Alpina may certainly not the most famous watch brand around, it however shouldn’t be forgotten, as the company exists since 1883 and is known by collectors for being good in creating timekeepers for Alpinists, divers, pilots or military forces. The actual collection is thus composed of rugged and practical sports and tool watches. But not only. We also have to include an interesting fact to these timepieces. Alpina is a proper manufacture, with their own movements, something that features the latest addition, the Alpina Watches Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Full Black.
The new Alpina Watches Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Full Black is a rather sporty and masculine timepiece, with a 44mm case in stainless steel, entirely coated with black PVD. The watch looks even larger because of the large opening of the dial and the absence of external bezel but lugs are curved and quite short, making it possibly comfortable on the wrist, despite the large dimensions. It integrates the 4 features of the “Alpina 4” collection (based on the concept introduced in 1938, with the first Alpina 4 watch): it is antimagnetic, it is water-resistant (to 100 meters), it is anti-shock and it is stainless. The case is nice to look at, with curved lugs and a polish chamfer running from a side to another, all other surfaces with a satined finish and squared pushers.
The dial shows the same black concept. However, it will be livelier than expected under sunlight, due to several finishings: a sun-ray pattern for the background, satined inner-flange, circular graining on the sub-dials… The hands, as well as the indexes, are coated with a beige luminous paint, that even if creating a faux-patina scheme, is bringing a good contrast and a warmer look to the Alpina Watches Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Full Black. The dial shows the hours and minutes classically on the central axis, as well as a small second in a sub-dial at 9. It also features a date in a sub-dial at 6 (preventing any window on the dial). The chronograph indications relies on a central second hand and a 30-minute counter at 3. This dial is surrounded by a telemeter scale, printed on the inner flange.
Inside the Alpina Watches Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Full Black ticks an interesting movement, produced in-house by Alpina. The Calibre AL-760 is based on the automatic calibre AL-710 (which is shared with Alpina’s sister company, Frederique Constant) on top of which is added a chronograph module. This choice is certainly guided by the lower development costs compared to a integrated movement but it also allows to rely on a know and solid base. The chronograph module is far from being void of interest, as the timing functions (start, stop and reset) are operated via a column-wheel – but a specific column-wheel, without the typical pillar construction. Instead, this movement features a star-shaped one – that works together with a modern vertical clutch. Finally, this movement features a flyback function, that allows to reset the timing function by only pressing the pusher at 4 (instead of the usual 3-step operation: stop – reset – new start).
The Calibre AL-760 of the Alpina Watches Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Full Black runs at a modern 28,800vph / 4Hz frequency and boasts a 38 hours power reserve. It is pleasantly finished, with Geneva stripes, circular graining and blued hands. The rotor shows a shape reminiscent of old bumper watches, even if classically rotating.
The Alpina Watches Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph Full Black will be officially introduced during Baselworld 2016. Official price is not defined yet but expect around $5,500. More details on www.alpina-watches.com.