With the launch of its custom-built Timepieces programme, Porsche Design is starting a new chapter in the manufacture of wristwatches.
The idea of a
“sports car on your wrist” timepiece is founded on an entirely new production process. “To be able to offer, in series production, a watch with more than 1.5 million options, we had to make significant changes to the current ordering and manufacturing processes. These include the way in which a customer configures a personal chronograph to match a car,”
says Rolf Bergmann, Managing Director of Porsche Design Timepieces AG.
The processes that are digitally triggered when a customer makes a selection in the Porsche Design timepieces configurator modify all workflows, from design and construction to production and supply chain, for the custom-built Timepieces programme.
The concept of manufacturing watches in sequential production was already being explored six years ago when Porsche Design Timepieces AG was founded in Solothurn.
“Our production facility is located right in the middle of the manufacturing triangle that contains the best Swiss suppliers, as well as many highly specialised companies,” Bergmann continues. The region of Biel/Bienne is home to a lot of watch manufacturers and component suppliers, as well as many highly skilled crafts-people.
The heart of Swiss watchmaking is nearby La Chaux-de-Fonds, in the Jura Mountains’ Vallée de Joux.
“When the company was founded in Switzerland in 2014, it was already clear that we wanted to execute a custom-built Timepieces project, which was then known as the Porsche Design Club Watch Concept,”
says Gerhard J. Novak, General Manager of Porsche Design Timepieces.
The design team in Zell am See was heavily involved in its development. “It quickly became clear that we were going to need cases and straps with entirely different details in order to permit a high degree of individualisation. These custom components had to be interchangeable without the need to develop a new watch each time,” continues Novak. Offering a wide range of options.
while manufacturing small quantities of custom-built timepieces is possible thanks to the sequential production process inspired by Porsche sports car production.
The simple path to a dream watch
The starting point is the Porsche Design timepieces configurator, which has been specially developed for this programme. It is one of the most technologically advanced tools of its kind when it comes to mechanical wristwatches.
Once a customer has configured the watch of their dreams, or one that matches their Porsche 911, a code identifying the specific options that they have selected is sent to them. The code can be used to start the order process with any Porsche dealer. The order is then sent to the timepiece manufacturing facility in Solothurn and forwarded to suppliers.
The entire process from order placement to delivery takes between eight and 12 weeks. Alternatively, customers have the option of receiving their personalised chronograph when they take delivery of their new car.
The new Porsche Design custom-built Timepieces programme starts in Germany on July 1, 2020, followed by the UK and US on September 1, 2020 at all participating Porsche Centres. The English version of the Internet Timepieces Configurator will also be available as of September 2020.
For further information please visit https://www.porsche-design.com/custom-built-timepieces/