Introducing the REC 901 RS Limited Edition Made From a Salvaged ’73 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7

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Denmark’s REC Watches salvages materials from interesting and significant cars and planes and builds watches with them. Somehow they got their hands on a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7, one of the most coveted and collectible 911s; very few remain in tact. The specific Porsche REC took parts from raced at the Monte-Carlo Rally in 1976 and 77, as well as the Lombard RAC Rally in 1976. Not your ordinary Porsche, to say the least.

Rallies, however, are dirty, off-road, car-bashing affairs, so this specific car needed a lot of love. Restoration started in 1982 in Denmark, and it took three decades to get it done. REC salvaged some of the left over parts and put them into the 901 RS watch. The watch, priced at $1,995, offered a way into owning a tiny piece of this significant Porsche, but all 250 of the limited edition were gone in just six days. The rest of us will have to settle for photos.

Rally de Monte-Carlo, 1976.

Because the Porsche 911 is heralded as one of the greatest designs of all time—and not just for cars, but among all industrial objects—riffing on its forms is a risky proposition. I’m happy to report that REC has done a great job.

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The old Porsche material shows up in the dial. REC chose to cover this metal in a semi-transparent lacquer in order to freeze the patina in place. If you’re looking at a photo, it’s the scratchy dark gray material just inside the yellow surround.

Those who know older Porsche 911s will recognize the fuel gauge-style power reserve indicator, the 911’s speedometer track in white, the stout hands, and the distinctive Porsche fonts. There are exposed transparent discs showing the day and month at 9 and 3 o’clock respectively, while the date appears below in a wide aperture.

Normally skeletonized dials and date apertures like this aren’t my bag, but here they become an horological metaphor for the experience of driving a 1970s 911, so I thoroughly approve. When I turned 16, my recently divorced neighbor who I dog-sat for started leaving me the keys to his 1977 Porsche 911 SC Targa (clearly he was a little nuts). With tough manual steering, rock hard manual brakes, a racing clutch that shot your knee into your chest, unruly acceleration, and a tendency to lose traction, driving these older 911s is to become one with the machine. Driver connection like that is incredibly exhilarating, sometimes harrowing, and is a prized hallmark of the 911. By offering a view of the raw inner workings of the movement, the skeletonized dial of the 901 RS is an apt metaphor for the 911 driving experience.

I consider that skeletonized dial as great a tribute to those rambunctious 1970s 911s as using the salvaged parts. Add in those parts, as well as the Porsche fonts, the Bahama yellow accents, and the dashboard features, and I imagine this dial is going to resonate for anyone who’s wrestled with an older 911 at the edge of its capabilities.The brushed stainless steel bracelet is REC’s first, and its shapely, tapered links mimic the lines of a 911 from the roof down to the engine hood (911 engines are in back). It’s quite convincing, if a little reptilian.

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The case itself is very 1970s, forgoing traditional lugs for a quasi-cushion shape. At 44 millimeters wide and 13 millimeters thick, the case is quite large, but when we’re talking about showing off salvaged materials, I think the large size might be preferred. I’ve not had a chance to try it on yet, so I can’t comment on fit.

The mid-case features the donor car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) on the 9 o’clock side, this on a screwed in plate that resembles a real VIN plate. The crown is signed with a mash-up of the Porsche logo and REC’s logo. I get the idea, but every time I look at the crown I see a baseball. I imagine (and hope) that won’t be a universal problem.

Inside is an auto-winding Miyota Cal. 9100, which offers 40 hours of power reserve and beats at the standard rate 28,800 bph. The case back is the real story here, shaped exactly like 1970s 911 rims, arguably the most recognizable automobile wheels ever made. With five small mineral crystals allowing us, once again, to peer into the machine through the spokes. Cleverly, REC decorated the rotor to look like the 911’s disc brake, and the effect is surprisingly convincing and fun.We’ve already heard the bad news: the 901 RS is already sold out, so, like me, you’ll have to settle for photos. Still, this watch is a noteworthy leap forward for REC, with their first bracelet and a deep, compelling story that’s bound to make these limited editions go up in value—not entirelyunlike the car from which they take their metals. REC

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At age 7 Allen fell in love with a Timex boy's dive watch his parents gave him, and he's taken comfort in wearing a watch ever since. Allen is especially curious about digital technology having inspired a revival of analog technology, long-lasting handmade goods, and classic fashion. He lives in a one-room schoolhouse in The Hudson Valley with his partner and two orange cats.
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