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P’6520 Compass Watch: always on courseRe-issue of a Porsche Design classic

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.