Porsche Design Chronograph 1 Gets Titanium Carbide Case

The Porsche Design Chronograph 1 is among the great original chronograph designs to which the rules around aging just don’t seem to apply. Whether it’s the original and its many variations, or the modern reinterpretation, which we reviewed here, the Chronograph 1 is a benchmark when it comes to balancing form and function between the dial and case. Since re-introducing the Chronograph 1 in early 2022, a celebration of the watch’s 50th anniversary, Porsche Design has slowly been filling out the collection with interesting variations, largely in line with special releases from Porsche. This latest edition takes a different approach, recalling their past as a military watch, but with a civilian friendly nomenclature: Utility. 

The newest addition to the Chronograph 1 collection recalls details from military watches of the ‘70s, with many of the small details represented in a slightly altered manner, from unit insignia, to the tritium marking “3H” circled in red – each are repurposed to create a new, more inclusive platform called Utility. Further still, this is more than a visual exercise as the biggest feature of the new watch is the use of titanium carbide for the case, a material developed and patented by Porsche Design.


The material is touted as tougher and lighter than what we presume is the titanium variation of the watch, with a titanium glass bead blasted finish on its exterior. The light gray, matte appearance is uniform with contrasting crown and pushers, as well as the black leather bund style strap that watch ships with. Each component lends to the overall unique vibe of the watch which feels quite distinct from the initial variations released in 2022. The addition of red in the form of a circled “TiC” replacing the “3H” on the dial further cements the special nature of the watch. 

Elsewhere on the dial we find the depiction of “Mankei” and the head of the respective marmot underneath, a reference to their cooperation with F.A.T. International and their ‘Mankei’ location on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. This serves as a more fitting symbol for civilian consumption, and a celebration of automotive events and heritage represented by the brand. It also sets the context for the updated “Utility” labeling above the day and date apertures at 3 o’clock.

Inside, Porsche Design is utilizing the WERK 01.240 automatic chronograph movement. It has been COSC certified and boasts a flyback function allowing the timing of multiple successive events. The movement itself measures 7.90mm in height, meaning the case of the 42.7mm watch measures 15.5mm in height. But then, these have never been particularly thin watches in any of their guises, and with the use of the bund strap this was never going to be a watch going for subtle wearability. 

The newest Porsche Design Chronograph 1 Utility is limited to 250 numbered units, and is priced at $13,000. Deliveries are expected to begin by February of 2024. More at Porsche Design.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.