Some races come and go, but a handful remain inextricably intertwined with the very fabric of motor racing around the world. Races like the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The latter is well known worldwide as one of the most grueling tests of man and machine, and nobody has won it more times than Porsche.
The German marque's first victory came at the hands of Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood, who led a 1-2-3 finish for Porsche behind the wheel of their iconic 917 K. Forty years later, the company's merchandizing division, Porsche Design, has released a limited-edition timepiece to commemorate the feat.
The Porsche Design P'6612 Dashboard Le Mans 1970 Limited Edition, as you might have guessed from the name, features a face styled after the 917 K's dashboard instruments, with white indices on a black background and red hands and accents, offset by the number 23 that adorned the winning long-tail 917 K and which followed Herrmann throughout his career. The tachometer scale around the bezel can be used to calculate overall speed, etched into the brushed and polished titanium case and affixed with a perforated calfskin strap with red topstitching reminiscent of the 917's steering wheel.
Only 917 examples of the special edition chronograph will be offered, released just in time for the Le Mans Classic. Each comes accompanied by a scale model of the 917 K and a booklet signed by Herrmann and Attwood. Details in the press release after the jump with photos in the gallery below.
[Source: Porsche Design]
A tribute to Porsche's first overall victory at Le Mans
Porsche Design P´6612 Dashboard Le Mans 1970 Limited Edition
Stuttgart/Grenchen. It was 40 years ago that Porsche chalked up its first overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Limited to an edition of 917 pieces, the new Porsche Design P´6612 Dashboard Le Mans 1970 Limited Edition chronograph celebrates a key event in Porsche's motor racing history – the day the legend that is Porsche became fact. The winning car – the legendary red-white-red Porsche 917 K bearing start number 23 – was driven by Porsche works drivers Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood.
Porsche's Type 917 set a series of benchmarks in 1970: its air-cooled 12-cylinder midship engine boasted a 4.5-litre displacement delivering 580 HP at 8400 rpm. This propelled the 800 kg or so long-tail version of the car to speeds in excess of 400 km/h (248 mph) on the Hunaudières straight. For its part, the short-tailed 917 K could hit 350 km/h (217 mph). The terrible weather that blighted the race days on the 13/14 June 1970 meant that speed alone was never going to be the deciding factor; instead, saving the day was the racing genius of the drivers: Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood were first across the winning line in their 917 K, followed by two other Porsches.
A watch bearing the same clean lines as the legendary Porsche 917
The P´6612 Dashboard Le Mans 1970 Limited Edition picks up on the function and rigour of the legendary racing car. It embodies the values of Porsche Design, the luxury brand whose products express function, timelessness and purity of form. Sporting light-coloured numeric indices against a black background, its dial evokes the 917's dashboard instruments. The black minute and hour hands feature a coating of white luminous material, while the seconds stop hand is red and bears a white tip. The tachymeter scale can be used to compute the speed – between 60 and 330 km/h – travelled over one kilometre. The 12-hour counter at 9 o'clock and the 30-minute counter at 6 o'clock are picked out in red, while the small seconds hand at 3 o'clock rotates against a white background and bears the start number 23. The case of the P´6612 Dashboard Le Mans 1970 is fashioned from brushed and polished titanium complemented by push-pieces and a screw-down crown with "Clous-de-Paris" motif. The sapphire crystal caseback bears the watch's limited edition number and the inscription "Winner Le Mans 1970" together with "917-023" – the chassis number of the winning car. The self-winding ETA 2894-A2 movement with its energy-optimised Porsche Design rotor offers a power reserve of 42 hours; its balance oscillates at 28,800 vibrations per hour, equivalent to a frequency of four hertz.
The chronograph's strap is modelled on the steering wheel of the Porsche 917 K. Fashioned from black calf leather picked out with contrasting red stitching, it features dual perforations like those of the 917's steering wheel spokes. Rounding out the design is a titanium pin buckle.
The P´6612 Dashboard Le Mans 1970 Limited Edition comes with a miniature model of the winning Porsche 917 K and a publication personally signed by Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood. Limited worldwide to an edition of 917 pieces, the individually numbered chronographs will be released to retail outlets in September 2010.
Legend surrounding the number 23
Champion Hans Herrmann enjoys a relationship with the number 23 that borders on the mystical. For a start, he was born on 23 February 1928. Madeleine, his wife-to-be, was 23 when they first met. He chalked up the very first class win of his racing career on the 23rd of the month. During that career, he started 23 times on the 23rd of the month. At his triumphant sortie at the 1970 Le Mans, the winning Porsche 917 K bore start number 23. Finally, that race was number 23 of the many races Hans Herrmann took part in at Le Mans.
The Porsche Design brand
Porsche Design is a luxury brand with particular focus on technically inspired products. The brand was founded in 1972 by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, and since then its products have stood for functional, timeless and purist design. The product portfolio includes classic men's accessories, a sport and fashion collection as well as electronic products and a men's fragrance range. The products are designed in the Porsche Design Studio in Zell am See, Austria, and sold worldwide in the brand's own stores, shop-in-shops, high quality department stores and exclusive retail outlets. The venerable Swiss watchmaking house of Eterna is the licensee for the production and sale of Porsche Design watches.