Introducing The Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic Watch

Alpina's new limited edition pilot's watch draws on their 50 year history of supplying air forces.


Historically inspired timepieces are more on the rage than ever before now. Not a month goes past where we don’t see multiple watches come onto the market that uses a historical model or design ethos as the basis for a new story. This change in marketing focus over the last five years is unsurprising. Given how unnecessary luxury mechanical watches are, it’s logical to use a romantic backstory to pull at the heartstrings to sell products. Next up on the history train is Alpina, with a 50-year history of supplying air forces around the world with timepieces.

The watch is called the Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic, and it’s somewhat different from the pilot’s watch by Perrelet I recently covered. The matte black dial forms a base for a layer of markers using a beige-coloured lume to magnify the vintage appearance of this piece. The original font used by the company makes up the logo, and a triangle represents the 12 O’clock marker to distinguish between 11 O’clock and 1 O’clock at night easily. The leaf hands also have lume applied to them, and the long thin seconds hand has a red counterbalance as well.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of this watch is the hunter caseback which covers the movement. A hunter caseback consists of a door that opens to allow a view to the movement, which has been decorated with perlage and given a black automatic rotor. The calibre AL-525 is based on a Sellita SW-200 ebauche and has a 4Hz beat rate along with a meagre 38-hour power reserve. This isn’t much of an issue as this 44mm steel-cased watch is undoubtedly a daily wear piece. Perhaps the most significant oversight is the fact that they didn’t use the vintage logo from the dial or the automatic rotor, it makes it look a little odd.

The brown calfskin leather strap looks good on the watch, although it looks similar to those found in other pilots watches I like it here. One of these will set you back €1195, which makes it quite an appealing watch. It’s also limited to just 1883 examples worldwide.

Visit Alpina Watches here.