BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN
Alpina is a watch brand that we like to keep an eye on, not because we think they’re re-inventing the wheel, but because they’re often surprisingly innovative and their watches look great. The latest watch is the result of a community project which, rather embarrassingly, I had no knowledge of. Alpina offered the general watch community the chance to help design three new sports watches that are inspired by the land, sea and air which are the three key themes of the brand’s main collection.
The three models fly under the Alpiner banner, which represents the land in the Alpina collection, and they come in three different dial colours and either with a strap or bracelet. These three themes are reflected in the dial colours, with there being a choice between dark green, dark grey or blue. The bicompax chronograph layout seems legible enough, and I appreciate the lack of a date that stops it from being cluttered. Fixed 24-hour graduation on the inner flange ring also helps the watches’ functionality.
All models feature big and chunky stainless steel cases that measure 44mm x 15.7mm. The watch cases are also water-resistant to 100m and are most definitely not for the faint of heart. Their dimensions are quite similar to some of the bigger watches from Panerai, Omega and the like. All of them come with brushed and polished parts, and coin-edged bezels. Alpina describes the odd 3-step graduation on the bezel as an assistant to navigators, these represent degrees (30 degrees, 60 degrees etc.), although this is not particularly clear to me. I expect people who do use compasses a lot to be quite used to this setup and should have no problem adapting.
Inside all watches is a Sellita SW500 movement which Alpina calls the AL-860 calibre. It has a 4Hz beat rate and a power reserve of over 55-hours, although this could drop if the chronograph is running.
None of these Alpiner 4 watches are limited edition and are available now at a price of €2695 on leather or €2795 on the steel bracelet.
Visit Alpina Watches here.