As you may have already guessed, the 2011 Alpina Startimer Pilot Manufacture Aviation is not an ordinary “aviator”. The new model not only offers superb legibility both in broad daylight and in total darkness but also features an in-house movement: a rare thing even among relatively expensive timekeepers.
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 are mass-produced ETA blank calibers that are slightly tweaked here and there, equipped with their own oscillating weights, and then re-adjusted in extra positions to ensure better accuracy.
Yet, the aspiring brand does have a couple of in-house aces in its sleeve.
Delivered in a satin-finished 18-karat rose gold case, the new Alpina Startimer Pilot Manufacture Aviation sports the same self-winding Caliber AL710 that animates its less expensive cousins from the same collection: the stainless steel Refs. AL-710B4S6 & AL-710B4S6B.
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 thanks to a relatively low profile of just 14 millimeters) seems to be the only thing that separates the pair of new models.
Like it is the case with most “aviators”, the readiblity is great, even despite the watch using a deliberately archaic design language.
The leaf-shaped hour and minute hands are generously covered with thick layers of bright-white Superluminova compound that makes it easier to read 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 the signature “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 large recessed calendar sub-dial with a bold-looking indicator.
Also bright-white, the hand looks 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.
The watch will be released on a black natural leather strap (pictured,) and 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.
See also: Alpina Startimer Pilot (Ref. AL-525B4S6)
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 a deployant buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective