For over 50 years Alpina is an official supplier to various air forces. The company has specialised in meeting the requirements of pilots at work by delivering steadfast resistance, unfailing precision and perfect readability. This year, the Swiss watch brand presents the new limited edition Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic with a new design and a new case, in addition to its famous hunter case-back.
The Startimer Pilot Heritage is well-known among collectors. In 2013, Alpina paid glorious tribute to the heroes of aviation with its cult manual winding 50mm Startimer Pilot Heritage watch, limited to 1,883 pieces. It came complete with a hunter case-back, an historic hinged case back that opened with a click to reveal the Swiss Made mechanics of the calibre inside.
The new Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic watch comes in an ultra-resistant 44 mm steel case. Thanks to this new limited edition of 1,883 pieces, Alpina is returning to the origins of large diameter pilot watches.
Presented against matte black, the hours and minutes stretch out in luminescent beige, carefully chosen to replicate the shade that was used on vintage dials. Large hand-polished steel hands in the same luminescent shade hover over a 24-hour counter designed with long-haul flight in mind.
Collectors are bound to appreciate the vintage touches that reveal just how much care Alpina took in drawing on vintage watches. Firstly, the “Alpina” logo features in the original font used by the Geneva-based brand founded in 1883.
Then, there is the legendary Alpina triangle, symbolic of the Swiss peaks. Located at 12 o’clock, it helps differentiate between “II” and “I”, 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock respectively, during flights. The watch is also distinguished by the red counterbalance on the large seconds hand, hovering over the date display at 3 o’clock.
As for the case, the hunter case-back makes its big return. Decorated with a delicate perlage pattern, it reveals the sapphire crystal through which the Swiss Made AL-525 movement can be seen, a high frequency calibre oscillating at 28,800 beats per hour.
The brand has also revived the grooved design for the crown at 3 o’clock, making it easier to grip, even when wearing gloves.
Finally, the brown calfskin strap is embellished with topstitching in the same vintage beige as the hands. As the watch develops a patina over the years, each piece takes on a life unique to its owner.
Model: Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic Limited Edition Reference AL-525BBG4SH6
Hours, minutes, seconds, date
AL-525 caliber, automatic
26 jewels, 38-hour power reserve, 28’800 alt/h
Polished stainless steel 3-parts case
Diameter of 44 mm, thickness of 11.55 mm
Convex sapphire crystal
Water-resistant up to 3 ATM/30m/100ft
Mat black dial, applied silver indexes with beige luminous treatment
Date window at 3 o’clock
Hand-polished silver hands with beige luminous treatment and silver seconds hand with red triangle
Dark brown calf leather strap with off-white stitching
Limited to 1883 pieces
Recommended retail price