Auto Style Icon Porsche Design Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Honoring the legacy that redefined auto design & performance
When we think about the most stylish carmakers, we usually think of the Italians, but maybe we should reconsider.
For good reason, the conventional wisdom about Italian design vs. German engineering has existed for decades. And the best example of the mechanical prowess that sets the Germans apart is probably Porsche, which has been cultivating a global reputation for excellence since before it even began making cars: the marque got its start in the 1930s as an independent engineering office, not making any cars that carried the Porsche brand name until 1948.
Like so many other luxury brands, the family that lent its name to these cars was the most important part of the story here. While company founder Ferdinand Porsche was the brilliant inventor behind some of the pre-war era’s greatest innovations, it was his son Ferry Porsche who was able to turn that legacy into a lasting brand. The company flourished in the 1950s and ‘60s by carrying out Ferry’s vision of a sports car that was designed just as brilliantly as it was engineered.
So it makes sense that it was Ferry’s son, F.A. Porsche, who first saw the connection between designing luxury cars and building a luxury lifestyle. The creator of the legendary Porsche 911 left the company in 1972 to forge his own path, and began working on a watch design inspired by his family’s cars. Much like Porsche vehicles, the timepieces coming out of this new design firm were careful blends of form and function, distinct in their aesthetic but never venturing too far away from their original purpose. And Porsche fans can still order F.A. Porsche’s first-ever timepiece, the Chronograph I, albeit a version with some serious updates.
Since 2022 marks 50 years since the founding of Porsche Design (which is separate from Porsche AG but still closely related), the brand is releasing a commemorative version of the Chronograph I that incorporates many of its original features, including black titanium and white-and-red hands. There’s also a 911 Edition exclusively for owners of the 911 Targa 4 GTS. Don’t fit that description? Don’t worry, you’re not completely out of luck – let’s not forget that Porsche Design makes way more than just watches. Over the years, they’ve also ventured into fashion, even partnering with Adidas to make a line of luxury sneakers. Plus, their distinctive eyewear has been legendary for decades, with the most recent line featuring a collaboration with actor Patrick Dempsey.
Sure, the offerings here are pricey, but Porsche Design merchandise is usually comparable to the vehicles that inspire them – high end, but not prohibitively so. It’s one of the reasons why Porsche has remained of one of the world’s most beloved brands, seamlessly blending luxury and practicality as it raises the bar for the products customers can expect from their favorite brands.