For the seasoned watch journalist, there’s intellectual exhaustion when a watch brand offers a thematic watch offering with scant relation to the event they have sponsored. Deployant is proud to report that with Chopard’s Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition, the Official Timing Partner of Porsche Motorsport has avoided exactly that pitfall.
Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition for 24 Hours Of Le Mans 2016
A few caveats, First: In terms of aesthetics, the Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition tilts toward the side of busy. While some voices are critical on the design decision taken by Chopard to label the chronograph subdials (adding to its busy appearance), ask Joe Average on the street what each dial on their chronograph displays and they’d be hard pressed to give you an answer. Labelling provides easy reference points.
I don’t know if many readers have seen the interior of a LMP1 Porsche 919 Hybrid but I can assure you that the dashboard has counters and readouts in a similar fashion which leads to my second point: as a Porsche Motorsport inspired timepiece, the Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition keeps with the technical design of motor-racing; properly labelled gauges, readouts and buttons.
Finally, there’s the engineering aspect – screws, nuts, bolts and air vents. The Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition for 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016 is built to replicate that feel authentically and so while this “overly-designed” timepiece might not be every one’s cup of tea, it’s worth noting that not everyone will appreciate getting behind the wheels of a true race car either. Now onto the news.
During the 2015 endurance race, the three LMP1 Porsche 919 Hybrid vehicles driven by Nico Hülkenberg, Mark Webber and Romain Dumas achieved an impressive first, second and fifth finishing after clocking up 395 laps in 24 hours- it was an outstanding double victory for the team and thus for the 2016 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Chopard presents the Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition with the same avant-garde design seen in the triumphant vehicles.
Issued in a 100-piece titanium series, the Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition replicates the modern aesthetics of hybrid Porsche 919’s black, white and red detailing to compelling effect. But what grabs me isn’t what lies on the surface but rather the engine birthed by Chopard’s Fleurier Ebauches SA’s new “Minergie” eco-standard factory: the chronometer-certified COSC Chopard Calibre 03.05-M.
All the bridges of the COSC certified Chopard Calibre 03.05-M are openworked, reminiscent cooling air vents found on sports cars. While not exactly “skeleton”, Chopard’s dedication to maximum visual dramatism allows the owner to go right into the heart of the machine beyond your typical sapphire case-back.
While the 45mm large 2016 Superfast model is assertive and bold like its 2014 predecessor, the new Black Edition enjoys the subtlety of bead-blasted black DLC titanium casing, taking a classical chronograph and turning it into a contemporary racing-inspired watch.
Exclusively available in Chopard boutiques, the limited Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition sports a lacquered titanium tachymetric scale bezel secured by eight PVD-coated blackened screws while the matt black rubber-moulded screw-lock crown with a steering wheel motif completes the feel of a high performance race-car. The two rubber coated pushers in red for chronograph start-stop (much like the engine start-stop of the 919) and the black for zero-reset add to the aggressive distinctiveness of the timepiece.
The limited Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition is priced at USD14,370 and is available only at Chopard boutiques.