ZELL AM SEE, Austria — Time stands still in the office of the late Butzi Porsche, who designed the iconic 911 nearly six decades ago. On the wall hang drawings by his aunt Louise and son Kai; in the corner is a stain on the floor where his dog Rocky slept while he worked. A small assortment of pipes lies neatly arranged on the desk, and in the display cases on the far wall dozens of model cars are lined up alongside books and Porsche fan club insignias from around Europe.
"Everything is as it was when he left, furniture and all," says Roland Heiler, chief design officer of Porsche Design, whose own office faces the small, modest room. "For us, it's a bit like the holy grail."
It's here in the Austrian Alps that Butzi, who died in 2012 at 76, worked within view of the Schüttgut estate — the family's safe haven purchased to escape the Allied bombing of Nazi Germany.
Butzi, the son of the sports-car maker's founder, Ferry Porsche, was a fan of wristwatches. Indeed, his passion lives on in Zell am See, headquarters of the design company he founded, which is the only watchmaker wholly owned and operated by an auto manufacturer. The studio will issue a watch — the €4,911 ($5,600) Porsche Design 911 Chronograph Timeless Machine Limited Edition — to celebrate the launch of the eighth-generation 911.