Alpina is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year. Its roots go back to 1883 when Gottlieb Hauser creates the Schweizerische Uhrmacher Corporation, which will later become Alpina Union Horlogère S.A. Fast forward to 2002, the brand was acquired by the Frederique Constant Group and today, it is known for its modern, rugged watches for outdoor use as seen with the Alpiner Extreme, its latest flagship collection. Yet, as you may imagine, a variety of designs have been released over this long history. To mark this meaningful date, Alpina is releasing two handsome limited edition watches inspired by rectangular models from the 1930s/1940s and powered by restored Alpina AL-490 movements. And what better place than Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn to launch these two models? The brand’s history – if only by its name – is deeply connected to the Alps. And the Alpina logo itself, a circle inside an equilateral triangle, is directly inspired by the most iconic of all Swiss mountains…
These 140th-anniversary watches are inspired by 1930s/1940s Art Deco rectangular Alpina models. The Alpina press release makes reference to models using a 1938 Taubert patent (CH 207378) relating to a fluid-tight closure device for watch cases. With its elegant and geometric design, the modern reinterpretation is made of silver, polished to a gleaming finish. With dimensions of 29.50mm x 35.70mm, it exhibits clean lines, distinct angles, stepped sides and short lugs. The crown is neatly integrated into the case band. Altogether this creates a sense of architectural elegance on the wrist. The relatively thin profile, just under 10mm, also adds some refinement.
There is always something truly satisfying about a rectangular calibre seamlessly matching the shape of the case into which it is fitted… In a concession to modernity, the Heritage Carrée Mechanical 140 Years features a see-through caseback, in order to discover a movement of special pedigree. The watch is powered by an Alpina/Straub & Co. movement from the 1930s, the hand-wound Calibre AL-490. Vintage movements were acquired and carefully restored to equip this anniversary piece. This shaped calibre measures 19.40mm x 25.90mm with a thickness of 3.8mm. It beats at 18,000 vibrations per hour and boasts a decent 42-hour power reserve.
Two dial options are offered, black or silver. These showcase an Art Deco influence with a combination of an old Alpina font, a railroad minute track, printed Arabic numerals, contrasting colours and thin leaf-shaped hands. The display focuses on the essentials with hours, minutes and seconds, the latter of which lie in a small rectangular sub-dial at 6 o’clock for the silver model, or a more classic circular sub-seconds on the black version. There are some slight differences between the two versions regarding the finishing of the dials. The black model has a single-tone, matte dial while the silver model features a so-called two-tone dial with a sector effect.
The Alpina Heritage Carrée Mechanical 140 years is presented on an elegant light brown ostrich leather strap with off-white stitching and closed with a pin buckle. It is released in two limited editions of 14 pieces per colourway. Given the low production number, these beautiful watches should sell out quickly, particularly given their reasonable price of EUR 4,995.
For more details, please visit www.alpinawatches.com.