A look back at 50 years of Porsche design

The epitome of a minimalist designer, Professor Ferdinand Alexander ‘Butzi’ Porsche was quoted as saying: “When you rethink the function of something, the form sometimes emerges as if by itself” – a philosophy that, 50 years later, still drives the engineers and designers at Porsche Design.

In 1972, FA Porsche founded Porsche Design together with his brother Hans-Peter. After designing the Porsche 911, he had a vision to create a company that would carry the principles and spirit of Porsche beyond the automobile itself. All Porsche Design products are synonymous with precision, perfection, intelligent functionality, sophisticated functional design and an impressive level of technological innovation.

Additionally, based on his belief that “good design should be honest”, he planned to elevate Porsche Design to an internationally renowned premium lifestyle brand known for its functional and durable products with a purist form.

Following his credo of primarily optimizing design for function and reducing form to the essentials, he promoted a spirit of going beyond the familiar with new and exceptional solutions.

Today, 50 years later, Managing Director Roland Heiler and his team still follow this philosophy. Using authentic materials, they design carefully thought out, functional and durable products with a purist aesthetic.

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Porsche design history

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche founded Porsche Design 50 years ago
Via: Motorward

Even though Porsche had been producing car-themed accessories since the 1950s, with luggage, handbags, t-shirts, calendars, model cars and buttons, all offered in the “Porsche Boutique “, Buzi Porsche saw an opportunity to offer even more to customers. quality premium consumer products and design services through a dedicated lifestyle brand.

Thus, Porsche Design was established in Stuttgart, Germany in 1972. Two years later, the design team moved from the traditional home of Porsche to a more rustic setting in Zell am See, Austria.

Over the ensuing decades, the range of designs and products has expanded to include many classic accessories such as sunglasses, writing accessories and watches – such as the famous “Chronograph 1” which has was one of the first products to come out of Porsche Design in 1972. It was also a pioneer, being the first watch with a black case and black dial.

This trend continued on Porsche cars where after 1972 the trim and window surrounds of the Porsche 911 were no longer chromed, but painted matte black.

In 1994, the merchandising division of Porsche AG finally created the “Porsche Selection” brand to complement “Porsche Design / Design by FA Porsche”. This was later changed to “Porsche Driver’s Selection” in 2004.

In recognition of the important role the Chronograph 1 has played in the history of Porsche Design, the company has established “Porsche Design Timepieces AG”, based in the Swiss canton of “Jura”. The first series of watches offered only by Porsche Design went on sale in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Finally, in 2017, Porsche AG acquired the remaining 35% of the shares of the Porsche Design Group from a Porsche family investment company – the company had already acquired 65% when FA Porsche retired in 2003 – making makes a 100% subsidiary.

Over its 50-year history, the Porsche Design brand has found a ready market through a wide range of products, inspiring consumers with its high-quality designs.

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Porsche Design: much more than cars

The Chronograph 1 created 50 years ago by Porsche Design
Via: Revolution Watch

Focusing on function, Porsche Design’s portfolio is divided into 9 categories – from the P’1000, which covers fashion, to the P’9000 which focuses on electronics.

And the design that started it all – the watch – gets its own category: “P’6000 Timepieces”. The P’6510 proudly belongs to Chronograph 1.

Following the high demand for personalized watches, Porsche Design launched a “Bespoke Watches” program which allows customers to configure a chronograph to meet their specific demands.

One such customer, motorsport legend Hans-Joachim Stuck, collaborated with Porsche Design to produce a watch to commemorate his 70th birthday. The wristwatch symbolizes his most successful years in motorsport, with the glossy Speed ​​Blue finish reminiscent of the Porsche 962 C in which he twice won the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Perhaps not as well-known as its mainstream offerings, Porsche Design has also designed several luxury residences such as the “Porsche Design Tower Miami” with three innovative car lifts transporting residents in their cars to the so-called “Sky Garages ” as part of the apartment.

And for the weary traveler looking for an overnight stay, Porsche Design has partnered with Deutsche Hospitality to introduce the Steigenberger Porsche Design Hotels brand, an innovative hotel concept in the Luxury Lifestyle segment. They plan at least 15 hotels in the metropolises of the world.

Seeking to offer customers design, technology and lifestyle at the highest level, Steigenberger Porsche Design Hotels will combine the legendary design philosophy and values ​​of Porsche Design with the excellence and experience of Steigenberger, whose reputation dates back more than 90 years.

In a fitting tribute to the many achievements of FA Porsche and Porsche Design over the past 50 years, Porsche will offer a 911 Edition 50Y Porsche Design in a limited run of 750 cars with many features inspired by iconic FA Porsche designs.

The Weissach development center was the proving ground for the legendary Porsche Porsche 917/10 Spyder
The Weissach development center is the proving ground for the most legendary Porsche vehicles

From sketch to prototype, legendary Porsche vehicles are developed, tested and prepared for production at the development center in Weissach.

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