Alpina, the sporty arm of the Swiss brands owned by the Citizen Group (with Frederique Constant), is no stranger to eco-friendly initiatives and to the conservation of the oceans. Indeed, both the name Gyre and the very concept of a recycled watch have already been used, starting last year with the first edition of the Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic. A project initiated by fellow journalists Bernard Werk and Jorrit Niels in 2017, Gyre Watch aims at raising awareness of ocean pollution and raising money for its clean-up with a watch made from recycled fishing nets. Following this joint-venture with Gyre, the brand now launches its second edition, the Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic 2021 Edition – which will be available in both men’s and women’s versions.
More and more eco-friendly, responsible, environmentally-oriented initiatives are popping in luxury industries, and watchmaking is also now adopting this eco-responsible wave. Behind this Gyre concept, which is all about environmentally friendly case, strap and packaging, is a cool story “This line and its name were inspired by the encounter and collaboration between Alpina and the watch journalist Bernard Werk in the Netherlands four years ago. Personally involved in the preservation of the oceans, he co-created the concept and the name “GYRE” with fellow journalist Jorrit Niels, in reference to the giant circular ocean currents – and the reuse of “ghost” fishing nets from the Indian Ocean.” Bernard already created his own watch, under the name Gyre, and Alpina is continuing this year with its own versions.
The Gyre, as it’s named by enthusiasts, is not looking at the past. It’s a watch that is future-oriented, a watch that is concerned about the future of the oceans, the future of the planet and, to some extent, the future of watchmaking. The reason for that lies in the materials used to produce most of its components. For instance, its case is made up of 70% plastic debris from ghost fishing nets collected in the Indian Ocean, and of 30% glass fibre, thus forming an ultra-resistant and lightweight module.
As for the strap, Alpina has developed an eco-responsible NATO-type made from recycled plastic bottles. A second strap is supplied with the 44mm men’s model, this time made from “apple leather”, one of the first “vegetable leathers” used in the watch industry.
And this eco-responsible initiative doesn’t stop here. Indeed, each watch will be delivered in a box also made entirely of recycled plastic. It contains a single guarantee and certificate of authenticity sheet printed on FSC Recycled paper. The instructions for use have been dematerialised, further reducing the weight of the case and the use of paper and ink. It can be accessed via a QR code printed on the lining of the box, which is also made of recycled plastic bottles (rPET).
The new Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic 2021 Edition are not only focused on protecting the environment. They are also true to the brand’s spirit of robust and accessible watchmaking. As such, these are true diver’s models, and the design has been updated this year with new colours.
Available either in 44mm or 36mm, both have a black-coloured recycled case that remains water-resistant to 300m, as being equipped with a screw-down crown and a solid steel caseback. Surrounding the sapphire crystal is a unidirectional bezel, made of PVD coated stainless steel and featuring a blue PVD 60-minute insert. The numerals and markers on the scale are coated in black luminescent material, making it usable underwater.
For these 2021 editions, the dial has also been updated. While the previous model featured a reversed blue gradient dial, this year’s edition is more classic, with a black dial punctuated by applied numerals and hands filled with white Super-LumiNova. Light blue accents can be found all around, on the minuterie, the logos and the counterweight of the seconds hand. A date is displayed in a tone-on-tone window at 3 o’clock.
Under the caseback is a classic automatic movement, the calibre AL-525, based on a Sellita SW200. It beats at 4Hz and offers 38 hours of power reserve. The watch is worn on a black and blue NATO-style strap. The second strap delivered with the men’s model is entirely black, reproducing the look of leather but in a vegetal way (apple leather).
Availability & Price
Each edition (44mm or 36mm) of the Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic 2021 will be limited to 288 pieces. The men’s model (ref. AL-525LBN4VG6) will retail for EUR 1,395.
For more details, please visit alpinawatches.com.