Hot Take: The New Porsche Design 718 Spyder RS Chronograph
There are many intersections in the world of watch enthusiasts. Depending on your crossroad, you might have an interest in watches tied to aviation, space exploration, diving and watersport, or motorsport and automobiles. Taking the automotive exit ramp, there is one name that most car enthusiasts hold above others — Porsche. While this name is synonymous with iconic sports cars, Ferdinand A. Porsche founded the lifestyle brand in 1972, nine years after designing the 911. Today, we take a look at one of the brand’s latest creations, the Porsche Design 718 Spyder RS Chronograph
While lesser known than Porsche sports cars, Porsche Design has produced several critically acclaimed watches since its 51-year history. The Porsche Design 718 Spyder RS Chronograph looks to pick up this mantle by leaning heavily into a new 718 model from Porsche.
Owing to a mid-mounted engine, the 718 Spyder RS is arguably Porsche’s most well-balanced model. In that same vein, the design and features of the chronograph borrow from the design of the car. The Spyder RS has a flat silhouette, a track-developed GT chassis, and a lightweight construction, providing an agile driving experience. Debuting in Costa Mesa, California, the Spyder RS is the perfect tool for carving through the mountains of the Angeles Crest highway before descending to the coastal highways with the convertible top down.
The chronograph’s 42 × 14.6mm case has a titanium construction. This ensures that despite its size, it’s as light as possible, something Porsche-philes obsess over. The carbon fiber dial speaks to the weight-reduction intent too, but it also ties into one of the many interior material options of the 718 Spyder RS. Surrounding the watch’s dial are hour markers made from ceramic Super-LumiNova, allowing for nighttime visibility. In addition, bright yellow chronograph hands mean that should you venture off the twisty roads onto a race track, lap times will be easy to read
Porsche Design 718 Spyder RS Chronograph — customization and complication
Porsche (the car company) is known for its wide array of options and packages. Some of these even charge the buyer more to remove items like the air conditioner or stereo (tell that to someone purchasing a car only two decades ago!). Exterior colors abound too, with over 114 different colors for the 718 Spyder RS on offer and paint to sample as an extra option. Additionally, a performance package known to many Porsche enthusiasts is the Weissach package. Adding exposed carbon fiber, titanium exhaust, and several other weight-reducing features, this package aims at tackling the track with aplomb.
The customization for the watch is not near the level of the car. Nevertheless, it’s still impressive for a lower-volume model. While the chronograph hands are yellow, the colored ring on the dial can be customized in as many colors as the car. The stitching on the strap also comes in red or gray, and a titanium bracelet is available as well. The Weissach package can also be added to the watch if you choose to add it to the car. This offers a rotor that features the design of the forged magnesium wheels offered in this package. This is also only one of many rotor customization options.
While not every 718 Spyder will see the track, some undoubtedly will. Porsche Design equipped the watch with the WERK 01.200 COSC-certified flyback chronograph caliber. The flyback function ensures accurate lap times at a glance and ease of operation. It’s a perfect complication pairing for the car and the watch.
Pricing and availability
The Porsche Design 718 Spyder RS Chronograph will be a limited-production watch to an extent. This is because the watch will only be available to those who purchase a new Porsche 718 Spyder RS sports car. While the idea of having a matching car and watch will appeal to buyers of the car, it will limit your ability to see one of these chronographs in the wild. Additionally, while the sports car is not a limited-production model, being at the top end of the 718 range will mean there are fewer buyers able to pay the premium for this open-top sports car.
The chronograph has an MSRP of US$8,800 and can be configured and ordered at Porsche Centers or through Porsche Design’s online configurator. While this price is more than fair for a titanium-cased, extremely customizable, flyback chronograph, it also requires the purchase of an automobile. The Porsche 718 Spyder RS (base model, before options) costs $160,700 not including a $1,650 delivery fee. This ups the price of the chronograph to an astronomical $171,150. While this isn’t a fair comparison to other watches with similar features, those watches also do not require the purchase of a car.
Both brands that bear Ferdinand A. Porsche’s name are famous for their supreme attention to detail. Both the 718 Spyder RS and the chronograph of the same name are designed with performance and lightness in mind. The use of lightweight materials with superior strength is key to both the sports car and the timepiece. This makes them an excellent pairing, even if the combination of the two is rather expensive.
What do you think? If you were in the market for a 718 Spyder RS (or any performance vehicle, really) would you be interested in a matching timepiece? Let us know in the comments below!