On 26 February 2002, the current new shareholders purchased 100% of the shares in Alpina Watch International S.A. Although the Alpina name was still known in the watch trade, it had slipped from memory of many consumers. Neither did the small company archive still in existence offer much point of departure for a future direction of the company. So there was nothing for it to seek a new future in the symbiosis of the long tradition of the Alpina name and the current demands of customers. This search led to the creation of the the Heritage Gold Chronograph.
Based on the historical Alpina gold chronograph (1930’s), a new larger version was created using the latest available movement and watch manufacturing technologies. The Heritage Gold Chronograph is following the original design as much as possible, while having been adjusted to today’s demands. Its solid gold case is sturdy and masculine, its movement very delicately decorated, its dial appealing and its alligator strap finely hand-sewn. The present day Alpina Heritage Gold Chronograph is based on a deep respect for the extensive Alpina past. With this unique time-piece, in a limited edition of 99 pieces, Alpina returns to its roots of a high-quality, high-value watch manufacturer.
The Alpina Chronograph is a ‘complicated’ form of a watch with an additional mechanism. Apart from normal timekeeping, it can measure an interval of time, from one-fifth of a second up to 30 minutes. The amount of time which elapses is registered on the auxiliary dial whose hand moves every minute after a measuring operation has been started. While most chronographs up to the 1930’s had only one push button, the Alpina Chronograph had two pushers.
The Tachometer scale on the Alpina Chronograph is calibrated to show the speed of a moving object. Calibration is set at one kilometer. The Tachometer scale is placed on the dial and continues towards the center for measuring speeds less than 60 kilometers per hour. When measuring the speed, the chronograph center second hand is released at the starting-point and stopped when the vehicle passes the finishing-point. The center second hand will then indicate the average speed per hour on the Tachometer scale.
In addition to the Tachometer, the Alpina Chronograph also has a Telemeter. By means of a Telemeter scale, it is possible to calculate the distance of a visible and audible phenomenon, i.e. a thunder storm. Calibration is based on the speed at which sound travels through the air (340 meters per second).
Releasing the chronograph hand at the moment when a flash of lightning is seen, and stopping it when the thunder is heard, the Telemeter scale will show the distance of the thunderstorm from the observation point. Obviously, the Telemeter scale on the Alpina Chronograph is of important use while performing mountain sports.
|Alpina gold chronograph of 1930’s|
The original Alpina gold chronograph is based on the Valjoux 23, a 13” line caliber with 17 jewels. The Valjoux 23 movement is a hand wound chronograph movement that today is regarded as one of the pioneers to the modern chronograph. On the other hand, the new Heritage Gold Chronograph is based on an ETA Ebauche.
Alpina added and adjusted to this ebauche so as to create the AL-850 Caliber. Whereas the original movement was manually wound and did not have a date, the new Alpina Heritage Gold Chronograph caliber is automatic and has a date. Its rotor is PVD coated for extra sturdy protection and the Alpina Triangle Trademark is applied into the center of the rotor on a separate stainless steel insert.