The luxury Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT2 is all about the name

Why would you buy the Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT2 over the regular Huawei Watch GT2 Pro? There’s no denying it’s a good-looking smartwatch, and this, along with the materials used in its construction, makes it very tempting indeed. But aside from the pull of the Porsche Design name and watch expertise, is it really worth nearly three times the price of the normal Watch GT2 Pro?

The watch has been on my wrist for almost a week now, and although I’m not about to remove it without a fight, it’s a really hard purchase to justify.

A Porsche Design watch

There will be those who question whether this smartwatch can really be considered a Porsche Design watch, in the same way as the fantastic Monobloc Actuator is a Porsche Design watch. The answer, despite it not featuring a mechanical movement, is yes.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT2 may not be a mechanical watch, and the tech inside is the same as the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro, but crucially the design comes from the same team that makes desirable Porsche Design mechanical watches, and produced using many of the same materials too.

Henning Rieseler, head of Porsche Design’s Berlin studio, talked to Digital Trends and a select group of other journalists about the watch, and explained further:

“The main material used is titanium and it’s not just for the housing, but also for the entire strap and closure. The lower part of the back housing is ceramic. On the front, we used sapphire glass, so it’s very scratch resistant, and it has a very highly polished and precise chamfer running around, and this matches exactly to the metal housing. These precise details are what makes it a typical Porsche Design product.”

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Rieseler said the process of making the smartwatch was not identical to the way it creates its mechanical watches, but added:

“When it comes to the design strategy and the materials used, we always follow our design DNA.”

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Porsche Design has put its name on a wide variety of products, including four previous Huawei Mate series smartphones, and when I visited the company’s head office in Austria, these and a host of other products from sunglasses to headphones, are proudly on display. If it says Porsche Design, it’s a Porsche Design product.

Why does this matter?

Now I’ve explained all this, why does it matter? The Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT2 costs 629 British pounds, or about $840, which is almost three times what you’d pay for a normal Huawei Watch GT2 Pro. The justification for this increase comes solely from Porsche Design’s deep involvement, and the premium materials used in its construction. Establishing the veracity of the watch’s credentials is therefore imperative.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

But does it make any difference? Yes, and no. The bezel design is really eye-catching, and the Porsche Design script makes your investment very clear. The red accents on the bezel and the two buttons are familiar Porsche Design design elements, and separate it from the textured buttons used on the standard Watch GT2 Pro. There are four watch faces exclusively made for the watch, and they look superb. I especially like some of the little details, like the tiny, operational Start/Stop and Reset buttons for the chronograph.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The strap is excellent. It’s comfortable, lightweight, and despite being a metal linked bracelet, didn’t painfully grasp the hair on my wrist. However, it’s the adjustability that made me most happy. Metal link bracelets are often a real pain to adjust, requiring either a specialist or specific tools to make it the right size for your wrist. Porsche Design’s strap has individual quick-release links so it can be adjusted in less than a minute without any special tools at all.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I’ve really enjoyed having the Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT 2 on my wrist. It feels great, the screen is really sharp and colorful, and as with all luxury smartwatches (and luxury watches in general), it makes you feel special. I glance at it occasionally because it’s so pretty, I have my cuff pushed back far enough so it can be seen, and I appreciate the Porsche Design Chronograph watch face. Seeing as a mechanical Porsche Design watch such as the Monobloc Actuator would cost me at least $6,350 to put on my wrist, it feels like a good deal.

Justification

Huawei put special effort into making the normal Watch GT2 Pro a premium smartwatch, and because of this, the Porsche Design version struggles to feel special enough to justify the extra cost.

Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT2 (left), and Huawei Watch GT2 Pro (right) Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Let’s talk about weight. The Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT2 weighs 96 grams with the strap. The normal Huawei Watch GT2 Pro with the silicone strap — you also get one of these with the Porsche Design watch — weighs 84 grams. It’s not heavy at all, but if it’s low weight you’re after, the normal version is the better bet.

Huawei uses titanium, sapphire, and ceramic for the GT2 Pro’s construction too, meaning the only real material advantage on the Porsche Design is the titanium strap. Yes, it’s an excellent strap and obviously matches the watch’s shape perfectly, but the silicone strap is also decent.

The design differences are limited to the bezel and the buttons. The body is the same shape and size, and even the bezel’s edge and the way it blends into the body appears to be exactly the same too. I much prefer the look of the Porsche Design’s bezel and strap — it’s sporty, classy, and has real cache — but overall, it’s not a million miles away from the standard watch’s looks.

Then there’s the operation and the tech. The main menu has been given a visual overhaul with red icons on a black background — if you’ve used a Porsche Design Huawei phone, you’ll recognize this type of design — but once you dig down into the options, it looks the same as the normal watch. There’s a heart rate sensor, SP02 blood oxygen measurement, workout tracking, sleep tracking, and Bluetooth for your earbuds, plus up to 14 days battery life, so it’s well specced, but so is the normal version.

The software is fast and visually easy to read, and for the most part, everything is logically laid out. However, you can’t interact with the notifications, although they do show a sensible amount of information at a glance, and the 14-day battery life is halved when you use the always-on screen. It’s a good thing the silicone strap is included too, as the titanium version is not very comfortable when you’re sweating away during a workout.

Conclusion

The Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT2 is a luxury tech product, and the usual “should you buy it or not” advice simply doesn’t apply. There’s no sensible reason to choose it over the normal Watch GT2 Pro, so if you’re looking at it with the intention of buying one, then it’ll probably only be because of the Porsche Design name.

If you can afford it, it’s a very nice piece to add to your collection, and you won’t be disappointed. But if you’re more concerned about pure functionality and value too, and aren’t tied to the brand name, there really isn’t much here to encourage you to buy it over the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro.

Price and availability

The Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT2 costs 629 British pounds which converts over to around $840, or is 695 Euros. It’s available to buy through Huawei’s online store in the U.K. and Europe now. It’s not available officially in the U.S. but could be imported, and it requires the Huawei Health app (available for iOS and Android) to sync with your phone.

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