While we are mainly focussing on the major watches introduced during this 2017 edition of Baselworld, with our usual focus on high-end watches, one watch in a much more accessible price range pleasantly surprised us: the Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic. Nothing too fancy, nothing to renew the concept of a pilot watch, yet, what we have here is a highly qualitative automatic offer, with a very competitive price… Alpina obliges. Here’s Alpina’s new take on its best seller, the Startimer Pilot, and it comes for less than Euro 900.
Alpina, before being owned by the Frédérique Constant Group, now property of Citizen, was one of the main and earliest actors of the sports watch category – a field where they still are very active. In the first 50 years of the past century, Alpina was a renowned manufacturer and official supplier of military aviation watches to continental air forces. Requirements for a pilot watch have always been clear: precision, resistant to shocks, equipped with anti-magnetic case, highly contrasting dials with oversized luminous numerals and luminous hands for instant readability. The brand continues with this tradition by creating reliable, powerful and nicely designed Pilot watches, under the name Startimer Pilot – which happens to be their best-seller. For Baselworld 2017, the Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic is being updated, providing more legibility, a stronger design, mixed with nice details and a very competitive price.
Alpina introduces 4 new models to the Startimer Pilot Automatic Collection, bearing different styles. The main attraction certainly is the one that features a titanium-colored stainless steel case, contrasting with a matte dark grey dial displaying the typical oversized luminous hand-applied indexes and hands with a date window at 3 o’clock. The iconic red Alpina triangle is featured at 12 o’clock and on the seconds hand.
Two other editions play on more luxurious themes, slightly away from the classical codes of pilot watches. The first one shows a stainless steel case with a matte white dial and white-filled applied indexes. Legibility remains strong thanks to highly contrasted black tracks and hands. The second one features a rose gold-plated stainless steel featuring the same matte white dial, however the hands and indexes are here matching the color of the case. These tow editions are made to bring a bit of elegance in the usually rather rough style of the pilot watches.
The last one certainly is the most traditional take. Indeed, it shows a classical steel case, associated to a matte dark blue dial, with white-filled applied indexes and hands. Still, the use of this dark blue tone will make this watch slightly different from the crowd of black-faced pilot watches, while still providing great contrast.
All the models are coming with a 44mm case, showing a nice combination of brushed and polished surfaces (with a polished bevel running from a lug to another, and a polished bezel). Classical in the style, yet quite pleasant for the price required. As usual in such watches, the Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic features an oversized crown, with a conical shape. The main evolution compared to the previous models concerns the dial, which now has applied indexes and is not only painted anymore – and that, with a price that is lower than before. Not bad. It still features a date at 3, a complication that could have been removed for a sleeker look.
Inside the case is an automatic Swiss Made movement, most certainly a Sellita SW200, dubbed calibre AL-525 in the case of the Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic. it will provide the daily required precision and a perfect reliability over the years. The watch is water resistant to 100m and secured to the wrist by a matte leather strap.
This new Baselworld 2017 Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic collection will start under Euro 900 (retail price). alpinawatches.com.