It was so out of reach that getting at Grade 7 was like a dream come true. Photograph by Chris Clemente
Style Watches

My Porsche Design Chrono 1 is the watch I will pass on to my son

This car hobbyist turned watch aficionado writes about his first timepiece as a young man—which was priced way out of a 7th grader's budget. By LOUIE PEREZ
ANCX | May 20 2020

I guess you could say it was love at first sight. The moment I saw it at the back page of a Road and Track magazine, I told myself I had to have it. It was one of the first ever Black PVD watches, which is what attracted me to the timepiece in the first place. I'm also a petrol head and was really drawn to the automative style of its dial, apart from being a fan of the brand. 

I'm not sure now how much it cost then but I remember it fetched for a lot of money for a seventh grader—which I was at that time. So I begged and begged my mom for the watch. And when I finally received it, it felt like a dream come true. 

I was also fortunate to get a box and copy of the manual from the company because, since I didn’t know any better I discarded the originals.‚Äč Photograph by Chris Clemente

I have a few old watches in my collection, many of them over 40 years old, and two are even older than me. Each is unique and "special edition," as each one has a different story, each is attached its own sentimental value. The Porsche Design Chrono 1 (Orfina) holds the distinction of being my first watch. I loved wearing it, although never to show off to friends. Back then and until today, my appreciation for watches is purely self-indulgence. I never really cared what others think I’m wearing. It was a daily-wear watch. I would wear it to school, while playing, or even when I was tinkering with cars. It was a tool watch for me.  

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It had a somewhat fragile finish and would chip when it would hit a surface. When I was a kid, as a young watch owner, I didn’t really take good care of it. I only really started caring when I really got into watches. In the 1990s, I found a company who was able to restore the watch to its old glory. I still wear it now, maybe once every two months—it's not part of my daily rotation because of its fragile finish. But when I do wear it, I am reminded of my youth, of being back in grade school, or back under the hood of a car tinkering. They say you never forget your first, and this watch is like that. It has a special place in my collection, and will be amongst the watches my son will inherit, and which I will ask him to pass on to his own son.