To watch enthusiasts, Porsche Design is perhaps best known for their functional motoring-inspired mechanical timepieces. In the nearly 50 years since the company’s inception, it has produced watches in association with brands like IWC, Eterna and Orfina. This year Porsche Design launched its first smartwatch in partnership with Chinese electronics company Huawei.
Established by Ferdinand A. Porsche in 1972 in Stuttgart before shifting base to Zell am See, Austria two years later, the company’s first product was a black steel chronograph, the Chronograph 1. The display gauges seen in automobiles and airplanes inspired this watch’s design. In 2014, Porsche Design spun off their watches as a separate division, Porsche Design Timepieces AG, based in Solothurn, Switzerland.
For their first foray into the world of wearable technology, the brand turned to Huawei and this first smartwatch is based on the brand’s flagship GT2 model that was unveiled in September 2020. The Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT 2 is a big watch – the sandblasted titanium case is 46.7 mm wide and 11.4 mm thick – but it weighs only 52 gm. The muted gray tones of the titanium case and bracelet is typically Porsche Design and will be familiar to those who have seen models like the 1919 Date Timer up close. A sapphire crystal is seen on the dial side. Two pushers on the side of the case allow access to the watch’s various functions. Users can also swipe down from the touchscreen to browse through the menu.
Now a closer look at the technical aspects: The crisp display is courtesy a 1.39” AMOLED touchscreen with 454 × 454 pixels. The watch runs Huawei’s own Kirin A1 chipset and proprietary software LiteOS. This is a change for those used to Apple’s WatchOS or Google’s Wear OS. Users have to install Huawei’s Health App to sync the watch with the phone.
The smartwatch supports data tracking for more than 100 workout modes, including indoor and outdoor sports such as golf driving range, skiing and mountain climbing amongst others. You also have access to health metrics like heart rate, stress level, sleep quality and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) level. Huawei’s TruSeen 4.0+ heart rate monitoring technology and a 6-in-1 LED lens installed on the ceramic caseback ensure accurate tracking of the heart rate.
The fit and finish of the bracelet is impressive. You can adjust the bracelet to fit by removing the links closer to the clasp thanks to a quick-release mechanism. Porsche Design has also thrown in an additional rubber strap as an option if you want to take this to the pool. The case is depth-rated to 50 meters, so you could go swimming with this strapped to your wrist. The watch is priced at AED2,700 and is available at the brand’s boutiques in the UAE.