Alpina presents the new Startimer Pilot Chronograph Big Date “201st Squadron” Limited Edition watch to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Return of the Pilots of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force’s 201st Squadron, known and recognised worldwide as “The Aztec Eagles” thanks to their participation in the Second World War.
In 1945, the 290 volunteer soldiers who travelled to the Pacific War Combat Zone were between 20 and 22 years old. They are now aged 90 to 94 years old and describe themselves as happy to have served their country. On 18th November 2015 at Mexico’s Air Base No.1 in Santa Lucía, Pachuca, these Veterans came together to receive a well-deserved tribute from the Mexican Air Force and also to commemorate their companions who died in the performance of their duty.
In recognition of their services, the surviving members of the unit were presented with a 201st Squadron Limited Edition watch made by the Swiss brand, Alpina, during a ceremony presided over by Captain Manuel Reyna Garza of the 1st FAAMA Group.
The watch was designed to commemorate this key date in the history of Mexico, and a plaque was created depicting an eagle holding in its claws the distinctive tricolour triangle that is the symbol of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force. The watch’s back features a P-47, the aircraft used during the fighting.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Mexican Association of Second World War Veterans from the 201st Squadron of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force, by General Ernesto Púres Monroy of the Mexican Air Force, and by Alpina executives and members of the specialist press.
At the end of the commemoration, a toast was made in the presence of the Veterans and their families, all of whom were deeply moved by their memories of their deceased companions.
On 18 November 1945, half a million men, women and children in Mexico City alone turned out to welcome the combatant’s home along a route from Buenavista Station to the city’s Zócalo square. These great heroes are today remembered at the Mexican Air Force Museum.
Alpina has drawn on its experience as the official supplier of military and pilots’ watches to present a Limited Edition of 201 models featuring a timepiece that pays tribute to the 201st Squadron that took part in the Second World War.
The watch was designed for professional pilots who fly powerful jet aircraft and need to decide in fractions of a second the limits that their aircraft and the human body can withstand.
The new Startimer Pilot 201st Squadron Limited Edition watch features three chronograph counters with perfectly legible dials that are essential instruments for aviation – a defining characteristic of the Alpina Startimer range, which makes it so popular with pilots all over the world.
The dial features an eagle holding in its claws the distinctive tricolour triangle that is the symbol of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force, located inside the counter at 9 o’clock. The case-back is engraved with an image of the P-47 aircraft that was used during the expedition.
The 44 mm-diameter stainless steel case, which features a scratch-proof and reflection-proof sapphire crystal, large date, small seconds at 6 o’clock and is water-resistant to 10 ATM/100 m/330 feet, houses the AL-372 Swiss high-precision chronograph movement.
The unmistakable Alpina triangle, in red, is situated in its usual position, and matches the top-stitching of the “Kevlar” strap, which perfectly encapsulates the military spirit of the watch.
It is presented in a Limited Edition gift-box with a commemorative certificate, specially designed for this model, together with a historical booklet provided by the Mexican Air Force and an engraved stainless steel plaque.
The watch is available exclusively on the Mexican market for a recommended retail price of 26’950 MXN.