Alpina has explored the oceans and skies for almost 140 years through its collectors. This unparalleled experience is embodied by the Heritage designs that combine the best of its watchmaking know-how with the timeless aesthetics of pioneers in the conquest of the land and sea.
"Tool watch". The expression has now passed into the everyday language of collectors, describing a robust, precise, reliable watch with which you can travel the world with confidence.
Nothing could better describe the Heritage designs by Alpina, the Swiss manufacture founded in 1883 that has built its reputation on creating watches that are water-resistant, shock-resistant, anti-magnetic and rust-proof. It is this pioneering vision put forward some 138 years ago that still enables Alpina to be the benchmark for the "tool watch", designed for explorers of the deep sea and the skies.
Going back in time
For divers, Alpina can now unveil a reinterpretation of its famous Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage Automatic. The fifth timepiece from this successful line rightly recalls that being passionate about the sea requires efficient, accurate, legible and robust instruments.
Water-resistant to 300 metres, this new 42 mm design with steel case has no room for novelty or unnecessary complications, but the moving inner flange lets you measure your immersion time in hours, minutes and seconds. Practical and timeless, its black lacquered sunray-brushed dial features gold plated luminescent hands, creating the contrast required to make it easy to read, even in the low light of the deep sea.
As with any authentic diver’s watch, and in order to ensure it is waster-resistant to 300 metres, the two push-buttons (movement winding and time setting at 4 o’clock, adjustment of the movable flange at 2 o’clock) are screwed in. The Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage Automatic's engraved case back also reaffirms its nautical vocation.
As an update this vintage look, Alpina has equipped its creation with the AL-520 movement, a modern automatic calibre with 38 hours power reserve. Similarly, the traditional hesalite glass has been replaced with an anti-scratch sapphire glass, meaning that the Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage Automatic is now as at home in the sea as it is in the urban jungle. To this end, the Alpina timepiece also comes with two straps, one in brown calfskin leather and the other in beige topstitched rubber.
Queen of the skies
As far as flying is concerned, Alpina has also expanded its Heritage designs with the new Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic. The piece was modelled on original creations from the 20s. This new variation adds to the existing collection with blue and beige tones that evoke the sky and the historical counters used by aviation pioneers. Inside the 44 mm diameter case beats an automatic movement with 38 hours power reserve, driving three hands and the date at 3 o’clock.
Alpina has kept the original look of its Twenties timepieces by sticking with the same Arabic numerals and luminescent beige hands as the dials from the era. Their generous proportions help make them easy to read, even when flying.
For long-haul pilots, Alpina has also given the watch a 24 hour dial. At 12 o’clock, as well as at the tip of the seconds hand, you can find the manufacture’s symbolic triangle, representing the Alpine peaks. The final finishing touch is provided by an "onion" crown, the standard in the last century, designed for optimum grip, even with flying gloves on.
Discerning collectors will also have spotted the push-button at 4 o’clock. The latter opens the Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic's steel back. Known as the "officer’s case back", the system allows the AL-525 automatic movement to be admired through the transparent case back for the exclusive enjoyment of the owners – a personal pleasure typical of the 20s and 30s, but not available to all; this Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic with blue calfskin leather strap will be limited to 288 pieces.