Alpina Geneve has released yet another update to its Extreme Diver 300M collection of cushion-shaped diving watches. After a mild facelift to its chronograph that was revealed in May during Baselworld 2013 event, the Swiss-based company turned its attention to the three-hander version of the diver. Just like the previous iteration, the 2013 Alpina Extreme Diver 300M Automatic wristwatches (Refs. AL-525LBO4V26, AL-525LBO4V26B & AL-525LBO4V26B2) will be available in three versions that will differ only in the way the gadget is secured on your wrist.
According to official specs, the 2013 Alpina Extreme Diver 300M Automatic is powered by the very same Caliber AL-525 self-winding movement that powered the original three-hander. Based on Sellita SW200 ebauche, the movement offers an adequate mix of ruggedness, precision and serviceability.
Judging by the look of it, the refreshed collection is almost identical to the last year’s model, but still features a set of very nice touches here and there that make it look a lot more refined and desirable.
The first of all, the original sword-shaped hands were replaced for a set of new ones with the hour and second hand featuring the same orange accents as the luminous numerals on the PVD-coated unidirectional rotating bezel. The lume on the hour markers and the hands is still the same white Superluminova that, together with matte black surface of the dial, greatly increases the timekeeper’s legibility in any environment.
Thanks to a screwed crown and back, the watch is rated for whole 300 meters (30 BAR) of water resistant, which makes it a very nice diving companion, especially if you back it up with some electronic diving computer on another wrist.
At a size of 44 millimeters in width, the watch may be too large for some, but if you happen to possess a pair of strong hands, it will probably look good (the usual “try before you buy” would still be a very good advice in this case).
As for the pricing, I can only say that the last year’s version of the watch retailed for around $1700 USD, so the refreshed model will probably be only a trifle more expensive factoring in inflation and exchange range volatility.*
* UPDATE ON PRICE OK, the new version is actually LESS expensive than the original model, which makes the price a tad more justifiable, although the watch still looks overpriced to your truly. All things considered, an Oris Aquis ref. 733-7653-4155MB and its numerous variations look like a better deal to me even despite the fact that it is a tad more expensive than the model reviewed here.
Photos: Alpina Geneve
WWR preliminary verdict:
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
2013 Alpina Extreme Diver 300M Automatic (Refs. AL-525LBO4V26, AL-525LBO4V26B & AL-525LBO4V26B2) watch specification
Price: $1600 (ref. AL-525LBO4V26 on black rubber strap)
Movement: Automatic, caliber AL-525, base Sellita SW200, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 26
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, unidirectional rotating bezel
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Cushion
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Numerals: Arabic (on the bezel)
Hour markers: White, luminescent
Water resistance: 300 meters
Strap: Black rubber strap (ref. AL-525LBO4V26) / steel bracelet (ref. AL-525LBO4V26B) / mesh steel bracelet (ref. AL-525LBO4V26B2) with security folding buckle
Case back: Sapphire