Back in 2012, Alpina has presented its rugged-looking Extreme Diver 300 Automatic three-hander. For this year, the Swiss-based brand updated the collection with a chronograph version predictably calling it “Alpina Extreme Diver 300 Automatic Chronograph“. Although the function is superfluous even for an amateur diver (I can’t imagine a guy going underwater without an electronic diving computer), the mechanical movement that powers it is based on a legendary workhorse, which is known for its bullet-proof reliability and adequate accuracy.
The movement in question is, of course, the good old ETA Valjoux 7750 natural-born chronograph caliber. Guys from Alpina redecorated the mechanism, equipped it with their own black PVD-treated oscillating weight and, as it is now common within the industry, renamed the engine as Caliber AL-725. Since the main elements of the movement remained intact, it is still built on 25 jewels and, after being fully wound, is able to keep going for as long as 46 hours without losing its time-measuring capabilities.
If you compare the chronograph with the earlier three-hander, you will notice that both share the same cushion-shaped stainless steel body, which is equipped with the same unidirectional rotating bezel with luminous diving scale.
Sure, the new version features a pair of chronograph push-pieces at 2 and 4 o’clock, but the buttons don’t seem to affect its water-tightness since the chrono boasts the same 30 ATM WR rating as the original model.
According to the brand’s press release, they are going to sell the timekeeper in three versions that will differ only with the way they are attached to your wrist. Although the version on a black rubber band looks the most interesting on these HDR-styled photos, the model on a Breitling-style mesh bracelet will probably feel the most comfortable in daily wearing.
Not sure about pricing yet*: the watch was only recently revealed during Baselworld 2013 show. Something around $3000 would certainly do.
* UPDATE ON PRICE: It looks like the watch will indeed retail with a minimum recommended street price of just over $3250. At least, the ref. AL-725LB4V26B2 that comes on a trendy mesh bracelet is currently listed at $3250 and versions with leather straps are usually a tad less expensive. Given its combination of a robust movement and an original styling of its classic cushion-shaped case, I would say that the price is just about right and will be even more so in when the watch will finally be offered by numerous online stores that will probably offer it at $2100 or $2250 tops. If you are tired of established brands, this one may be just the right one.
Alpina Extreme Diver 300 Chronograph specification
Price: $3250 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber AL-725 (base ETA Valjoux 7750), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Movement decoration: Black PVD-coated and branded oscillating weight; blued screw heads; perlage (circular graining) on bridges
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph, date
Case and Bezel: Stainless steel
Crown: Stainless steel with black rubber
Size: 44.00 mm
Numerals: Arabic, luminous (on the unidirectional rotating bezel)
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 300 meters
Strap: Black rubber strap / Metal bracelet / Mesh bracelet with security folding buckle (ref. AL-725LB4V26B2)
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective