Earlier this year we presented Dutch start-up watch company Reiser Watches, and the first collection launched by founder Hicham Biktat; the Reiser ALPEN Date. The story starts with Hicham finding himself in a pivotal point in life after the birth of his first son, deciding to try and create a legacy by developing a watch brand from scratch. Talk about a gutsy move on the eve of a pandemic! Now, two years after that decision and following the successful launch of the ALPEN Date, the brand is now ready to launch its next step; the Reiser ALPEN Skeleton.
We are always critical when we receive details regarding some newly-founded watch company by one or several individuals claiming to have developed the next best thing since sliced bread. But in all honesty, many of them don’t reach completion or simply don’t interest us enough to cover. In all fairness, that doesn’t mean a watch is bad per se, instead it might not resonate with us and what we find interesting and attractive. Our guards drop a little when it comes to our little home turf of the Netherlands, as two members of our team (incl. our founder) are Dutch. But nevertheless, that’s not the only criteria for a watch to be featured!
The Reiser ALPEN Skeleton follows up on the same design philosophy as the ALPEN Date. Hicham explains he’s been inspired by industry greats like Mr Biver and designed the ALPEN from scratch himself. Sure, we find some seemingly familiar details here and there, but there are more watches sharing design cues out there. The simple fact of the matter is the Reiser ALPEN collection, and the ALPEN Skeleton is no different, is a play on the concept of an (accessible) luxury sports watch.
The 316L stainless steel case has the same proportions as the ALPEN Date, so it measures 41mm in diameter and comes in at 11.45mm in height. Design-wise, it features a rounded octagonal base shape with some interesting touches. The polished bevel surrounding the case, for instance, widens on the vertical sides and narrows on the horizontal sides. Alternated with the brushed finishing of the top surface of the bezel, it gives depth and adds a fine touch to the case. The integrated lugs curve downwards from the caseband with a centre link attaching to the bracelet or rubber strap.
The Reiser ALPEN Skeleton has almost no dial at all, revealing the Swiss movement underneath (more on that later). The outer section creates a sense of depth, however, thanks to the recessed “pockets” between the raised hour indices. The indices themselves are filled with Super-LumiNova and have a sloped minute track in white on the inside edge. At the bottom, it’s written “Made in Germany” as the assembly of the Reiser ALPEN collection is done in Pforzheim. Time is indicated with the generously sized hour and minute hands, coated with Super-LumiNova, and combined with a slender polished seconds hand. This time around, there’s no date display.
Clearly visible from both sides is the Swiss-made STP 6-15 automatic movement. Remember that the Reiser ALPEN Date came with a Seiko NH35 calibre, so this changes things quite a bit. The STP 6-15 movement is a skeletonized version of the STP 5-15, an ETA 2824 clone. It has a diameter of 25.60mm and a height of 4.6mm (thus the same casing dimensions as the ETA). With skeletonized plates and bridges, a lot of details of the movement are revealed, such as the mainspring, gear train, regulating organ and keyless works. It has been given a black PVD coating, resulting in strong contrast with the jewels, gears and the gold PVD coated rotor. It runs at a frequency of 28,800vph and has 44 hours of power reserve.
As mentioned, the Reiser ALPEN Skeleton comes on either a black rubber strap with a folding buckle or a stainless steel H-link bracelet. Reiser presents this watch as a limited edition of 75 pieces, 35 of which will be fitted to a black rubber strap and the remaining 40 on a stainless steel H-link bracelet. Available as of today (November 2nd, 2021), it is priced at EUR 929 on rubber strap and EUR 999 on steel bracelet. This special introductory price lasts until the 2nd of December, after which the prices will jump to EUR 1,129 and EUR 1,199.
When I handled the Reiser ALPEN Skeleton I was surprised by the look and feel of the watch. Everything feels rather solid and robust, and the case and bracelet are nicely finished. The Reiser ALPEN Skeleton wears very comfortably, looks good on the wrist and provides an excellent value-for-the-money proposition. Well done!
For more information and to place an order, please visit ReiserWatches.com.