Baselworld 2014: The Alpina Alpiner 4 novelties

The Alpina Alpiner 4 Chronograph

Alpina what?!?! You don´t know Alpina yet? So let me introduce you the brand that belongs to the Geneva watchmaking Manufacture owned by Aletta und Peter Stas.

 

Alpina is the sister company of Fédérique Constant, both brands are part of the watchmaking world of Aletta and Peter Stas. The two Dutch entrepreneurs founded Fédérique Constant in 1988 and since then they have been consequently expanding their business all over the world. In 2013 Aletta and Peter sold a total of 128.000 watches and they plan to grow to an output of 250.000 watches in five to ten years from now.

 

Aletta and Peter Stas
Aletta and Peter Stas

 

 

You for sure also know that already in 2001 Fédérique Constant began to develop its first in-house calibre. Until the year 2015 the Manufacture wants to produce 25.000 to 30.000 in-house calibres. Fédérique Constant actually undertakes huge efforts to ramp up its production in Geneva.

In 2002 Aletta and Peter Stas bought the sleeping brand Alpina. Since then they positioned Alpina as the sports-brand under their roof. Alpina meanwhile has fully revived its fantastic heritage and the watches shown this year during Baselworld again very much reflect the spirit of the ones produced since 1883. Alpina 4 is the name of the new 2014 collection, already existing collections are the Seastrong diving and yachting watches and the Startimer aviation watches.

Of course Alpina still is a small player in the big world of its direct competitors, but I personally think that there is pretty much potential to develop the brand to again become a global player that stands for good Swiss made wristwatches for an affordable price.

Since last year Guido Benedini takes care of Alpina as the brands manager. Guido brought in a lot of experience he collected working at Swatch Group for Blancpain and Rado. Bravo Guido, you did a great job!

Get this: More than any other watchmaker Alpina was responsible for the concept of the modern Swiss sports watch, as it is known today. After several patents to insure water-resistance – and as development of the famous Alpina Block Uhr in 1933 – in 1938 Alpina presents the Alpina 4; this was the first modern Swiss sports watch. The concept behind the Alpina 4 was to reunite the 4 essential features for a sports watch to be called a sports watch, in one single case:

1) Antimagnetic

2) Anti-shock

3) Water-resistant

4) Stainless steel

Such had to be a sports watch, in the vision of the Alpina founder Gottlieb Hauser, to be able to tackle the entire vertical Alpine sports environment, from mountain climbing to alpine lake diving.

In 2014, Alpina revives the Alpina 4 concept with its new Alpiner 4 collection dedicated to the Alpine sports universe.

 

Please do also take some time and have a look at the presentation I put together on page 4 to highlight you the entire history of Alpina.

 

Now let me show you the all-new Alpiner 4 collection featuring a Bi-Compax chronograph and an automatic GMT model. The chronograph is equipped with the Alpina AL-860 Automatic Chronograph movement and the GMT watch with the new Alpina AL-550 GMT movement introducing the in-house GMT/24H module.

 

The Alpina Alpiner 4 Chronograph
The Alpina Alpiner 4 Chronograph
The Alpina Alpiner 4 GMT/24H
The Alpina Alpiner 4 GMT/24H

 

Both models represent the “4” essential sports qualities:

The watchcases are made out of stainless steel and they are of course waterproof up to 100 meters. Concerning anti-magnetism, the watches are certified according to the ISO 764 norm, which specifies that a watch must resist exposition to a direct current magnetic field of 4.800 A/m without any impact on its accuracy. Regarding the anti-shock properties both watches certified to the ISO 1413 standard.

This by the way is a new feature that could in theory be counted as the 5th essential: As an important asset for Alpine and great outdoors orientation needs, both watches have a 360°-turning-compass-bezel. The turning-compass-bezel coupled with the 24-hour-scale on the outer ring of the dial offer the user a new and easy way to set the compass. This feature cannot be found on any other watch currently on the market.

 

 

11 Comments

  • Would love to see an in-house movement developed for the Alpiner 4 Chronograph…that said, why was the AL-860 (Sellita-based) used vice the AL-725 (Valjoux 7750-based)? I love the looks of these watches, have had my eye on the Extreme Diver collection too. Does the Alpiner 4 GMT/24H come with a black dial and bracelet option? Thanks.

  • An interesting, well written article! And also the watches are good looking and affordable. I like them.

    Currently, I do not really understand the function of the 24 scale imprinted on the rehaut of the chronograph dial (on page 2). Could someone please explain me its function? Thanks.

    • Dear Mezdis, thank you for your comment and question. Our new Alpiner 4 line is dedicated to the Alpine universe and therefore we have fitted it with a 360° degrees bi-directional turning bezel for orientation purposes. The 360° bezel works in connection with the 24H scale on the rehaut to allow the user to easily set the compass in only one manipulation. It works like this: if you are in the northern hemisphere (like in Europe or North America) you put the 36 (=360°= north) in front of your actual time on the 24H scale (so if it is f.ex 3 in the afternoon you put the 36 in front of the 15 on the rehaut). Now the compass is set. Then, you put the watch flat and you position it with the hour hand in the direction of the sun. At this point you can read the headings on the bezel by reading the degrees. If you are in the southern hemisphere you do the same, but you put the 18 (=180° = south) in front of your actual time on the rehaut. On the GMT the operation is even more intuitive because you just put the 36 or the 18 (depending in which hemisphere you are) in front of the 24H hand to set the compass. I hope this answered your question. Best Alpinist regards. Guido Benedini, CEO Alpina.

      • Guido,
        Thank you very much for the precise and quick answer! I really acknowledge that you have taken the time to reply personally.
        I hope your watches will sell accordingly well 😉

  • Very interesting article, interesting about the Federique Constant connection. Well done

  • Dear Alexander
    Magnificents watches and magnificent criteria to present the post.
    Clear photos. A concise history of the brand. And a valuable technical information.
    Congratulations for you and for Alpina, a manufacture that personally apreciate much. I used to own one and I worked inside of many of them.
    Thank you very much.
    Hugo

  • Excellent article. I currently own an Extreme Diver 300 and pleased with it. These watches definitely represent excellent value for Swiss Made. I am excited to see the direction they are going in. I would to have seen more releases and adding chronometer certification.

  • I enjoyed this article. Not only some good looking new models but also a brief but comprehensive overview of the brands history. Good job!

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