 911 T 2.4 Targa had to make do with 130 hp in its original state, the car’s second birth at the Porsche factory now features the engine, chassis, and brakes of the S version. The top model at the time now draws 190 hp at 6,500 rpm from 2,341 cm3 displacement and features mechanical fuel injection.”

Porsche Classic restores, designs, and enhances a handful of unique sports cars every year. In close cooperation with the Porsche exclusive manufacturing company as part of the so-called co-creation strategy, Porsche is thus reinterpreting the legendary Sonderwunsch (special request) programme of the late 1970s and enabling personalized one-offs – co-created by the customer and professionally implemented by Porsche. These are marked with a special seal highlighting their exclusivity and individuality. One of the first Factory One-Offs to receive this exclusive marking is the 911 S 2.4 Targa.

The Chronograph - back to the roots

When designing the Chronograph I, F. A. Porsche consistently pursued the goal of transferring design principles from the sports car to the wrist, thus giving new expression to precision, functionality, aesthetics, and delivering the authentic Porsche sports car feeling in the form of this special timepiece. The result was the world's first all-black wristwatch: with a matte black dial, a red stopwatch second hand, luminescent hour indices and high-quality anti-glare crystal. Each and every detail was designed to ensure optimum readability —an approach that drew inspiration from the anti-glare displays in the cockpit of a sports car. Since then, Porsche Design has repeatedly mastered this transfer of ideas and link between the two worlds ever since.

The comeback of an icon: Chronograph 1 - 1972 Limited Edition

Limited Edition. The new edition, which is limited to 500 pieces, has remained true to the original design right down to the smallest detail. For example, the dial, crown, wristband, and case back bear the historic Porsche Design logo. The only changes made were those necessary to bring the iconic timepiece up to current day technological standards, such as the use of titanium and the addition of a new movement and water resistant case. 

True to the motto "How would Prof. F. A. Porsche have implemented his first groundbreaking product in the year 2022?", the watch features the WERK 01.140 caliber, a high-performance, modern Porsche Design automatic movement with COSC certification, technically adapted to be "state-of-the-art." In this way, the first product design by F. A. Porsche is given a convincing comeback in 2022 - on the occasion of the 50th anniversary. The exclusive anniversary sports car and timepiece, with an estimated value of $275,000 USD – $325,000 USD, will be sold as part of Sotheby’s Luxury Week New York and presented for the first time outside of Europe to all classic car enthusiasts and timepiece collectors at Monterey Car Week 2022.

The one off 911 Targa and Chronograph will be on public display during Sotheby’s Luxury Week exhibit in New York from November 30 – December 14, 2022. The online bidding on RM Sotheby’s web site runs from November 29th through December, 14th. To follow the online auction, simply register on RM Sotheby's site.


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