The Startimer is a collection on the move, designed as a tribute to the pioneers of aviation. Today its watches are worn by modern-day explorers: they appreciate its highly contemporary identity and the outdoor ethos it exudes, in keeping with Alpina’s DNA.
After the initial three-hand version, a chronograph complication to measure short time spans was later added, followed by date and large date complications for keeping track of days. The latest update to the line is the Worldtimer, allowing journey times to be measured. This brand-new complication in the Startimer collection makes the most of the new case design. Fully overhauled two years ago in 2021, the case now comes in the more assertive diameter of 41mm, allowing plenty of room for the Worldtimer function, even as the timepiece retains its primary objective: being functional, readable, and sturdy.
A dial with optimum readability
The dial of the Startimer Pilot Quartz Worldtimer has been divided into three carefully designed concentric circles. Located in the center on a sunburst background are the three essential functions of the watch: hours, minutes and date displayed in Arabic numerals. These are luminous, as are the two main hands. As ever, the seconds hand features Alpina’s red triangle logo, acting as a counterweight. All the hands are hand-polished. Connoisseurs will immediately note the ‘sector dial’ or ‘railtrack’ minute circle, typical of the era of the 1920s and 30s when pilot watches first emerged.
Around this is a second sector showing the 24 hours spanning the earth. Half are on a white (or red) background, denoting the daytime hours; the other half, on a blue (or green) background, indicate nighttime hours. This simple color difference means no day/night indicator is required; that would have added needless clutter to the dial and detracted from its style.
The third and last circle marks the 24 main, full time zones around the world with their reference cities. The ‘zero zone’, corresponding to Greenwich (aka GMT) time, is signaled in red, with Alpina cleverly replacing ‘Paris’ with ‘Geneva’ as the relevant city to highlight its Swiss roots. The 24 cities rotate on a disc controlled by a dedicated crown at 4 o’clock, enabling the selected time band to be synchronized with the red-tipped central hand.
The same dial in blue, green, or black for a range of styles
These new references feature a steel case suitable for coping with everyday hazards; the sapphire crystal and its non-reflective coating follow the same logic. Three versions have been released at exactly the same time, sporting a green, blue or black dial. The satin finishing of the case has been painstakingly adjusted to suit each of its components: circular for the bezel and lugs, vertical for the outer links of the steel bracelet. The third, central link of the bracelet is mirror-polished, adding sparkle to the timepiece and matching the polished finish applied to the two crowns. The top-stitched black calfskin strap closes with a pin buckle, while the steel bracelets are fitted with a deployment clasp.
Water resistant to 100m thanks to a full caseback (engraved with the Startimer design), each watch boasts 45 months’ battery life – enough to spend almost two months in each time zone.