On April 25, 1981, attendees at the European Watch, Clock, and Jewellery Fair in Basel got their hands on something completely new. IWC introduced the Porsche Design Titan chronograph, the first titanium watch available for sale. The revolutionary material caught the watchmaking world off guard, and the Titan helped IWC and their partner Jaeger-LeCoultre survive the quartz crisis. This is the story of the watches created by legendary designer Ferdinand Alexander Porsche and the radical utilitarian watch designs he created with IWC. It’s also a story of how materials and design can spark customer enthusiasm and sales.
A few years ago, I was visiting lovely Como, Italy when I came across a very special watch. Alongside the usual selection of little old Rolex and Omega watches was a dark beauty: A Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX1 Limited Edition in titanium with a deep ruthenium dial. I brought that watch home and it’s become a favorite of mine. Now there’s a similar watch up for auction, and I suggest that you take a look!
What makes a watch into a grail? It’s all about the quest! And what triggers that quest? Sometimes, it’s nostalgia! A “holy grail” is defined more by the quest to find it than the object itself. If you could run down to Macy’s and buy the watch you have been seeking, would you love it? Maybe, but would you rhapsodize about it? Probably not.