On 6 December 2023, leading provider of affordable luxury watches Citizen Watch America (CWA) is officially opening the group’s very first multi-brand store in the USA, the Citizen Flagship Store New York, on the most famous and prestigious thoroughfare in New York at 605 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, just a stone’s throw from the Rockefeller Center. The new concept store introduces customers to the Group’s various brands including Citizen, Bulova, Accutron, Frederique Constant and Alpina.
The three-floor store has been designed by acclaimed architect Ken Park and his multiple-award-winning New York-based firm Kenneth Park Architects. The first two floors are devoted to collections by Citizen, Bulova, Accutron, Frederique Constant and Alpina along with pieces exclusive to the store. The third floor will house a display of archives and a space for events and marketing initiatives from 2024 onwards.
It’s been a closely-guarded secret until now, but this release was foreseeable: lovers of watchmaking thrills everywhere had been expecting a chronograph to join the Alpiner Extreme Automatic line. After all, chronographs are the obvious complication for accomplished athletes, purposefully designed to measure performance. And while chronographs are widespread, they are more difficult to fit than it may appear: producing one is evidence of the authentic watchmaking skill embodied by Alpina since 1883.
Alpina’s new Alpiner Extreme Chronograph Automatic could have taken one of several forms. The brand can legitimately lay claim to the vintage spirit as well as to retro-modernism (as fresh takes on styles from the 1940s-70s are known). But the final decision represents Alpina’s more fundamental values: radical, brooking no compromise. The Alpiner Extreme Chronograph Automatic is both imposing and thoroughly contemporary; a piece for the twenty-first century with no limits to its scope; as a worthy successor to the first shock-absorbent, non-magnetic, waterproof, and rustproof sports watches, it can go just about anywhere.
Its form duly follows that function, housed in the new case developed in 2022 for the relaunch of the line. Borrowing from both square and circle, it places the one inside the other and pares both down to dimensions of 41.5 x 42.5mm. The innovative shape draws inspiration from the ‘cushion’ format, providing a distinctively muscular presence on the wrist – and off the beaten track. The chunky, compact case features satin and polished finishes.
The dial layout is easily readable and functional: a small seconds display at 9 o’clock, a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock next to the date window. Readability is a priority for both versions, with white counters on a blue dial or black counters on a white dial in ‘panda’ style. To add character and relief (and avoid any unwelcome glare) the dial is embossed with triangular Alpina motifs – also to be found, as ever, serving as a counterweight on the chronograph’s central seconds hand.
To further improve visibility, a luminous coating has been applied to each hand except the central seconds hand, including the slim counter hands – a relatively rare level of detailing. These hands also feature a fine circular guilloche finish to ensure plenty of light, especially for the hour markers.
Each timepiece is powered by the AL-730 automatic caliber. Visible through a sapphire crystal caseback, this boasts a 62-hour power reserve – equivalent to the best part of three days. Water resistant to a depth of 100mm thanks to a screw-down crown with a crown grip, these first two variations of the Alpiner Extreme Chronograph Automatic are available exclusively with a steel bracelet featuring a deployment clasp secured by two side pushers.