Looking at our stats, I see that demand for recommendations regarding diving watches is a seasonal thing with most visitors coming in summer and then gradually declining till Christmas only to start growing again in early January. "Pilots" are different animals: I have an impression that people are always interested in "aviators" regardless of the time of season. So, for your reading pleasure, a choice of fifteen timekeepers from under $200 to more than $10,000 as priced by online retailers that I find worthy of being considered while shopping for your new (or maybe your very first!) pilot's watch this year.
The new Alpina Startimer Pilot automatic chronograph wristwatch (refs. AL-725B4S6, AL-725GR4S6 & AL-725N4S6) is available in three colors of its laconic, extremely sober dial and in two colors of the geunuine leather strap. It is a bit expensive, many people may (and probably will) call it boring, and it is clearly not a match to majors like IWC and Omega in terms of mojo and percieved value, yet the combination of a highly ergonomic design, reliable mechanism and acceptable price make it a very nice everyday watch for a person who can afford one.
The new Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage (refs. AL-525S4H6 & AL-525G4H6) collection of dressy diving timekeepers is a clear reference to the brand's so called "days of independence" when, back in late 1950s and throughout all the 1960s, the company introduced one beautiful model after another. Although I can't really call it a real "homage" (and I actually like that it is not,) this new pair of timepieces does a very good job at recreating the spirit of the days long gone. Perhaps, the only thing that somehow devalues these gorgeous retro-styled models -besides the fact that, differing so much from other members of the Seastrong family, it needed to become a foundation of a completely new collection- is the simple mass-produced mechanism: each of these beauties just screams for a hand-wound NOS job!
Presented in two colors of its laconic, easy to read dial, the new Alpina Alpiner Manufacture makes its selling point their time-proven Caliber AL-710 automatic movement that slowly replaces third-party mechanisms from their relatively inexpensive lines. Accurate and reliable, the mechanism greatly increases the timekeeper's collectability while still making it a nice daily wearer.
Quartz watches / Swiss Watches
The new Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 Chronograph Big Date wristwatch expands the Swiss brand's line of affordable diving companions with yet another product. Featuring a reliable and accurate quartz mechanism packed into a visually attractive, nicely sculpted stainless steel body, the timepiece looks like a perfect "first real Swiss watch" choice for a young customer who still can't afford buying "a real thing" be it a member of the same collection powered by a more expensive mechanical movement or something of an entirely different league like, say, an Omega Seamaster or a Breitling Superocean.
Revealed at Baselworld 2015, the new Alpina Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph is not just another handsome wrist watch from another second-tier brand. It is in fact their very first chronograph watch that is powered by a movement that was designed and manufactured in-house by the brand's own team of engineers.
Ladies watch / Swiss Watches
With its new Alpina Comtesse series of automatic wristwatches, the Swiss watchmaking brand targets a wide array of customers, both in terms of exterior styling and price. While some people may find this "one for everyone" concept a bit too indiscriminating, the logic behind is undeniable. After all, Alpina is here for the money and there seems to be nothing more cost-effective than offering a model that, as generic as it is, allows the brand to make so many nice variations without investing too much money designing the new collection.
With its extremely clean, visually lightweight dial and a nicely proportioned (as well as elegantly decorated) stainless steel body, this beautiful Alpina Alpiner 4 Chronograph "Race for Water" Limited Edition wristwatch (ref. AL-860AD5AQ6) has only one major flaw: its total production run will be restricted to just 400 pieces, which, I am afraid, will not be enough to justify demand from the general public. Well, at least there is a chance that its resale value will not plunge as swiftly as it is often the case with products delivered by second-tier brands.