During Baselworld 2012 trade show the Swiss watchmaker Alpina has presented a pretty sexy automatic diver. The 2012 Alpina Extreme Diver 300M not only sports a nicely-shaped case with an easy to grasp notched bezel but also features a pretty much impressive water resistance rating of 30 ATM: that’s 300 meters!
Coming in a cushion-shaped stainless steel case whole 44 millimeters in diameter, the new Alpina Extreme Diver brings you all the stuff that you expect from a semi-professional diving watch: a serious WR rating of three hundred meters (almost 1000 feet); an easy to operate notched rotating bezel with a standard 60-minute diving scale; a high-contrast dial with luminous hour markers and hands; as well as a reliable movement, which means that your watch won’t die unexpectedly when you are deep underwater with just a half tank of breathing gas.
The movement in question is Alpina’s well-known caliber AL-525 self-winding engine. Being, in fact, a slightly modified version of the good old Sellita SW200 blank caliber, which is equipped with a branded, black PVD-coated rotor (it is clearly visible through the transparent case-back,) the movement brings you around 40 hours of guaranteed power reserve and a general feeling of safety.
As far as I understand, the new timekeeper takes its visual cues (including the arching date window and the markings on the bezel) from their Extreme Diver AL-525LBB5AEV6 model, which is rated for 1000 meters, but is packed inside a smaller body that is outsourced from one of their current Extreme Sailing models.
Although 300 meters of water resistance does not sound as impressive as 100 BAR of the aforementioned model, I think that the rating is more than adequate for a timepiece, which is supposed to be primarily a sporty dress watch that only occasionally will be subjected to salty water. In fact, it is enough even for most professionals except maybe those who go under wearing heavy gear, but this category will probably use something a lot more rugged (and a lot less visually attractive) than this beautiful specimen.
Of course, thanks to its nicely sculpted body, the Extreme Diver may serve not only as a tool but as an accessory as well. Despite its impressive width, the watch doesn’t look excessively chunky, so you can easily wear it as a casual timekeeper.
Still not sure about the price, but the “donor” Alpina Extreme Sailing Automatic model is currently offered at around $1500, so there is a good chance that the new Alpina Extreme Diver 300M will enter the market wearing a similar price tag.
Alpina Extreme Diver 300M specification
Movement: Automatic, caliber AL-525, based on Sellita SW200, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Black PVD Alpina oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 38 hours (min.)
Case: Stainless steel
Crown: Rubber and steel
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 44.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 300 meters
Strap: Black rubber strap, a steel metal bracelet or a steel mesh bracelet
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Bought my first mechanical watch in 1986 and it took me ten more years to realize that I have a problem: at some point in time watches became my passion. Well, it could be worse.