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.