As you may have already guessed, the new self-winding Alpina Startimer Pilot Manufacture Aviation is a luxury pilot’s watch that offers you not only superb legibility both in broad daylight and in total darkness, but also accompanies it with a manufacture made movement, which is crafted and decorated exclusively in-house.
Although Alpina Geneve does not belong to a rather short list of major brands that are easily associated with Manufacture-grade calibers (an overwhelming majority of their movements is still based on mass-produced ETA ebauches that are slightly tweaked here and there, equipped with their own oscillating weights and then re-adjusted to ensure better accuracy,) the Swiss watchmaking brand does have a couple of in-house aces in its sleeve.
It is not directly stated in the official press release, however, as far as I understand, the new Alpina Startimer Pilot Manufacture Aviation watch, which is delivered in a satin-finished 18-karat rose gold case is powered by the same Caliber AL710 automatic movement that animates its cousin: the Startimer Manufacture Ref. AL-710B4S6 / AL-710B4S6B in stainless steel that was presented last March during Baselworld 2011 international trade show.
Beating at pretty much standard 28,800 vibrations per hour, the 27 mm (12 lignes) movement is built on 25 artificial rubies and features a Nivarox spiral as well as a non-magnetic Glucydur balance wheel.
In fact, the choice of the material selected for the massive 44-millimeter body (that still looks slender and discreet) seems to be the only thing that separates the pair of new models.
As I have already noted, the new Alpina Startimer Pilot Manufacture sports a very legible dial with a somewhat “vintage” layout.
Its leaf-shaped hour and minute hands are generously covered with thick layers of bright-white Superluminova compound that makes it easier reading the time both in darkness and especially in twilight when most timekeepers that feature cheaper lume fail to glow bright enough for an owner to see their readings.
The same substance also covers the oversized Arabic numerals as well as the hour markers and the traditional triangle at 12 o’clock.
By the way, the thin but elegant central seconds hand, too, features a signature small triangle that acts as a counterweight. The comfortable-looking (but rather long) setting crown is, too, decorated with the same triangle.
Instead of a usual date aperture, there is a very large recessed calendar sub-dial with a bold-looking indicator.
Also bright-white, the hand looks very contrast on the black background, emphasizing the light-grey Arabic numerals on the sub-dial as well as the “Alpina Geneve” logo aptly placed at 12 hours.
According to the Swiss watchmaker, the watch will be released both on a black natural leather strap (pictured,) as well as on a metal bracelet.
The whole production is going to be limited to only 888 pieces.
As usual, each Startimer Pilot is going to be accompanied by a Cessna Citation Mustang private business jet scale model in PrivatAir livery.
Photos: Alpina Geneve, PrivatAir
Alpina Startimer Pilot Manufacture Aviation specification
Movement: Automatic, Caliber AL-710, 28,800 vph, 25 jewels, in-house, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Signature delta-shaped oscillating weight, Geneva stripes, blued screws
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Rose gold
Size: 44.00 mm
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Case height: 14.00 mm
Dial: Matte black
Numerals: Arabic, luminous, white Superluminova
Hour markers: Rose gold
Hands: Rose gold, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black natural leather strap or a metal bracelet with deployant buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective