Last year, Swiss watch manufacturer Alpina added a robust new sports watch to its main collection, the Alpiner 4 Automatic. At the time, the watch was offered in three different dial colours – dark blue, silver, black – all paired with elegant leather straps. This year, Alpina adds a further three options to the line-up, including a very sporty, slightly vintage-looking, red and black dial combination. Read on for all the details.
Alpina has a long association with the sports watch, dating back to 1938 when the brand introduced one of the earliest Swiss made examples – the Alpiner 4. This watch combined the four key characteristics that Alpina deemed essential to create a sports watch; anti-magnetic, anti-shock, water-resistant and stainless.
These days, we take those features for granted when evaluating sports watches but back then, they were considered at the cutting-edge of watch development. The underlying idea was to allow the watch’s wearer to focus all their attention on whatever extreme activity they were undertaking – mountain climbing, skiing, alpine lake diving – without having to worry about the watch’s performance. This was the vision of Alpina founder, Gottlieb Hauser, which still guides the brand today.
The New Alpina Alpiner 4 Automatic
The focus of the Alpiner 4 Automatic is practical functionality. The design is simple, attractive and robust, but without any superfluous detailing. A 3-hand automatic, the highly legible dial features large applied indexes and large hands, both of which have been treated with several coats of luminous material to make sure reading the watch is easy even in low-light conditions. An inner flange displays the minutes, while the central second’s hand features a counter-weight in the form of a red triangle, the logo of the brand. Completing the design is bi-directional, rotating bezel with a 60-minute or 12-hour scale, depending on which model you choose – more on that in a second.
Presented in a 44mm stainless steel case, the watch is water resistant to 100m and is intended to be somewhat of an “all-rounder”. Inside is the calibre AL-525, an automatic movement which most likely uses a Sellita SW-200 base. Operating at a 4hz frequency, it offers a max power reserve of 38 hours and a date function, displayed through the window at 3 o’clock.
In terms of the models introduced this year, the differences are mostly aesthetic. Both the dark blue and black dial versions from last year are now offered on stainless steel bracelets, whereas previously they were only available with leather straps. Where things start to get a little more interesting, however, is with the third new model. Whilst it too features a black dial, the flange is in contrasting red and the uni-directional, rotating bezel features a 12-hour scale instead of a 60-minute one, so you can use it as a rudimentary second time-zone display. Presented on a black leather strap with red lining, this is probably my favourite of the new models.
In keeping with the founding ethos of the Alpiner collection, all three models are anti-magnetic, shock resistant, water-resistant and stain-resistant. Available to purchase online now directly from Alpina, these three new models add some further variety to a robust and reliable collection, for a reasonable price – from EUR 1,195 on leather to EUR 1,295 on steel bracelet. alpinawatches.com.
Technical Specifications – Alpina Alpiner 4 Automatic 2017 Collection
- Case: 44mm diameter – stainless steel, brushed and polished – sapphire crystal on front, engraved caseback – 100m water resistant
- Movement: Calibre AL-525 (automatic), based on Sellita SW-200 – automatic winding – power reserve of 38 hours – hours, minutes, seconds, date
- Bracelet/Strap: stainless steel / leather strap with red lining
- Price: EUR 1,195 on leather – EUR 1,295 on steel bracelet