Porsche Design shows you which way to go with retro compass watch

Drivers of the Porsche 911 may find it amusingly easy to swing the tail around, though they'll have lost their sense of direction in no time. Fortunately, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche designed a compass watch back in 1978 that combined the functions, as you might have guessed, of a compass and a watch. And now his design company has followed up with a modernized re-issue of the classic.

Crafted from black PVD-coated titanium, the P'6520 Compass Watch features an automatic three-hand watch face with date function and luminescent hands that tilts upwards to reveal a liquid compass.

Compared to its 1978 precursor, the case has grown by three millimeters to a fashionably oversize 42 mm in diameter, and does away with the aluminum construction in favor of the non-allergenic space-age metal. Production, however, is limited to a highly symbolic 911 examples. Follow the jump for the full press release and check out the images in the high-res gallery for a closer look.
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P'6520 Compass Watch: always on course
Re-issue of a Porsche Design classic

Stuttgart/Grenchen. The new Porsche Design P'6520 Compass Watch indicates time and direction mechanically. Underneath this high-precision three-hand watch is a compass whose needle always points north, thereby establishing all the directions. Inspiration has been the first Compass Watch, created in 1978 by the designer Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. The re-issue of this classic watch was merely adapted to 21st-century standards. The diameter was slightly increased. Plus, the new P'6520 Compass Watch is made of light, antiallergenic titanium. Together with the P'6530 Titanium Chronograph presented last year, it is the second re-issue of a traditional watch by Porsche Design. The series is limited to 911 pieces.

The P'6520 Compass Watch comes in two parts: the upper part is a precision three-hand watch, whose luminescent hands are driven by the automatic SW300 Sellita calibre. The date appears at 3 o'clock on the dial. The lower part of the watch opens to reveal a liquid compass that can be easily removed. The watch is available with a compass for both the northern as well as the southern hemisphere. In order to find one's bearings with this instrument, a scratch-resistant mirror has been installed on the rear of the watch part and on top of the compass. When opened, the two mirrors click into place at 45 degree.

The shape is based on the historical model, but has been made somewhat larger – suiting today's standards. The dial's highly readable black-and-white design corresponds to the 1978 watch. The hour indices and the hour and minute hands have been covered with a white luminescent material. It has all been done in the traditionally economical Porsche Design colour scheme. The re-issue has a diameter of 42 millimetres and a height of 14.6 millimetres, that is, three millimetres larger and 1.6 millimetres higher respectively than the original.

For the new watch, Porsche Design replaced the black aluminium with titanium, which is of higher quality and is also non-allergenic. The case is water resistant to a depth of up to 50 metres. The watch and the bracelet are made entirely of titanium with a black PVD coating (Physical Vapour Deposition). Titanium is essentially skin-friendly, lighter – half the weight of steel – and corrosion-resistant. In fact, titanium is the ideal material to use for a compass since it is not magnetic and will not affect the magnetic needle. In 1972, Porsche Design became the first company in the watch industry to use the colour black and presented the world's first black watch: the legendary Chronograph 1.

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