With its 2014 self-winding Alpina Alpiner chronograph, the Swiss-based brand finally offers an interesting timekeeper. Interesting for the kind of customers that are tired of numerous recreations and reissues and just want a watch that would look cool in a room filled with 85-inch 4K TV sets, smart coffeemakers, and modern furniture made of shiny steel and expensive leather. Although in its finish I see numerous references to products made by other watchmakers (like, for example, this 2010 Chronoswiss Pacific Collection), I must admit that all in all the device looks refined and well-balanced. It is one of their collections that Alpina will never be ashamed with.
The Swiss watchmaking brand Alpina has just updated its growing Alpiner collection with a number of new sporty timekeepers. Delivered as a standard three-hander and a chronograph (reviewed here), the watch is available in different materials, color combinations and, of course, different ways it is secured on your wrist.
While their timepieces are mostly associated with classic, pilot-style designs, this one sports a lot more modern-looking appearance with what they call “glass-box” sapphire crystal covering its highly-legible dial. Although this kind of crystal is more prone to be shattered compared to a more classic design, it also makes a lot stronger impression. Another nice touch about the new Alpiner is that, if memory serves me well, it is one of the first models in the collection that feature dauphine-shaped nickel hands.
High-contrast and big enough even for an elderly person to read them at a passing glance, the hands also feature strips of some luminous compound that, accompanied by luminous strips on the applied hour markers, makes the new device readable in a dark room. However, if you plan to use the feature during a particularly boring movie, you will probably be a bit disappointed since the strips will not be bright enough for your eyes blinded by the silver screen.
Talking of dials, I can’t help but state my affection to the color scheme of this particular version (offered under reference number AL-750SG4E6B). While the combination of inverted colors (or rather shades of grey as in this particular case) is rather common, it is the third ingredient -the textures- that make it truly shine. If only they chose a bit lighter tone for the pointers on chronograph totalizers, I would be able to call this dial perfect.
Compared to their recent Alpina Heritage Pilot Limited Edition (Ref. AL-435LB4SH6) model, the new timepiece is not just modest, but can almost be considered small (especially by those persons that got used to heroically proportioned accessories that were introduced during the last decade). However, at just 41.5 millimeters in diameter the watch, while relatively compact, is still large enough to radiate that sort of masculine presence that most of us expect from sporty chronographs.
As you have probably already noticed, the usual tachymeter was replaced with a telemeter scale (an indicator that makes it easier to calculate the distance to some loud event based on the speed of sound). While as useless for all things practical, it is at least not as common.
Build quality: 4.5/5
Value for money: 3.5/5
Alpina Alpiner Automatic Chronograph (Ref. AL-750SG4E6B) specification
Price: CHF 2520
Movement: Automatic, Caliber AL-750, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case material: Stainless steel
Size: 41.50 mm
Dial: Silver grey sunray, dark grey counters
Hour markers: Applied, luminous
Hands: Nickel, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Solid stainless steel bracelet or black genuine leather strap with contrasting stitching
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective, “glass-box”