The vintage-styled Alpina Startimer Classic Chrono-Automatic (ref. AL-860SCP4S6) looks good and desirable, although the press photos that we have received leave some questions unanswered.
Like the other members of the Startimer family, the upcoming Alpina Startimer Classic Chrono-Automatic is presented in a relatively large body 44 millimeters in diameter and sports the signature oversized setting crown
The crown is comfortable enough to operate watch, but some people that tend to wear their timepieces on the lower part of the wrist may find the part too long (and they most certainly won’t like it biting them in the back of their palms.)
Like many recent vintage-styled chronos, this new one features an easy to grasp bi-compax dial design with the sub-dial at 3 o’clock sporting a 30-minute chronograph totalizer and the counter at 9 hours reserved for a subsidiary seconds indicator.
While most chronographs are usually equipped with tachymeter scales that, from where I seat, are absolutely useless in real life, this model is equipped with a nice mechanical pulsometer (it is sometimes also called “pulsimeter,”) which is graduated for 15 heartbeats.
I can’t imagine this timekeeper as a sports companion, but if you have problems with your cardiovascular system or just take your poker sessions too seriously, the gadget will let you easily calculate your pulse.
Just start the chronograph, count 15 heartbeats and then stop the chrono: the scale will show your pulse in a rather wide range from 25 bpm (a normal resting heart rate for a healthy person) to 200 bpm (that’s where you may start worrying if you didn’t just finish your 20 squats with a heavy barbell.)
The watch is animated by the well-known Alpina Caliber AL-860 that we have already seen in other Alpina models.
Based on the Sellita SW500 automatic ebauche, the movement is said to be modified in-house. Using their own CNC machinery, Alpina adapts the caliber for a bi-compax layout and also equips the engine with a branded oscillating weight, which is further adorned with Geneva stripes.
The only problem with the design of the dial seems to be the length of the hour and minute hands, as well as the central chronograph seconds hand: they are just too short for the timekeeper to be easily readable and just plain look funny.
However, the bold Arabic numerals, as well as the minute track are done absolutely flawlessly: even short-sighted persons will have no problem reading them.
And as for the questions, so far I have at least one: how do I control this chronograph? I mean, other Alpina timekeepers that come powered by the caliber AL-860 are equipped with the old-school push-pieces that are placed at 2 and 4 o’clock. This watch, on the other hand, features no visible pusher.
Either the watch has some fancy chronograph control system, or some Photoshop master greatly screwed things up while making a press photo of the model.
Alpina Startimer Classic Chrono-Automatic (ref. AL-860SCP4S6) specification
Price: $3200 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber AL-860, base caliber Sellita SW500, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Branded rotor decorated with Cotes de Geneve
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, pulsimeter
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 44.00 mm
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Case height: 15.00 mm
Hour markers: Black
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Imitation crocodile brown leather with stainless steel folding clasp