Alpina, best known for its sporty pilot-style watches, is introducing a new range of smoked dials to its Startimer Pilot and Alpiner collections. In total, there are six different models to choose from in the new Shadow line: two Startimer Pilot big date quartz chronographs, three Startimer Pilot Automatic watches, and an Automatic Alpiner 4 watch. All six models are already strong sellers for Alpina and the brand is looking to broaden its appeal even further with the introduction of these urban, lifestyle-oriented options.
Alpina has always been a strong player in the pilot watch category. Its watches are well designed, well executed and attractively priced. Nothing fancy, just affordable, no-nonsense sporty watches. Their aesthetic is informed by a half-century spent as an official supplier of military aviation watches to continental air forces, meaning practical functionality and ease of use have always been top priorities of the brand. This ethos also extends to the company’s popular sports watches.
The Shadow Line adopts this same approach but with a decidedly darker twist. Dark dials, dark cases, dark straps – these are very stealthy looking watches. And yet, in their own way they offer a touch of elegance that elevates them above the status of simple sports watch. Certainly this dark, brooding aesthetic won’t suit all tastes but it does undeniably open up these existing models to potential new customers.
Startimer Pilot Shadow Line
The stand-out for me is the Startimer Pilot Automatic Shadow line with a rose gold-plated stainless steel 44mm case and contrasting dark grey dial with a sunray finish. This is a much-loved colour combination that has been successfully used by other brands in the past and really adds a touch of sophistication to the Startimer Pilot Automatic.
The layout is the same as the original, with easy-to-read oversized luminous hand-applied numerals and indexes. The only difference is that the hands and indexes are now rose gold-plated. The date is shown via an aperture at 3 o’clock. Completing the look is an engraved caseback and Alpina’s connected e-strap in leather.
Of course, if you prefer something a little darker, the Startimer Pilot Automatic is also available in a black PVD-coated stainless steel case. This is paired with a matte dark blue or dark grey dial and applied pearl black indexes. These models also come on Alpina’s connected e-strap in leather. Powering all three is the AL-525 automatic calibre, offering 38 hours of power reserve (most probably a Sellita SW200 movement).
The same models are also available with a quartz chronograph function (although there is no rose gold version.) The Startimer Pilot Chronograph Big Date Shadow line is powered by the AL-372 calibre, a high-precision Swiss quartz movement.
Alpiner 4 Shadow line
If pilot watches aren’t your thing, there’s also the Alpiner 4 Shadow line. The Alpiner 4 Automatic is a relatively new model for Alpina, having joined the line-up in 2016. Since then, the company has been steadily adding to this popular range.
For the Shadow line version, Alpina introduces a black PVD-coated 44mm stainless steel case paired with a black dial with sunray finish. Contrasting strongly against this dark backdrop is the distinctive red triangle adorning the seconds hand and the triangular marker at 12 o’clock on the bi-directional turning bezel. Luminova-treated indexes ensure easy reading even in low light conditions and the date is displayed at 3 o’clock. Inside is the AL-525 automatic calibre, offering a 38-hour power reserve (most probably a Sellita SW200 movement).
As with all models in the Alpiner 4 collection, this watch is anti-magnetic, shock-resistant, water-resistant (to 10 ATM) and stain-resistant. Again, it’s offered on Alpina’s connected e-strap in black leather.
Pricing for all six models is very reasonable but reflect a slight premium compared to the standard versions. The Startimer Pilot Automatic Shadow line is EUR 1,295 in rose gold-plated steel and EUR 1,050 in black PVD-coated steel. The quartz chronographs meanwhile are EUR 1,095 and the Alpiner 4 Automatic Shadow Line is EUR 1,395.
It is important to note that each watch comes with its own black leather e-strap with a black fibreglass buckle. The Alpina e-strap helps you to track your steps, calories, sleep, and more. It is connected to an app on your mobile device (iOS and Android devices) and is an interesting way to combine a mechanical watch to connected services.
All six models are available for purchase now. More details on alpinawatches.com.