The Swiss watchmaking brand has updated its Startimer line of pilot’s watches with a new Alpina Startimer Classic Automatic (Ref. AL-525SCR4S6.) Designed to carefully mix refinement of a dress watch with no-nonsense style of a vintage-styled aviator’s timekeeper, the new gadget seems to do its job just fine.
Presented in an oversized 44 mm stainless steel body, the watch looks like those WWII-era monsters that were powered by huge hand-wound calibers originally designed for pocket watches, but for some reason ended on a pilot’s wrist.
This particular version, however, has a usual Sellita SW200-based Alpina caliber AL-525 movement ticking inside its spacious case.
Built on 25 stones and beating at a frequency of 4Hz, the automatic movement offers the standard functionality that you can expect from a modern three-hander: besides current time it can also tell you current date with the help of its rudimentary calendar, which is visible via a small aperture at 3 o’clock.
Although the watch is equipped with a transparent display case back, the movement is far from being a feast for your eyes. Besides the usual black Alpina rotor decorated with Cotes de Geneva finish, there is nothing particularly impressive about the movement’s decor.
Compared to other members of the family (like, say, Alpina Startimer Automatic Ref. AL-525B4S6 that we have first seen last February,) the new model doesn’t look as an ahem authentic tribute to WWII-era timekeepers, but I also have an impression that it wasn’t even suppose to look true to the original concept. It’s not a homage after all.
Its gold-plated Arabic numerals and luminous, peculiarly-shaped hour and minute hands make it look not only more expensive, but also more elegant, so you can in fact wear it not only with casual dress (on olive or cognac brown bomber jacket, a pair of Converse sneakers, and a good old HD Iron 883 converted into a cafe racer are the first that actually come to mind,) but also with a business suit if you don’t mind wearing formal dress with a well-groomed beard and a tattoo sleeve.
The brown leather strap that looks like it was made from Alligator’s skin further enhances this impression.
It also must be noted that, while definitely huge, the watch is nevertheless quite slender. Measuring less than 11 millimeters in height, it will feel relatively comfortable with tight-cuffed shirts and jackets (if you ever owned an average automatic with its 15 mm thick body you probably know how annoying it is to unbutton the cuff every time you want to check time.)
MSRP for this AL-525SCR4S6 is currently set at $1350, which seems to be just fine for me.
Alpina Startimer Classic Automatic (Ref. AL-525SCR4S6) watch specification
Price: $1350 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Alpina caliber AL-525, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Black Alpina rotor decorated with Cotes de Geneva finish
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 10.70 mm
Lug width: 22/18 mm
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Leaf-shaped, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Brown leather strap
Case back: Transparent