The Swiss watchmaker Alpina has started selling its new Alpina Avalanche Extreme Chrono Double Digit automatic chronograph watch that, besides a chunky 46 mm case also offers you an unusually styled dial with the common hour numerals replaced with minute markers in “05” — “60” format.
The new Alpina Avalanche Extreme Chrono Double Digit chronograph watch is offered in two versions: black-on-black and black-and-red.
“Double Digit” here means that Alpina replaced normal hour markers with double-digit minute market (Praesto did the same feat with their Modern Fliegeruhr Aviator watch, but it is not available yet.)
With this kind of design, the Swiss brand puts an additional emphasis on its chronograph complication implicitly stating that the chronograph seconds hand, however thin it is, is more important here than the hour and minute hands.
Speaking of which, I must point out that the hour and minute hands are radically different on models with black-and-grey and black-and-red color schemes. While the first sports more or less normal hands filled with grey Superluminova, the second has both hands skeletonized, thus making the chronograph function even more visually important. However, with the black-and-red featuring no lume on the hands, its nighttime legibility is not even problematic: it is basically non-existent if you don’t plan to always carry a flashlight on you while wearing this timepiece.
Also, you may consider this an tired man’s ranting, but I don’t really see the point in the model with skeletonized hands: it just sort of defeats the whole idea of a “sporty” timekeeper, which is supposed to be visually imposing and more or less rugged, but also versatile enough to use it in most imaginable scenarios (safe, perhaps, for zombie apocalypses and nuclear holocaust) without any sort of crutches and pointless excuses. So, perhaps the model with the more normal grey lume on its hands is a more rational choice for a person who wants to use this gadget primarily as a watch, not a sort of overpriced vehicle for delivering personal statements.
The watch comes in a rather large 46 mm stainless steel cushion-shaped body, which is available either untreated (Ref. AL-850BR4AE6) or in black PVD (Ref. AL-850BB4AE6) finish. Both versions feature the same black PVD bezel secured by six triangular-shaped stainless steel screws and come equipped with the same black rubber strap with the brand’s logo stamped on its front surface.
Like most current offerings, this one is powered by an ETA 2894-based caliber AL-850 with its rotor plated in black PVD.
Although this is clearly not a diver, the watch features a more than decent water resistance rating of 200 meters, which is more than enough for basic swimming and even some snorkeling.
The Swiss-based company wants €2500 for this piece of horological gadgetry, which seems to be a bit too much considering that it is powered by a rather standard self-winding mechanism. But that’s always for you to decide, of course.
See also: All-Black Wyler Code-R Chronograph
Photos: Alpina Watches
Alpina Avalanche Extreme Chrono Double Digit chronograph watch specification
Price range: €2500
Movement: Caliber AL-850 (based on ETA 2894), automatic, Swiss Made
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Decoration: Blued screws, perlage on bridges, black oscillating weight with vertical Geneva Stripes and Alpina logo
Complications: Date, chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Cushion
Case size: 46.00 mm
Case height: 12.50 mm
Dial: Matte black / Matte black with red sub-dials
Hands: Luminous / Skeletonized
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Black rubber