Friday, April 06, 2012

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche Founder of Porsche Design Belongs To The Ages

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche
Founder of Porsche Design
Belongs To The Ages

I just put up a story on Jake's Car World about F.A. Porsche. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, better known as F.A. Porsche passed away yesterday at the age of 76. He was the grandson of the founder of Porsche, Ferdinand Porsche. F.A. Porsche was a revolutionary German industrial designer, and among other things he designed the original Porsche 911. His father Ferry Porsche was responsible for designing its predecessor, the Porsche 356.

F.A. Porsches is pictured above with his 911 Targa design, and with his Porsche 911 which he designed in 1962, and presented at the Frankfurt Auto show in 1963, as a 1964 model.

Porsche Design One Watch
F.A. Porsche is Father of The Black Watch

So what does F.A. Porsche have to do with Rolex? In the late 1960s the Porsche family decided that nobody with the Porsche last name should be allowed to work for Porsche. They were concerned that a family member with the same last name could do more damage than good, so F.A. Porsches decided to start his own industrial design company named Porsche Design. 

In 1973 F.A. Porsche designed and began selling his ALL BLACK Porsche Design Chronograph, which was the first watch made out of matte black chromed steel. The Porsche Design Chronograph used the Valjoux 7750 movement. F.A. Porsche not only made the first black watch, but he also made the watch much larger than the standard diameter at the time.

F.A. Porsche is pictured below in his design studio, sporting his trademark Porsche Design Chrono I "black-out" watch.

Race car legend, Mario Andretti is pictured below in the early 1970s sporting his Porsche Design Chrono 1 watch. Today there are many brands, like Pro-Hunter and Bamford and Sons that coat Rolex watches with a black PVD coating, but it was F.A. Porsches that started this trend back in the early 1970s. In the future, I will publish much more detail on F.A. Porsche, and share some really interesting insight with you...

One of the obvious questions is whether F.A. Porsche wore or was inspired by the Rolex Daytona Chronograph? I am not certain, but in this photo of F.A. Porsche taken before he designed his Porsche Design watch, we see him wearing white gold Rolex Oyster Quartz Reference 5100 bracelet.