In 1938, Alpina’s founder Gottlieb Hauser came up with a simple formula that would distinguish Alpina’s sports watches. Known as the Alpina 4 concept, the number 4 alluded to the four essential qualities of a sports watch: anti-magnetic, water-resistant, anti-shock and stainless steel construction. Faithful to the founder’s vision, the Alpiner 4 collection offers rugged, all-terrain watches for outdoor adventures. Offering straightforward three-hand automatics – and a somewhat quirky selection of automatics with regulator dials – Alpina introduces the new Alpina Alpiner 4 Chronograph collection. Inspired by the success of a model designed by Alpina’s community last year, the two new chronographs fly the colours of Switzerland’s Alpine scenery with granite and pine green dials and are powered by the brand’s automatic chronograph AL-860 movement.
The two chronographs are the extension of a chronograph model introduced last year and created by Alpina’s community. Under the aegis of the “Alpina Community Watch Project”, the brand invited members of the community to contribute to the design of three new sustainable watches made from existing components – Air, Land and Sea – by choosing cases, dials, hands, straps and movements. The one that interests us here today is the Land model community members built, resulting in the Alpiner 4 Chronograph “Granite.” The name is a bit misleading because the dial of the chronograph was actually blue, but apparently, the granite is a reference to the robust steel case and bracelet.
Like the community chronograph, the large stainless steel case of the new chronographs measures 44mm and has a whopper height of 15.70mm. The screw-in crown and sealed caseback ensure the 100m water-resistance and the case display sporty brushed finishings and some polished highlights on the smooth, rectangular chronograph pushers, crown and surface of the lugs. The coin-edged steel bezel rotates in both directions and is graduated from 0 to 36, similar to the bezel of an Alpina GMT watch released in 2016. Marked in increments of 03, 06…36, and even though not clearly explained by the brand, the bezel should be actually a 360° bezel that can be used as a compass to help hikers or outdoorsy folk find their bearings. By pointing the hour hand on the watch in the direction of the Sun and then aligning it with the 36 mark on the bezel, you can technically establish your position, or cardinal direction, and make it back to camp.
Although the watch is not a GMT model, it features a 24-hour ring just beneath the rotating bezel. Set against a light blue, dark grey or dark green dial with a sunray finishing, the Alpiner 4 has a bi-compax layout with a running seconds counter at 9 and a 30-min chronograph counter at 3 o’clock. The counters are silver with black markings, and the chronograph counter has a bright red hand to match the triangular counterweight on the central chronograph seconds hand. The indices are applied and treated with white luminous treatment, as are the hour and minute hands. Below the red ‘4’ are the inscriptions ‘ Automatic, Chronograph, Antimagnetic and 100m/330ft in white. And it’s a no-date watch!
Both the blue and grey dial versions are presented on a 3-link stainless steel bracelet with brushed outer links and a polished central link. The green dial comes with a brown calfskin strap with white stitching and a red lining.
Beneath the sealed caseback engraved with the silhouette of the Alps is the automatic chronograph calibre AL-860. Based on the Sellita SW500 chronograph movement, the AL-860 features a bi-compax counter configuration and a no-date display. Beating at 28,800vph, the movement delivers a 55-hour power reserve.
The green Alpina Alpiner 4 Chronograph on a leather strap (ref. AL-860GRS5AQ6) retails for EUR 2,695; the dark grey dial (ref. AL-860DGS5AQ6B) and the blue dial (ref. AL-860LNS5AQ6B) with steel bracelets retail for EUR 2,795.
For more information about the Alpina Alpiner 4 Chronograph collection, please refer to Alpinawatches.com.