Earlier this year, the guys at Alpina have updated their product range with a number of “sporty” models that were delivered in terribly oversized bodies whole 47 millimeters in diameter. Among others, the package included the elegant Alpina Racing Small Seconds 47mm (Ref. AL-535AB5AR26) automatic wrist watch. I was slow to react to the event back then, but recently I have seen them in a number of online shops (including Amazon) and now feel obliged to spread the word.
As the name tells us, the dial of the watch is equipped with a somewhat peculiar, but very nice small seconds indicator that features a pair of semicircular scales that measure time from 60 to 30 (silver-colored hand and scale) and from 30 to 60 (red-painted elements) seconds.
Besides saving the expansive real estate of the oversized display, the sub-dial also looks cool without costing Alpina a single extra penny.
As many other models from the Swiss watchmaker, the timepiece also features an arc-shaped date aperture that displays not one, but whole three dates: current, as well as previous and next. To my taste, the aperture should have been made a trifle wider for the double-digit dates not to look too small compared to the huge elements of the gargantuan dial.
As the official specs tells us, the timekeeper is animated by a slightly modified Sellita SW200 self-winding caliber, which is equipped with a black, Alpina-branded oscillating weight and subsequently renamed as Alpina AL-535.
Built on 25 jewels, the caliber beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and delivers pretty much standard 42 hours of power reserve.
Although I, as, perhaps, many of you, prefer manufacture-made movements, I surely welcome standard ones when it comes to such inexpensive models (although it retails at $1295.00, you can find one at less than $900 USD on Amazon) as the Alpina Racing Small Seconds. It is simply more affordable when it comes to regular service and less expensive to fix when the mechanism breaks down or wears out.
Also, since the time-proven movement is quite compact, the watch is also very thin measuring less than 12 millimeters in height: a nice feature for a self-winding model that sports a water resistance rating of whole 100 meters.
As most sporty watches of this size, the Alpina Racing features a high-contrast, easily-readable dial, which is good both in broad daylight as well as in total darkness thanks to an impressive amount of lume that covers its hands and hour markers.
Alpina Racing Small Seconds 47mm (Ref. AL-535AB5AR26) automatic watch specification
Price: $1295 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Alpina AL-535 (base Sellita SW200), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: Black Alpina-branded oscillating weight and Cotes de Geneva pattern on bridges
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case with black rubber
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 47.00 mm
Case height: 11.70 mm
Lug width: 28.00/22.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black leather with red lining and contrasting red stitching with Alpina folding buckle
Case back: Transparent